We were lucky to return to Bali for two retreats this year, and we were fortunate to go back to visit our Give Back partner for Indonesia, Threads of Life. Threads of Life is a fair trade business that works with culture and conservation to alleviate poverty in rural Indonesia. In addition to getting an education on the artists and foundations they work with, our guests took a natural dye batik class, which offers a unique insight into the botany, dye processes and practice of Indonesia’s textile traditions.
As you can see in the photos above, they take time to show us how to use local plants to handmade incredible blue dye. Our guests created fabrics using wax and pattern templates, and the results are always beautiful.
We were also thrilled to hear where our donation from the profits of the Bali retreats went--this year it was filtered straight towards The Bebali Foundation. It works towards sustainable livelihoods for indigenous people across Indonesia, and does so through the textile and natural dye arts. It works closely with Threads of Life to help rural communities take advantage of the market access we offer, and its programs help their partner communities develop their independent businesses for growth, environmental sustainability, and cultural integrity. It helps hundreds of weavers who live in remote, under-developed villages turn textiles, crafts, and other expressions of their local cultures into badly needed income in a way that is environmentally sustainable, promotes cultural integrity, and empowers women. The weaving communities we work with have provided the foundation with a “mandate” of issues that they want addressed, in three general areas: incubating community businesses, managing forests and natural resources, and nurturing traditional culture.
If you ever find yourself in Ubud, visit their gallery to buy directly from Threads of Life to support these community initiatives. We can't wait to return for more education, instruction and art from this incredible organization!