JAKARTA – The Indonesian Fashion Chamber continues its work on sustainability, a focus it started last year.
Indonesia has a large garments industry that exported $8.24 billion of apparel and clothing accessories to the world in 2019, down from $8.57 billion the year before, according to latest data from the U.N.’s ITC Trade Map.
The domestic sector is struggling to improve its sustainability credentials that are negatively impacted by environmental issues such as water pollution. Efforts towards sustainability are necessary for business continuation amid increasingly stringent global standards for the textile and garment sectors.
Ali Charisma, chairperson of the Indonesian Fashion Chamber, livestreamed a three-day virtual fashion event last week that aimed to promote the circular economy. He recast more than 1,000 outfits from his past fashion shows that were made available to buyers for as little as 10% of their original prices.
He also collaborated with five fashion universities that he mentored or taught at. They either replayed their past fashion shows or presented new work online.
64 graduates of École Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode, or ESMOD Jakarta, produced ready-to-wear apparel using recycled shopping plastic bags, three graduates of Instituto di Moda Burgo made garments using less chemicals and more natural substances, and three students from Universitas Ciputra Surabaya produced bag collections using bioplastic materials. There were also contributions from Institut Seni Indonesia Denpasar and Institut Kesenian Jakarta.
“All funds raised from this event will be donated to students in remote areas, to buy school uniforms for them,” Ali told Salaam Gateway.
At the end of the first day on February 26, total donations reached 40 million rupiah ($2,800), from a total possible tally of 400 million rupiah. So far 500 outfits have been sold, only about 30% of the target.
Ali plans to extend the virtual fashion event to May with the hope of selling all items. He will be releasing a new collection in December.
The event was held online due to health and safety concerns. Indonesia is still reporting thousands of new positive COVID-19 cases daily. As of Sunday (Feb 28) there were 1,334,634 positive cases and 36,166 deaths, according to the health ministry.
“The COVID-19 condition is still unstable. We still worry about running offline, or even hybrid, fashion shows,” said the designer.
The virtual event attracted 10,000 viewers, exceeding expectations, he said.
“We have already achieved our goal of attracting young people to be more aware of sustainable fashion.
“Many students from universities, vocational and senior high schools from Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan and Sulawesi came back to us, gave their feedback and said thank you. We need to encourage them more so they will be ready to become sustainable fashion designers or consumers.”
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