The origin of the MATTER WRAPS was a confluence of opportunity, timing and the right intention. It began over a conversation in December with Aarika Lee. She approached us wanting to do something grounded on impact, and we talked about the possibility of creating headwraps with batik – which would allow more control with placement prints. We always knew we wanted to explore partnership outside of India, and we had been talking about it for the past year. From there, the dots connected and idea became reality after a WhatsApp video call with Denica, the founder of SukkhaCitta. Connected by a cause, we collaborated together with the intention to make this a purpose-led project above all else.
Created in the Jlamprang village of Semarang, the artisans we worked with are a part of SukkhaCitta’s Field to Fabric initiative. For the past year, SukkhaCitta has been working with them to rebuild their capacity for the craft of batik and indigo dye – with it, providing stable employment for 10 of the 150 women in the village. As we aligned with them to produce the wraps co-designed with Aarika Lee, we wanted to bring about a positive discussion around the challenges and opportunities of economic freedom, choice, and sustainable livelihoods in craft in agricultural rural areas.
WE WANTED TO BRING ABOUT A POSITIVE DISCUSSION AROUND THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM, CHOICE AND SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS IN CRAFT IN AGRICULTURAL RURAL AREAS.
Handcrafted in batik, all proceeds of the MATTER WRAPS go towards the artisan community in Jlamprang. The hope is to cover the costs for three years of land rental, and building a workshop facility and indigo vat – all in an effort to sustain their economic freedom. The grant received from these proceeds will follow a Pay It Forward model – where the amount raised will be reinvested into another artisan community after a few years. We’re heartened by this impact-driven project, and even more so to know that it doesn’t end here but that this is only the beginning of a ripple effect.
IN DESIGNING THE WRAPS WITH AARIKA LEE, WE TOOK THESE STRONG CHARACTERS AND PERSONIFIED THEM IN MODERN ADAPTATIONS OF THE TRADITIONAL BATIK MOTIFS OF PARANG, KAWUNG, AND BUKETAN.
This capsule collection consists of 3 designs – Warrior, Creator, and Dreamer. Collectively they represent the characteristics that are intrinsically present in each and every one of us, and the roles we take on at different stages of our lives. In designing the wraps with Aarika Lee, we took these strong characters and personified them in modern adaptations of the traditional batik motifs of Parang, Kawung, and Buketan.
The large sword repeat in the Warrior wrap is a symbol of unyielding courage in the face of constant change. The Warrior print is a reinterpretation of the Parang motif, a traditional sacred war pattern with its roots in Yogyakarta.
Inspired by Kawung, one of the oldest batik symbols, the Creator wrap holds a repeat of an Areca palm blossom splayed with four petals and a fruit at its center. The circular motif points to a profound philosophy of universal energy and the sacred origin of humanity within a divine order. Dyed naturally with the indigo plant, it takes 5 dips across 3 hours for the deep blue to soak through.
The Dreamer interpretation of the Buketan print is a modern depiction of floral patterns and butterfly wings. Often found in coastal batik, the motif is a historical hybrid of influences from multicultural origins. The mahogany wood bark is a natural dye used in the Dreamer wrap. Boiled for 4 days, the first dip leaves an intense brown on the fabric. After a second boil, the earthy tones give way to reveal a dusty pink.
We created the MATTER WRAPS with an intention grounded on impact, and along the way it grew into something so much more. Co-designed with Aarika Lee and created with SukkhaCitta, this capsule collection champions the very heart of what matters to us – the desire to create an empowering space for women to gather, converse, collaborate, and create.
Over the past weekend, we were a part of Keepers x Straits Clan’s takeover at the New Majestic Hotel – and in those two days, the MATTER WRAPS sold out. We didn’t expect such an overwhelming response, but we’re truly so encouraged to know that our cause resonated with so many of you.