Queen Silvia highlights Indonesia-Sweden sustainable fashion cooperation

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Queen Silvia of Sweden drew on a batik pattern during her visit to Jakarta Creative Hub on 23 May, 2017. Photo: The Parrot/Ismira Lutfia Tisnadibrata

Indonesia’s up-and-coming fashion designers have a lot to learn from their Swedish counterparts in practising sustainable fashion if they want to make their marks in the global fashion industry.

Lenny Tedja, the director of annual fashion showcase Jakarta Fashion Week (JFW), said since sustainable fashion was introduced here about three years ago, JFW has been encouraging young designers that JFW grooms to practise it in their production.

“We are still at the beginning of sustainable fashion practices, but we are going there. If these young designers want to go international, they have to pay more attention to sustainable fashion,” she said, adding that they could start by using materials that are eco-friendly, paying their workers in accordance to the minimum wage requirement, providing a humane workplace, to exercising better waste management.

JFW turned to Sweden, through its embassy in Jakarta, to learn more about the practise since the Swedes are very much advanced in producing sustainable fashion, Lenny said.

This cooperation was highlighted during Swedish Queen Silvia’s recent visit to Jakarta Creative Hub in Central Jakarta.

The queen was welcomed by Happy Farida Djarot, the wife of acting Jakarta governor Djarot Syaiful Hidayat and Svida Alisjahbana, the chief executive of Femina Group, who both then accompanied Silvia to browse through the display of products made by small and medium enterpreneurs, including handicrafts and fashion items made from recycled material of used hotel bed sheets produced by housewives who live in North Jakarta’s Marunda housing blocks.

Silvia also took a few minutes to draw on a traditional Jakarta batik pattern.

The queen said it was really inspiring to see the works of Indonesian designers displayed at the co-working space, which included elements of sustainable practices in their production.

“Like Indonesia, Sweden has a rich traditional culture in design,” Silvia said.

“We have a lot to learn from each other,” she added.

Svida said having the queen in the hub marked a symbol to Indonesia-Sweden cooperation in sustainable fashion.

“Being eco-friendly is what we strive to do and we would very much like to learn from Sweden,” Svida said.

The visit to Jakarta Creative Hub was part of the first-ever state visit of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to Indonesia on 22-24 May 2017. The royal couple’s three-city visit to Jakarta, Bogor and Bandung focused on trade, sustainability, research and innovation and it was aimed to strengthen the political, economic and cultural relations between Sweden and Indonesia.

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