Everywhere we go, the world is putting its best effort to become more ethical and sustainable. Starting from what’s on our plate to what’s on our sleeves, we are slowly becoming more conscious about everything.
Kana Goods, founded by Sancaya Rini, is one of the change-makers in the Indonesian fashion scene. The brand was able to flourish with their signature eco-friendly and organic production of clothing through natural dyed colours. The brand’s mission is to raise awareness regarding environmental issues while showcasing Indonesia's traditional patterns of Batik as well as natural colouring materials from plants and leaves. Aside from promoting the slow fashion concept, Kana Goods also aims to avoid excess water usage and textile waste by making its products one-size-fits-all.
Rini’s journey in the retail world began in 2007 when she started collecting batik fabric as one of her favourite hobbies. She then learned how to create batik on her own by visiting the Textile Museum as well as gathering all the knowledge that she could. However, as soon as she realized that artificial colours are harmfully destructive to the environment, she started looking for other available alternatives. After researching about one alternative to the next, she finally found one that was suitable for her, which is to use the natural dye extracted from plants.
With her previous background in Agriculture, she learned how to find tropical plants that would produce the best colours for the clothing that she wanted to create. She eventually started teaching this new colouring technique to the kids around her neighbourhood who didn’t have access to a formal school. This project soon received massive attention from the media, pushing her to expand her work even more to the public. What started as a small-sized workshop in her house located in a rural part of the city, has now grown into a community. With her team, she then created Kana Goods to deliver her values whilst showcasing her passion to the community.
“In 2011, the colour blue was on-trend. There was an obsession over Japanese fashion that relied entirely on the rich blue shade extracted from natural indigo dye. At the time, I knew that Indonesia had a big potential when it came to natural dye. So I decided to combine my pieces with batik to sustain Indonesian culture while also massively promoting it to young people through any public or social event”
Targeting young people, in particular, many of her Kana pieces showcase simple batik patterns combined with attention-grabbing ornaments which flow in serene harmony with the natural blue shades extracted from Indigofera Tinctoria plant.
“I wanted people to understand the process behind the creation of batik because most of them don’t know the difference between printed batik and manually handwritten batik. I also want to introduce a plant-based natural dyeing technique, which delivers ethical and sustainable values to the public”, Rini said.
To preserve Kana’s originality and authenticity, the entire process was done in a small workshop near Rini’s house. With her consistent supervision, she engaged people from her neighbourhood to participate in producing Kana’s products, starting from designing, Batik drawing, and even until the dying process. The inspiration for her patterns tend to come from natural surroundings, such as leaves, flowers, or classic universal patterns. All these steps are parts of the effort to deliver the environmental friendly outputs to the community.
The label mostly expands unisex pieces such as kimono jacket or outerwear in their sophisticated collection, as it is the most favourite style among customers. Derived from versatile and multifaceted functions, she presents pieces that people can easily wear every day. With this minimalistic yet appealing concept, Kana Goods becomes a one-of-a-kind clothing line that follows the rules of slow fashion: ethical, conscious, and sustainable.
This time around, Kana is carried by independent retailers in Indonesia, including The Goods Dept. in Jakarta as well as Happy Go Lucky House in Bandung. The clothing line also actively participates in social events, with one of them being the Brightspot Market.
With her rising concerns for the environment, Rini hopes that Kana Goods will consistently create and develop eco-friendly fashion products, as well as sustaining Indonesian local heritage—consisting of not only batik but also rich and diverse local fabrics that can be found in many rural areas in Indonesia. When asked, Rini is quite optimistic about her goals, as she believes that the universe will always conspire to help us achieve our positive wishes and dreams.
Visit their website to learn more about Kana Goods and their journey in sustainable fashion!