The mad chatter of 2017 has come to an end, but not before filling our news feeds with distressing articles throughout the year. On the opposite end of the spectrum however, lies stories of hope. Never before in the history of mankind has the human race come together with such intensity to fight for causes. LGBT rights, speaking out against sexual violence and refugee action — there are as much negative news today as there are social movements and campaigns. The age of activism has arrived and we are here to witness and partake. Our voices matter more than ever, and that is how we want to remember 2017.
Creating meaningful products is a big part of our work. While we enjoy the creative process, we similarly find researching, learning and writing on Asia's wealth of textiles fulfilling. Connecting the dots between the narratives involved in traditional textile making and their symbolism with cultures and ways of life opens a path to understanding a softer, gentler and introspective side of living — something that we need more of today. As Kurt Vonnegut once said, "To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.". With Textile Stories Asia, we want to recover and rewrite Asian heritage for the contemporary world.
A change in our production process proved to be challenging. We started Gypsied making every piece in our home studio and while it allowed us to pay 100% attention to what we were making, we were also limited by expertise.
At the same time, producing en masse has never been on our radar. While the designing process still happens in Singapore, is having production in Bali in conflict with our belief of consciously creating? The The Fast Fashion & Slow Fashion Lab Exhibition in Jakarta early this year guided us toward some answers. As the ecosystem of the fashion industry is vast and complicated, there is more to the production process than just designing and making. Raw material, carbon footprint and environmental waste are urgent areas to eventually focus on too.
As we grow from strength to strength, we are looking to expand our textile journeys further into Indochina and the coastal areas of Java with an aim to explore more batik, handwoven and handloom textiles. What would you like to see more of on Gypsied in 2018?