Bali’s known for its natural beauty, but it’s got major environmental issues to deal with — especially with plastic waste, so it’s refreshing to see local independent businesses dedicated to sustainability and helping reduce our carbon footprint. Integrating environmentally friendly initiatives into our everyday lives doesn’t always come easy, but these brands make going green look cool and effortless with their ethically and sustainably produced products, natural ingredients, and upcycled materials.
For those of us interested in bumping up our efforts to reduce, reuse, recycle, and more — here’s a handy list of local labels providing eco-friendly style, and doing business the sustainable way.
A boho-style jewelry brand based in Ubud, Ananda Soul wants to give out good vibes to the world, focusing on ethical production, fair pay, employing underprivileged women, going vegan in its products and packaging, crafting jewelry from green recycled silver, selling apparel made from organic cotton and bamboo, and striving to keep its carbon footprint as small as possible. Phew, that’s quite the list.
Its popular necklace designs come with inspirational quotes like “you are free” and “dream big”, while the range of earrings and rings are beautifully studded with sustainably sourced gemstones like rose quartz, topaz, and amethyst. Not a bad way to spice up an outfit and show your love for the environment at the same time.
Bali is rife with plastic pollution, and waste management is becoming a problem as a result of the island’s thriving tourism industry. So to tackle the problem, one disposable item at a time, Avani targets grocery bags, straws, cutlery, coffee cups, and Styrofoam takeaway containers, making them fully biodegradable.
The company – which originated as Biowear, touting eco-friendly rain ponchos – is most famous for its plastic bags made from cassava root starch and natural resins. These are said to biodegrade in three to six months, leaving no toxic remnants. They’re also apparently safe for insects or animals to consume, and even for humans to drink, after they dissolve in hot water. Mind blown.
A kaleidoscopic wonderland of multi-hued prints and patterns awaits at this store, which displays fair trade, handmade home décor pieces for those who live and breathe green.
Crafted by Balinese artisans from natural, sustainable materials like bamboo, organic cotton, vetiver, capiz shell, and recycled fabrics, the eclectic selection includes everything from cushion covers and bedding to bags and kitchen ware. Even the patchwork designs and carpets are made of fabric scraps, in a bid to reduce waste as much as possible.
To encourage a zero waste lifestyle, EcoBali was founded in 2006 to help deal with the waste management issue in Bali. Besides educating students and teachers in schools and training households and businesses in environmentally-friendly ways, the organization has also collected thousands of tons of waste and supported recycling efforts over the years.
Click on its online store, and you can purchase a variety of eco chic products, including upcycled glasses and net bags to replace plastic ones for grocery shopping. If you’re interested, EcoBali offers a simple composting system that it can install in your home as well.
Get comfy in basic threads and active wear by eleven44, which creates its apparel using eco textiles, ethical manufacturing, and fair-trade practices. The 10-year-old brand works with family-run manufacturers and avoids cotton produced with GMO seeds or pesticides, resulting in collections that are made by hand in small batches.
With low impact resistant dyes (that don’t consist of harmful chemicals) splashed on organic cotton, the athleisure label goes for classic styles instead of fickle trends, with yoga outfits, lounge wear and swim suits that are chic yet oh-so-comfy.
Basically, it makes getting dressed easy – just shimmy into a dress, throw on one of its statement necklaces made with recycled metals, and you’re all ready for a night out in town.
Trendy accessories made from inner tire tubes? Heck, yeah. These edgy statement pieces aren’t just cool – they’re also a representation of ethical and eco-conscious fashion. Individually handcrafted from truck tire tubes for that snazzy laser cut effect, each upcycled item takes a couple days to create. The brand works with artisans in Bali, following fair trade principles, to produce each collection.
Glance through the range and you’ll find bags, wallets, earrings, and chokers to grunge up your look. This year, the label also collaborated with Cambodian makers to come up with its Golden Collection, made of repurposed brass from unexploded war remnants of landmines and bullet casings in the country.
An Earth-friendly yoga and swimwear label, influenced by minimalist Scandinavian style, Indigo Luna promotes an eco-conscious way of life with its wallet-friendly, down-to-earth designs.
Sustainable fabrics play a big part of the creation of each piece, with materials like organic bamboo, plant-based dyes, and even the Italian-made ECONYL, a textile of recycled nylon that’s made with trash collected from landfills and oceans, including things like unwanted fishing nets and old carpets. Take a look through its collection for basic, relaxed tops and yoga pants, alongside printed leggings and bikinis.
A brand that started with an unfortunate incident – the founder broke his sandals during a trip to Bali in 2004 and chanced upon a pair with soles made from repurposed scooter tires – Indosole has expanded across Bali and the United States since its launch in 2009.
Just like the sandals that kickstarted all this, the label aims to help relieve Indonesia’s pollution problem by taking the country’s landfill waste tires (they apparently take thousands of years to decompose) and fitting the upcycled rubber into the soles of its durable products.
As for the other parts of the footwear, they’re crafted by Indonesian artisans and mostly made of natural materials such as organic canvas, banana leaves, and grass. The selection includes travel shoes, high tops, sandals, flip flops, and boat shoes.
Kou Bali’s quaint shop space is naturally scented with pleasant whiffs, thanks to its soaps that are organic, natural, and handmade individually, using coconut oil and plants grown right on the island. A traditional aging process is applied to allow the products to mature over a month, and no preservatives or additives are tossed into the mix, so you’ll want to keep in mind the expiry dates.
Regular soaps like jasmine white and sweet orange are available, alongside premium ones like tuberose and frangipani, as well as those packaged in candy wrapped in scents such as rose white. The brand also carries eucalyptus, lavender, and lemon bath salts, should you feel in the mood for a luxurious bubble bath.
Since its debut in 2011, the Ubud label has been designing simple, minimalistic apparel that’s handwoven and colored with natural dyes extracted from flowers, fruits, and leaves. It’s this push for environmental sustainability that sits at the heart of La Boheme, which crafts relaxing resort looks, alongside the occasional cushion cover and batik piece.
One of the best-known Bali skincare brands that features natural and organic ingredients, Sensatia Botanicals started from its humble beginnings 18 years ago in the little fishing village of Jasri. Its bath, body, and face products are now supplied to five-star hotels in Bali, and you can find easily its beauty junkie paradise retail outlets at 11 locations around the island.
Items to try include red roses shea butter soap, lemongrass tart body lotion, chamomile tea facial toner, blossom facial dream cream, and rosemary mint bubble bath. You can also stock up on essential oils, with options like tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and patchouli here.
Created by surfers for, well, surfers, and everyone else who spends a good amount of time under the sun, this reef-friendly sunscreen label consists of natural ingredients, making it an environmentally-conscious alternative to all the chemical-packed mainstream brands in your neighborhood drugstore.
Said to last for hours and tested in the surf conditions of Indonesia, Hawaii, and Australia, its Surfscreen Zinc contains stuff like chocolate, beeswax, and coconut oil, which makes it practically edible (but please don’t put it in your mouth).
Working with women weavers from remote villages on 11 islands across Indonesia, this fair trade business seeks to support the poverty-stricken in rural areas, commissioning textiles to be produced with local materials and natural dyes. In its small gallery shop, the country’s traditional art of weaving is kept very much alive, with vibrant and vivid prints on these handmade fabrics and baskets.
If you’re keen on getting hands-on with the experience, Threads of Life also runs classes that take you through everything from an introduction to the textiles of Bali and Indonesia to natural batik dyes.
This Balinese beauty and skincare brand prides itself on using completely natural ingredients in its handmade body butters, lip balms, liquid soaps, salt scrubs, body mists, and even bug sprays. Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil and pure essential oils make up the bulk of these items, which are all free of synthetic chemicals, parabens, sulfates, and palm oil.
Essentially, Utama Spice is all about going back to the basics and making simple skin food – y’know, the thought that if you won’t put something in your mouth, you probably shouldn’t lather it on your skin either. The small batch business runs somewhat like a social enterprise, offering employment for the local women of Ubud and supporting sustainable projects in Bali.
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