To start, I want to give you an overview of what I’ve done over the past 6 months before the launch, and the basic steps that I took to create this clothing line.
We decided to focus on two things: responsible factories & eco-friendly materials. We wanted to make sure that the factory we use treats people with respect and dignity.
For the first collection, we decided on a family run factory in Badung (Bali) that we can walk into at any time and see what’s happening on the factory floor. As for fabric, we wanted to use materials that had as little negative impact on the planet as possible.
For that reason we are using Bamboo, Linen and Hemp
With Indigo Monkey, we realised that men are buying all the same clothes and the variation in different seasons were minimum so we decided to create a five/six piece capsule collection that is versatile and interchangeable, making 30 different outfits.
In addition, we realised that a lot of responsibly made brands were out of our customer’s price range, so we created products that had multiple uses and inherently had more value. We decided to sell the products direct, rather than through traditional retailers, so that we can keep the prices down.
Our favourite fabric that we’re using is Bamboo, because it grows so quickly, Bamboo is an easily renewable resource.
Softer than cotton, with a texture similar to a blend of cashmere and silk.
Moisture absorbency is twice than that of cotton with extraordinary soil release. Because the cross-section of the fibre is filled with various micro-gaps and micro-holes, it has much better moisture absorption and ventilation.
Natural antibacterial elements (bio-agent 'bamboo kun') in bamboo fibre keep bacteria away from bamboo fabrics.
Garment of bamboo fibre can absorb and evaporate human sweat in a split of a second just like breathing. Such a garment makes people feel extremely cool, comfortable and never sticking to skin even in hot summer.
Product of bamboo fibre is eco-friendly and bio-degradable.
Bamboo requires 1/3 the amount of water to grow than cotton.
Hemp is naturally one of the most ecologically friendly fabrics and also the oldest. Hemp fibre is one of the strongest and most durable natural textile fibres. Not only is it strong, but it also holds its shape having one of the lowest percent elongation of any natural fibre. In fact, its combination of ruggedness and comfort were utilised by Levi Strauss as a lightweight duck canvas for the very first pair of jeans made in California. Furthermore Hemp has the best ratio of heat capacity of all fibres giving it superior insulation properties.
Also Linen because, basically there are two types of properties of linen fibres. One is physical properties and another is chemical properties.
Physical Properties of Linen:
Linen is a strong fibre, it has an excellent resistance to degradation by heat. It is less affected than cotton.
Linen fibre is not affected by the sun light as others fibre.
Linen fibre does not get attacked by moth-grubs or beetles.
Why Indigo Monkey..?
Indigo monkey its a combination of concepts.
First indigo is a colour that is present everywhere, from the sky above us to the oceans below, extracted by humans from the 'Indigofera pendula/tictorea' for 4000 years..!
Two years ago, I had the absolute pleasure to meet one of the greatest (if not "the" greatest) Indigo dye master of this century, born in Bamako (Mali) Aboubakar Fofana.
Aboubakar, is a calligrapher, artist, textile designer, and master indigo dyer.
Aboubakar taught me a deep respect for the indigo as a living entity, he shared all his knowledge and devoted passion for the Indigo Vat and the importance of those ancient techniques to bring back the essence and respect for the elements.
We want to use those ancient techniques of indigo dyeing in our products in addition to Shibori tied dye amongst other techniques.
The colour indigo is the colour of intuition and perception, it's helpful in opening the third eye. It promotes deep concentration during times of introspection and meditation, helping you achieve deeper levels of consciousness. It is a colour which relates to the "New Age" - the ability to use the Higher Mind to see beyond the normal senses with great powers of perception. It relies on intuition rather than gut feeling.
Indigo is a deep midnight blue. It is a combination of deep blue and violet and holds the attributes of both these colours.
Service to humanity is one of the strengths of the colour indigo. Powerful and dignified, indigo conveys integrity and deep sincerity.
The colour meaning of indigo reflects great devotion, wisdom and justice along with fairness and impartiality. It is a defender of people's rights to the end.
Indigo loves rituals and traditions, religion and the institutional system, conforming to things that have worked in the past while planning for the future.
Indigo stimulates right brain or creative activity and helps with spatial skills. It is a dramatic colour relating to the world of the theatre.
So if we are trying to change the world and the way things are made Indigo is the best colour.
Indigo is also related to the indigo child's, children who are believed to possess special, unusual, and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities. They are sometimes also referred to as crystal children or star children, that came to change the world.
Monkey or "Mono" well.. to start with its my nickname back at home, and also because we started to manufacture in Bali and the monkey is very important and sacred there.
Another reason is that with this brand I want to help small communities that are affected by the "fast fashion" and also the children's "little monkeys" and last but not at least.. 2016 was the year of the monkey in the chinese calendar!
The style can be described as "Urban Boho", looking for comfort and style. Combining ethnical fabrics and colours, with indigo.. Indigo dyeing techniques fading into other colours. Low crutch pants, vests made of Mexican Aztec rugs and also a more LA/Burning Man look... with very loose look and fabrics with lots of movement.