It’s only been a little over a month since Jill and I returned from our trip around the world. It feels like so much longer than that! One of the last things we did during our long stay in Bali, Indonesia was a visit to Ubud to meet with Tess from Love Stories Bali. Love Stories Bali creates handcrafted sustainable pajama wear using ethically sourced fabrics and gives back to the community by supporting underprivileged children and their teachers to bolster the local schooling system.
Tess left a successful career in New York to volunteer and manage an educational center for underprivileged children in Jakarta, Indonesia. Before making her career shift she decided to visit Bali because why not!? During her Bali journey, Tess spent time in coworking spaces and met inspiring people looking to make a positive change in the world. She also discovered Batik and joined many workshops learning how to make and design and rediscovered this passion.
One of the people she met was a woman named Agnes who founded a pre-kindergarten school for underprivileged children ages 2-6. Agnes sold jewelry to fund her first school building!
Meeting Agnes inspired Tess to want to make a difference for these children and so she never ended up going to Jakarta and that other educational job. She instead started Love Stories Bali, an online boutique shop offering handcrafted pajamas that help others. Why pajamas? Well, why not? Pajamas are comfy, at the end of a long day, you can slip into something comfy that you feel good in and just relax. Much like Bali itself pajamas are chill and made for relaxing and for rest.
CLEAN GREEN MANUFACTURING
Love Stories Bali has their pajama wear ethically made at Mata Dewi Garment Workshop in Ubud by owner Ratna. Ratna has been doing green sustainable fashion for years, far before the current trends. Her workshop is filled with talented supported artisans and is a place of joy. Jill and I had the privilege of visiting Ratna’s workshop in Ubud for a day and we observed how they make their Batik pieces; it is truly an extensive skillful process! Batik making is a traditional art, one that deserves to be celebrated!
The fabrics used for their clothing is all sourced ethically from various places. Their’s Indonesian traditional Batik, cotton from Japan and silk-cotton sari from India.
TRANSFORMING LOCAL COMMUNITIES THROUGH EDUCATION
Agnes who we talked about earlier has a passion to help underprivileged children go to school at an affordable cost. Not only that, Agnes is breathing fresh air into the schooling curriculum by teaching holistic and multidisciplinary learning that doesn’t just focus on the basics of reading, writing, and math but also practical life skills. Things like nutrition, gardening, cooking, manners, Balinese culture, waste management, hygiene, kindness and even business entrepreneurship and creativity. She is creating sustainable schooling and working on transforming the preschool educational system. Agnes now travels around to schools in order to train and equip the teachers to better educate their children.
Every purchase of Love Stories Bali pajama wear helps support these children and their teachers.
Jill and I had the privilege of visiting another school supported by Love Stories Bali which is run by headmistress Ibu Nengah. We were asked to teach for a portion of the morning class, so Jill and I decided to do some turtle colouring art that we all had a ton of fun with. Jill used to work in New York with inner city kids for many years before we met, so she was in her element on this day!
NATURALLY DYED | Tarum Natural Dyes
Bali’s largest all-natural dye workshop, Tarum is located near Ubud and produces hand-woven textiles that are naturally dyed. Jill and I got to visit the workshop and meet Andika one of two brothers who founded Tarum. He is a strong supporter of the natural process and did extensive research into finding natural alternatives to chemical dyes. Their botanical dyes are created from indigenous plants and trees, and they do everything from make the dye, dye the yarn and then have the yarn woven to create the natural cotton fabric used in many of Love Stories’ pieces, like the Mercury Organic Pyjama Set Jill is wearing and the men’s t-shirt I have on.
The fabric-dyeing process takes over a week to complete.
JILL’S PIECE | AUREA SILK ROBE
An AUREA SILK ROBE normally takes a team of artisans 5-7 days to complete, making it a true labor of love! The robes are hand drawn and painted using the traditional batik technique which Jill got to help contribute to on her robe. She was able to help stencil the design on the silk, then add a (very small) signature on the back of the robe using the hot all natural beeswax in the batik method. A couple weeks later we received a package in the mail and it was the beautiful completed robe!
Shop Love Store Bali HERE