Sustainability is at our core.

 

Before a brand we are people that care deeply about the planet we get to call home. And the more we learn and discover about climate change and the impact it is having on our home, the more we feel compelled to make changes that support environmental solutions, both in our everyday life and in business.

 

So perhaps you’re wondering why would we start something up in an industry that is responsible for 10% of annual global carbon emissions? Considering that’s more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined, it might seem a little counterproductive to try helping our planet this way.

 

But our mission is simple: We want to change the way people shop. Because at this rate, the fashion industry’s greenhouse gas emissions will surge more than 50% by 2030.

 

At SOKOH Collective we believe that owning timeless wardrobe basics means that we can buy fewer things. It’s straightforward really: our pieces are designed for you to wear time and time again, crafted from high quality fabrics with as little negative environmental impact as we found possible.

 

From design to production, to marketing and packaging, we have sustainability deeply ingrained in what we do. For our first drop, we have chosen to only work with certified organic or recycled fabrics and we’ve created our custom colours using a natural plant-dyeing technique on our island home in Bali, Indonesia.

 

Our first drop was a huge learning curve for us and it definitely came with its challenges and mistakes. For example, we over-ordered fabrics to sample with, made multiple car journeys and deliveries instead of one due to fuzzy-head decision making, sampled one too many of the recycled paper postcards that our customers receive with every order, and many many more. But we are learning and we’re excited to continue to improve.

 

If you have questions, comments, or feedback on any of the above we’d love to hear from you. You can reach both co-founders, Pedro and Rosie, on hello@sokohcollective.com




OUR FABRICS

 

We - Pedro and Rosie, the founders of SOKOH Collective - knew from the beginning that we wanted to only work with natural fabrics. But as we dove deeper into the world of fabrics, we discovered how just unsustainable some ‘natural’ fabrics could be.

 

Natural fabrics and woven from fibres that grow - in one form or another - in our natural world. Animal and vegetable produce fibres are most commonly used in fashion fabric production. And while we greatly appreciate that a natural fibre is usually more environmentally friendly than a synthetic fibre which is usually formed through a harmful chemical process, the ‘natural’ stamp just wasn’t enough for us.

OUR FABRICS

 

We - Pedro and Rosie, the founders of SOKOH Collective - knew from the beginning that we wanted to only work with natural fabrics. But as we dove deeper into the world of fabrics, we discovered how just unsustainable some ‘natural’ fabrics could be.

 

Natural fabrics and woven from fibres that grow - in one form or another - in our natural world. Animal and vegetable produce fibres are most commonly used in fashion fabric production. And while we greatly appreciate that a natural fibre is usually more environmentally friendly than a synthetic fibre which is usually formed through a harmful chemical process, the ‘natural’ stamp just wasn’t enough for us.

 

We wanted to make sure that the fabrics we were using weren’t exploiting people or lands. By choosing to work with certified fabrics, you - our customer - is able to hold us accountable and we - the founders - are able to guarantee fabric traceability.

 

Our main line is crafted from GOTS certified organic Baby Terry, and our premium line is crafted from GOTS certified Bamboo Cotton fleece, ensuring that our fabrics are sourced and made ethically and sustainably from seed to final product.

 

GOTS Certification essentials:

  • Environmentally friendly production and processing processes
  • Respect and improvement of working conditions
  • Promotion of the use of fibres from organic agriculture
  • Prohibition of hazardous inputs such as toxic heavy metals, aromatic solvents, etc.

 

Sourcing GOTS certified fabrics takes time and is a serious commitment, including financially, however sustainability truly is at our core and so working with these fabrics was imperative.

 

The cuffs of our cropped and oversized sweatshirts are cut from a recycled blend of cotton spandex, and since this fabric has to be purchased in rolls, we decided to use the excess fabric to create crop tops and dresses. Since these pieces aren’t crafted from certified organic fabrics, we donate 20% of every sale of these pieces to BioRock Indonesia, an NGO engaging local communities in coral reef conservation and restoration.

 

BioRock’s mission is to “empower local communities, and to protect and restore coral reefs as well as shorelines.” So far, with the help of previous partners and sponsors, they have trained more than 1000 people in 13 villages in restoring 200km2 of destroyed coral reefs and 5km of eroded shorelines. We are so excited to be able to support BioRock Indonesia.

 

Visit the BioRock Indonesia website to learn more about what they do and how our donations help.


USING PLANT DYES

 

Our first drop consists of three base colours: off white, charcoal, and clay. The off white colour is the natural colour that our fabrics are weaved in. We visualised our colours and worked alongside local artisans to develop our custom colours using leafs and wood that naturally grow well in our tropical climate.


For our clay colour that is featured exclusively in the Baby Terry story, we used a mix of Toona Sooreni leaves which is a type of Mahogany Tree native to Indonesia, mixed with Sappan Wood. Sappan Wood, known locally as Secang, is commonly used to create a natural reddish dye. Our charcoal colour was created using the leaves of the Ketapang Tree which also grows locally in Indonesia.

USING PLANT DYES

 

Our first drop consists of three base colours: oat, charcoal, and blush. The oat colour is the natural colour that our fabrics are weaved in. We visualised our colours and worked alongside local artisans to develop our custom colours using leafs and wood that naturally grow well in our tropical climate.


For our blush colour that is featured exclusively in the Baby Terry story, we used a mix of Toona Sooreni leaves which is a type of Mahogany Tree native to Indonesia, mixed with Sappan Wood. Sappan Wood, known locally as Secang, is commonly used to create a natural reddish dye. Our charcoal colour was created using the leaves of the Ketapang Tree which also grows locally in Indonesia.

 

Each colour dye is made by drying the respective leaves and woods and crushing them into a dye bath, much like you would tea leaves to enjoy a fresh cup of tea. The fabric is then submerged and turned continuously for several hours by the local artisans. The fabrics are then dried and the whole process is then repeated until the desired colour is achieved.

 

Because so many factors can impact the natural dye colour, such as the age and numbers of leaves or wood used, the pace at which the fabrics are turned in the dye, and the climate in which the fabrics dry, it’s almost impossible to guarantee that the same colour can be recreated. We think this makes our pieces just a little bit more special, because it means that once we sell out of our first drop, the colour won’t be available to purchase again.

 

We believe dyeing our fabrics this way is the fairest way to our planet. The process takes longer and is more expensive than the more conventional ways of dyeing, however we believe it is a step in the right direction towards sustainable fashion production.

 

It’s also worth noting that using plant dyes means that your garment’s colour will likely fade over time, depending on how you care for it and how often you wash it. We recommend washing only when really necessary - and that goes for all your clothing, not just your SOKOH Collective pieces - and washing at a low heat on an eco-cycle. Not only does it increase your clothe’s lifecycle, but it also helps look after our planet.





ETHICAL PRODUCTION

 

A key part of being a sustainable fashion brand is ensuring ethical production throughout our full supply chain, whether that's sample sewing, fabric dyeing, or production.

 

All SOKOH Collection pieces are a result of a team of wonderful people living and working locally in Bali. From our sample sewers Pak Nana and Yoeni, to Hendra who is responsible for creating our unique plant-based colours, to our partner factory, we have ensured fair and ethical working conditions and environment. This includes making sure every employee is treated with respect and paid a fair and living wage.

ETHICAL PRODUCTION

 

A key part of being a sustainable fashion brand is ensuring ethical production throughout our full supply chain, whether that's sample sewing, fabric dyeing, or production.

 

All SOKOH Collection pieces are a result of a team of wonderful people living and working locally in Bali. From our sample sewers Pak Nana and Yoeni, to Hendra who is responsible for creating our unique plant-based colours, to our partner factory, we have ensured fair and ethical working conditions and environment. This includes making sure every employee is treated with respect and paid a fair and living wage.

 

As part of sustainable and ethical production cycles, we're working hard behind the scenes to offer our SOKOH collective a way to return their pieces after use so we can recycle them and turn them into new products. Watch this space!

 

All the parts before the sampling - such as designing and fabric sourcing - and all the parts outside of production, including photoshoots, styling, marketing, website management, fulfilling your orders, business plans, and costings and budgets, are handled by Pedro and Rosie, with the help of their four-legged friends, Ziggy and JoJo.