How Education = Impact

Through education, we learn.

Through learning, we grow.

Through growing, we change.

Through change, we create impact.

The People's Fabric_School Leaders of Change Program Participans.jpg

Earlier this year, The People's Fabric was invited to become a Social Enterprise Partner for Moral Fairground's inaugural School Leaders of Change program. In June, I visited St Monica's College to share our story as well as the work of our partners Planet Indonesia and the creative, entrepreneurial artisan women we work with in West Borneo, with the Year 9 Social Justice and Business Development classes at St Monica's College.

This social entrepreneurial education program was designed to give students the opportunity to be free thinkers and enhance their entrepreneurial skills using a hands-on approach. The eager young change makers put their minds together to help solve some real-life challenges that The People’s Fabric face as such a young business...and we were so impressed with their innovative thinking!

The School Leaders of Change Conference recently brought the program to a close and I joined some inspiring panel speakers from Pollinate Energy, The Possibility Project and The Fabric Social, who also shared their experiences and advice with today's up and coming entrepreneurs.

We're so grateful to have been part of the program - big thanks to Moral Fairground and St Monica’s College for being so genuinely engaged in our journey. And kudos to the other Social Enterprise Partners and program participants for your passion and drive to make this world a better place.

Ali Capp

Founder and Managing Director

A Yarn with Ibu Pelita

Ibu Pelita

Earlier this year, I met a wonderful weaver called Ibu Pelita, who generously welcomed me into her home and introduced me to so many other talented weavers in her village.

Ibu Pelita is a Dayak woman. The Dayak people are indigenous to Borneo and encompass over 200 different ethnicities, all of which have their own customs, dialects and cultures. Ibu Pelita began weaving at age 18 and is now 40 years old. As weaving isn’t taught in schools, Ibu Pelita was taught how to weave by her mother, upon returning home on her school holidays.  She is a member of one of The People’s Fabric’s partner organisations, Jasa Menenun Mandiri – a women’s weaving Cooperative based in West Kalimantan, situated on the island of Borneo in Indonesia.

“If we are part of the Cooperative, it’s easier for us to buy materials and often we can’t find these materials elsewhere. It’s also easier for us to sell our ikat – they help us and you can easily borrow money when you are a member. Usually, this means we can pay for extra things like our children’s education or things for our home.”

The People's Fabric - Weaver - Motif

When I met with Ibu Pelita, she had begun weaving an ikat using the boat motif. This motif signifies how people in her community still rely on waterways and boats when carrying out activities, such as fishing and journeying to the gardens or the fields. In Dayak culture, the boat motif is also a symbol of kindness.

“I haven’t dyed this piece yet as one of my family members recently passed away and we’re not permitted to weave during this time – we have to wait 40 days until we can weave again.”

Ibu Pelita is part of a weaving community that live in a Rumah Betang – a type of traditional longhouse that is inhabited by indigenous communities throughout Borneo. The longhouse is significant in Dayak culture as it connects the community with their ancestors, and acts as a place of village governance and social organisation. It is the centre of their communal life where a strong cultural value system is maintained.

The People's Fabric - Rumah Betang Longhouse

“We have grown up in the Rumah Betang and our families have lived here for generations…there aren’t any other traditional longhouses like this in the area.”

“The women here really support each other. For example, if they don’t understand something, the women will help each other, like explaining a difficult process of weaving.”

The Cooperative have an overall membership of 1,500 highly skilled women weavers, all who are committed to their art form, cultural preservation and improving the lives of their families and communities. We are so grateful to artisans like Ibu Pelita for sharing their culture with us and weaving their stories into the beautiful pieces that adorn our homes.

The People's Fabric - Ali Capp - Founder & Managing Director

Ali Capp

Founder and Managing Director

 

About Us

The People’s Fabric work in partnership with a not-for-profit organisation, Planet Indonesia, and a women’s weaving Cooperative based in West Borneo, Indonesia. Through purchasing a product from The People’s Fabric, you are supporting programs that revitalise traditional art works and economically empower indigenous artisan women and their communities.

From community to couch.