14 October 2015
by Kendall Robbins
The British Council has been actively working in fashion annually in Indonesia since 2009 with long-standing relationships with influential organisations like Jakarta Fashion Week. As the world’s 4th most populous country and 50% of this population under the age of 25 who are hugely digitally connected, Indonesia is in a unique position to disrupt and influence global ideas through the strength in these numbers. As one of the world’s largest manufacturing hubs with a growing ‘designed in Indonesia’ industry, we feel it’s important to begin encouraging our Indonesian counterparts to start asking questions about the future of the global fashion system.
This year we are pleased to have Lucy Siegle participate in Jakarta Fashion Week. Lucy is a UK writer and broadcaster with a passion for sustainable fashion who appears in and executively produced the international documentary The True Cost of Fashion. She is also a British TV reporter and journalist for the BBC and ITN. Since 2004 she has written hundreds of newspaper columns for the Observer magazine, the world’s oldest Sunday newspaper on eco living. She has been described as an agony aunt for the environment and the Carrie Bradshaw of Eco. She has extensive experience as a dynamic speaker on the fashion industry and other eco conundrums including her sold out Sydney Opera House talk, in 2013 and have also extensive experience chairing and debating with the great and good of fashion, including Anna Wintour. Her 2011 book, To Die For: is fashion wearing out the world? (Harper Collins) showed Lucy’s commitment to reforming the fashion industry. She is also co-founder of sustainable style project The Green Carpet Challenge with Livia Firth and helped to launch a collection of bags with Gucci using the world’s first certified zero-deforested leather from the Brazilian Amazon. She is Visiting Professor to London College of Fashion.
As part of Lucy’s participation, the British Council has organised several activities to share Lucy’s expertise around the issue of sustainable and ethical fashion to the Indonesian fashion industry. This includes joining the Sustainable Fashion Forum, where Lucy will speak alongside representatives from Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (Indonesian Creative Economy agency, Indonesian designers and the London College of Fashion Dian Pelangi residents, Nelly Rose Stewart and Odette Steele. The Forum will be hosted by Dewi Magazine and chaired by Editor in Chief Leila Safira. The event is a chance to reach the public, students, fashion practitioners and designers as well as government policymakers to ask the question about what role sustainability will play in the booming growth of the Indonesian fashion industry.
In addition, Lucy will be hosting the Indonesian premiere of The True Cost, a film she executively produced. The event will be held in partnership with Cita Cinta magazine. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.
Keeping in the true vein of sustainability and making the most of Lucy’s long-haul flight, she will also be appearing as a speaker on a panel discussion titled ‘Storytelling and Sustainability Through Cloth’ at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in Bali. The panel will also include William Ingram, co-founder of Threads of Life, a Bali-based social enterprise that has worked with 1000 traditional weavers on 12 Indonesian islands since 1997; and actress and writer Diana Greentree. The discussion will explore the history of storytelling in the Indonesian textiles of batik and ikat, and the sustainable practices associated with this tradition. To find out more about the festival visit their website.