ENTREPRENEURS

WAHYO ABRAHAM: CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FASHION

Designed, sourced, and locally made.

09.06.2021
BY STORTER BEL
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Wahyo Abraham is one of Indonesia's most talented fashion designers; born in Surakarta, he now resides in Bogor. He started his career at the age of 19 and has won prestigious awards like Next Young Promising Designer and Young Fashion Designer. In addition to that, Wahyo is also known to be an environmentally conscious designer, yet Wahyo did not lose his avant-garde touch. His inspiration came right after he realized the pollution caused by the fashion industry.

 

The fashion industry ranks second as the world polluter. "As for my collection, I used natural material to reduce synthetic waste that is difficult to decompose," he said to The S Media. But it's more than that; he also told The S Media that it was started as a detox for himself. "I started to use eco-friendly materials to balance my life from office life as they are more focused on mass production. Since then, I have taken the initiative to use eco-friendly materials for my piece." 

Photo Courtesy of Wahyo Abraham


 

 Wahyo also added Central Java tradition to his latest collection, 'SURROUND.' "I tried to tell my point of view of my culture as people tend to forget about our native culture and have become westernized. That is why in this collection, I displayed several cultural symbols like konde, known as the bun worn by women in a unique style." Konde is a hairstyle that depicts a strong woman who is strong enough to withstand the burden with her grace. 

 

In addition to Javanese cultural items, Wahyo also discussed beauty standards that need to be changed. According to him, some people still believe that you need to have perfect white skin to be a gorgeous person. But that's not the truth. Hence he used a model who has tan skin, the natural skin color of a typical Indonesian. 

 

He also tried to get his eco-friendly material. By doing it, he also helped to boost the local economy while minimizing the carbon footprint. "Most of my materials are locally sourced. Because aside from the environmental consciousness, my suppliers also provide their family a living," he said. 

 

Wahyo also added that most of his fabric colors are also made naturally. "You can find natural colors from the day of our ancestors. This is another way to practice sustainability, and the coloring technique also shows that Indonesia has rich natural resources."  

 

Wahyo said that currently, Indonesians do not fully understand the concept of eco-friendly fashion. Not only that, eco-friendly goods are often not affordable by all people. Therefore, he hopes that people will understand the importance of eco-friendly clothing one day so that more eco-friendly clothes could be readily available and produced.

 

"I hope that one day people with social media power and the upper-middle class are aware and can convey well what sustainable fashion is. The new ones may be developed into more commercial commodities," he at this moment hopes that in the future, he can create a clothing line that is accessible to all."

Photo Courtesy of Wahyo Abraham
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