P9IS – Sukkha Citta Fashion Startup Company , One of the startup companies in the fashion sector that deserves thumbs up is SukkhaCitta. Taken from the word ‘joy’, this business was founded by a young woman named Denica Flesch, since 2016.
It’s not just about exposing products and making a profit, SukkhaCitta is full of missions. It started with the frequent trips Denica made to various corners of the archipelago, while still working as an economist at the World Bank.
He assessed that at least young people work in the craft industry. In fact, the industry is one sector that can absorb employment. From there, this social entrepreneur concluded that he had to empower the craft community.
Denica Flesch finally resigned from her job. He began to conduct research on the craft industry system and its relationship, with the livelihoods of artisan communities, in rural areas.
Since SukkhaCitta was founded, Denica has established 3 craft schools, prevented more than one million liters of toxic waste, and reforested a village in North Sumatra.
Seeing his achievements, SukkhaCitta was also recognized by Forbes, DBS Foundation, and Fast Company, which also funded craftsman schools in Central Java. The existence of SukkhaCitta also seeks to eliminate the exploitation of rural women through education and transparency in the global supply chain in the fashion industry.
So far, SukkhaCitta has been proven to be able to change the lives of more than 1,200 artisans in the interior of Indonesia. Even though at the beginning of SukkhaCitta’s establishment, Denica only worked with 3 female craftsmen.
From here, we can all see how big the positive impact that SukkhaCitta has on the welfare of artisans in the countryside. This is due to SukkhaCitta’s successful focus on opening access to the most marginalized artisans and not through factories.
The Three Pillars of SukkhaCitta
Headquartered on Jl. Sutera Boulevard, Prominence Block 38D/69 Alam Sutera, Banten. Denica sets the standard in running her business by using the term #MadeRight. It is this standard that represents all of SukkhaCitta’s ‘properly made’ clothing.
There are three pillars that are held by SukkhaCitta, namely providing a decent wage for craftsmen. Then it has a good impact on the sustainable environment and preserves traditions.
Denica has also studied industrial craft systems, including batik and dyeing techniques, for one year. Even in the middle of this research, he met a family who sells indigo pasta.
The natural textile dye comes from the indigo plant which is cultivated in one of the villages in Central Java, namely Jlamprang Village, Wonosobo. Unfortunately, at that time, the family could barely enjoy the economic benefits of the business they had run for five years.
Until finally Denica proposed to add value to the indigo pasta. He trains the women in the village, making batik with these dyes. This is where the forerunner of SukkhaCitta stands.
For this reason, SukkhaCitta only uses batik cloth or woven cloth to make clothes.
One Collection Comes From One Village
Jawara Desa, is a program created by Denica which aims to create a system for empowering craftsmen. This program was initiated because he realized that what he was doing before, namely training craftsmen one by one in Jlamprang Village, was very time-consuming.
In the end, SukkhaCitta, which was founded by an economics graduate from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, cooperated with the selected ‘Jawara Desa’ who came from the village assisted by SukkhaCitta. Then given training, to get micro business credit assistance.
It is the task of the village champions who then invite other craftsmen to continue the training they have received previously. To date, there are four SukkhaCitta assisted villages, which are located in Central Java, East Java and Flores.
In total, there are 20 craftsmen in each village. Interestingly, before starting to work together in each village, to build trust, Denica first dives into the lives of the craftsmen.
Where each community of craftsmen of course has different skills and problems. And this is what underlies the concept of “One Village, One Collection”. Each village produces a unique collection theme and represents their own story.
One of SukkhaCitta’s works is in Medono Village. Previously, the weaving craft in the village declined because of the monotonous design, so it was not selling well. Since the training provided by SukkhaCitta, the dot motif is added to each of their works thereby increasing the innovation of the craftsmen.
SukkhaCitta’s Target Market
You need to know, one SukkaCitta collection is priced at Rp. 245,000 to Rp. 3,250,000. Where
each collection will pass a production period of at least 159 to 265 hours.
While the target market itself is fashion lovers, who do not just have valuable fashion. But also fashion that has a story, because it is made ethically from the environmental side and of course the economic side.
One SukkhaCitta collection will be made by one perjain, with strict quality control. Because it carries out its mission, which is to do the right thing, it is not uncommon for SukkhaCitta to spend quite a lot of money.
But thanks to this strength, SukkhaCitta also has its own place among slow fashion lovers.
SukkhaCitta managed to become one of the Asia-Pacific finalists, in the Best World Changing Idea category at the 2020 World Changing Idea Awards. This event was held to give awards to a company’s products, concepts, and designs.
One of the reasons why SukkhaCitta is included in the award category, must be because of Denica Flesh’s noble dream. Where he and SukkhaCitta want to solve the problems of the fashion world that exploits the environment and humans themselves.
A concept where the product can be identified and traced historically, the distribution process, to the collection of the material. The goal itself is to ensure the truth of claims in the principle of sustainability.
Starting from the aspect of human rights, such as the protection of the welfare and safety of workers. Then environmental protection, to respect for the principle of anti-corruption in every production process is carried out.
Since 2020, SukkhaCitta has started to grow cotton organically and regeneratively. Then to commemorate its fifth birthday, SukkhaCitta also launched a collection of mother’s scarves and masks. Where the collections are made by mothers with motifs that describe everyday life at the SukkhaCitta House.
To improve the welfare of the craftsmen. SukkhaCitta distributes 56% of its direct consumer purchases to its artisans. And the impact on the welfare of the craftsmen also increased by 40%.
From the profits obtained by SukkhaCitta, Denisa also set aside a portion to build a production house as well as a school for textile craftsmen, namely SukkhaCitta House.
That’s a glimpse of the startup company SukkhaCitta which is so full of stories. Behind its strong mission, this company teaches us many things. I hope you are inspired too.