Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.
Dorotea Gale is a brand focused on conscious consumerism. We make practical daily items from traditional Indonesian textiles. By providing the story behind each product, consumers can learn of and support traditional cultures and production techniques and connect emotionally with what they buy.
WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"
What if we know the story behind the items we buy? What if we contribute to maintaining the culture of local communities in an era of mass consumption?
Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
Dorotea Gale addresses two problems: 1. Fast fashion and disposable cultures that disconnect consumers from the products they buy, making it very easy to replace them when there is no need. 2. The disappearance of traditional cultures and handmade production techniques.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
1. Connect consumers with the artisans and cultures behind each product. When people know the story and meaning of a product, they tend to connect emotionally with it. The product is not just a product anymore, but something precious and representative of something greater. This helps customers to appreciate the product and to keep it longer. 2. To foster appreciation and support art forms developed over centuries which are part of the world's cultural heritage, Dorotea Gale turns traditional textiles into practical and modern items, because things become alive only when they are used! By promoting the use of handmade traditional textiles, we contribute to sustaining traditional textile art and the weavers who make these beautiful textiles.
Impact: How does it Work
Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Each Dorotea Gale item is labeled with the origin of and technique used to create the textile that forms part of the item. Each item comes with a QR code linked to the textiles section of the website. Each customer can easily trace the item they are buying and get to know the story behind it: how the textile was made and where; what culture it represents and what meaning it holds. This information adds extra value to the item, creating an emotional connection between the customer and the product, transforming the item from a simple product to something more and inspiring the customer to keep it longer. This helps the customer think about the people impacted by their purchases and empowers them to ask this of everything they buy.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
Dorotea Gale is an established brand working with traditional Indonesian textiles. In less than a year, we've managed to connect with several groups of artisans from Nusa Tenggara who supply us with textiles from villages that live from weaving. We've used them to create around 200 items that have become cherished accessories and household items. We're working with several small retailers in Indonesia, Australia and the US to expand our reach. We are collaborating with a community of sustainable fashion brands and our articles about traditional textiles have been published in an Indonesian magazine and The Huffington Post UK. We are promoting Indonesian textiles and the unique handmade techniques used to make them through social media, creating conscious followers. We continue to expand our social and business network on a daily basis and hope to produce and sell even more next year.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
We'll source directly the textiles from the weavers' villages in East Nusa Tenggara, Bali and Sumatra and create a data base of weavers and dyers involved in the creation of these unique and beautiful textiles. We'll add a new product line focused on natural dyes. We'll add textiles from other parts of the world in the years to come, especially from West Africa and Latin America. We'll keep spreading knowledge about the importance of a product's story to support conscious and sustainable consumption. We'll keep expanding our network of sustainable brands and look for further collaborations.
Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?
We use revenue from the sale of our products to keep the business going. We are planning on raising financing to scale our production and marketing. We anticipate that roughly $10.000 in total invested capital will be required over the next year to become cash-flow positive.
Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?
There are many companies working on conscious consumerism and the promotion of traditional weaving cultures around the world. But as far as we know, Dorotea Gale is the only one doing that in Indonesia. There are a few organizations focused on sustaining the textile art and weavers around the archipelago, but not as brands selling finished products. There are also many Indonesian brands working with traditional textiles, but they lack the socially-responsible focus of Dorotea Gale. The styles and designs used by these companies are quite different to ours too.
After almost two years living in the country studying fashion design and writing a personal blog exclusively about the techniques and symbolism of Indonesian textiles, Dewi Cristina founded Dorotea Gale. While there were many brands creating handbags with traditional textiles, none of them satisfied her standards of quality or design, and they lacked a focus on conscious consumerism. Her background as a social worker led her to found a more conscious brand, focused on good quality products. Dewi prizes the story behind each product and impact it has both on both the makers and the consumers. For her, traditional textiles are the best way to support and promote learning about other cultures.
Dewi Cristina is the founder and designer of Dorotea Gale. She grew up in a blend of cultures and lifestyles between Europe and Indonesia. She has graduated from studies in International Commerce, Social Work (with a Master in Community Social Work) and Fashion Design. She's been working on the venture full time for the last year.
Value Chain: Where does your work fit into the apparel value chain? [check all that apply]
Your Role: What is your relationship to the apparel industry? [check all that apply]
Brand Representative, Consumer, Designer.
Target Population: What stakeholder groups do you engage or empower in your work? [check all that apply]
Consumers, Retailers - Specialty Store, Women.
Lever for Change: Select up to 3 ways your work is helping to transform the industry.
Advocacy, Media, Standards.
Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers?
Consumers Aren't Motivated to Care: Neither Compelling Reasons Nor Easy Means to Change Consumption Habits, Sustainability is Not Yet in the DNA: Fast Fashion’s Current Model Disincentivizes Value-Driven Economies.
Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below?
Innovation Inspiration: When you first conceived of your project, did you think of it as applicable to the apparel industry?
If you answered "no" to the previous question, which industry was your project originally aimed at transforming?
● Replicating in the Apparel Industry: If your project didn't initially target the apparel industry, how are you specifically tailoring it to do so now?
Are you nurturing or inspiring others to be changemakers? If so, how?
Encouraging consumers to think about the stories behind the products they buy.
● Tell us about the partnerships that enhance your approach. How have you collaborated with others in the industry to increase your impact?
We are partnering with a community of sustainable brands. We're in high-street retailers to bring awareness to all consumers.