Bali, and the Indonesian islands and archipelagos that surround it, are enduring sources of inspiration for us in so many ways. The islands' spiritual philosophies really resonate with us, as they promote living in harmony with nature to create sustainable systems, while island-specific features - like volcanic earth or a spectacular sunset - often influence our collection's colours. This unique part of the world is woven into our DNA.
Each style we create is named after a remarkable place that our founder, Lorna, has explored during her adventures through Indonesia; from our best-selling woven bamboo tote that's inspired by the serene surf of the Mentawai Islands, to our woven leather Misool bag that takes an island eco-resort for its title. Here, we highlight six of our styles and explore the places that inspired their names.
Sumba is a particularly special island that's very close to our heart. "The primal energy of the land reminds me of Scotland," says Lorna, "and the Wanukaka river is my favourite place to paddle board in the world". Sumba holds the indigenous Marapu belief system, worshiping the spirits of ancestors who are believed to live all around - in the trees, earth and sea. In order to live in harmony with their ancestors, the islanders deeply respect the natural world and work hard to make sustainable tourism the standard, rather than a luxury. Sumba's palm-fringed beaches, natural fresh pools and world-renowned surf breaks are passionately preserved for - and by - those of us who venture to travel here.
Misool is hidden within an archipelago of uninhabited islands. As a private island eco-resort that is partnered with the Misool Foundation, it ensures the area's beautifully biodiverse reefs are properly preserved through sustainable tourism and responsible management. "Misool is one of my favourite destinations to dive," says Lorna, "as there's an abundance of marine life; from seahorses, octopus and sharks to colourful seafans, sponges and corals. The dedication to preservation on the island is second to none."
The Mentawai archipelago comprises about 70 different island and islets, and is thought to have separated from mainland Sumatra around 500,000 years ago, giving rise to an impressive indigenous primate population that's comparable to Madagascar's. However, it's 'the Ments' legendary waves that call to surfers all year round. "I’m too afraid to surf the world-class waves here," says Lorna, "but I love watching other surfers from the comfort of a lounger on one of the powder-white beaches. And the surrounding islands are a must - to visit the colourful and tattooed Mentawai tribes who still maintain traditions passed down by their ancestors for thousands of years."
Located on Bali's southwest coast, Seseh is super scenic and full of authentic Bali charm. "This warm and friendly traditional Balinese neighbourhood is close to our office," says Lorna, "and one of my favourite shores to walk along at the end of a busy working day." The beaches here are known for their black sand, and the unique rock formation of Tanah Lot is in this neighbourhood too - it's home to the ancient Pura Tanah Lot temple, which is an important sea temple for the Balinese.
"This is my local neighbourhood," says Lorna, "where I love to watch the sun set over the dramatic ridge above the Ayung river, to the sound of the water's mighty gush." Home to Lorna, Sayan is also home to Bali’s UNESCO Heritage-listed 'subak' network - a socio-cultural water-sharing system that irrigates the rice paddies - giving the area a beautiful and distinctive landscape. The subak embodies a philosophical concept that really chimes with us; the 'Tri Hita Karana' harmonises the spirit, human and natural worlds.
FloresOne of Lorna's most memorable trips to Indonesia was to the island of Flores. "I'll never forget sailing through the national park, diving with manta rays, and watching the sky fill up with fruit bats at dusk," she says. Flores is host to a number of spectacular natural wonders, and we particularly like the three-coloured crater lakes at Mount Kelimutu for reminding us of nature's innate ability to enchant; they naturally change colour depending on a conjunction of ecological factors. So, when you visit, you won't know what colour water awaits.