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What is the current situation in Bali; the birthplace of our jewelry?

What is the current situation in Bali; the birthplace of our jewelry?

Bali: we love love love it. There are plenty of reasons why your Wildthings jewelry is produced under the palmtrees of this island. Read about it in this blog, in which we also give a clear picture of the current situation there.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to travel to Bali, we don’t need to explain why the island has such an addictive influence on its visitors. The mystical temples, the green rice fields, the typical smells of white rice and incense and hey, let’s not forget about those Instagram worthy beaches: there are plenty of reasons to keep coming back to this magical place. No wonder our Wildthings founder Leanne couldn’t resist the incredible appeal of this place either. With Indonesian roots herself and a healthy dose of curiosity, she got in close contact with the inhabitants quickly. It was her passion for jewelry that made her dream come true: to work together with local craftsmen for her own jewelry collections.

Bali Collage


BALINESE: THE BEST SILVERSMITHS IN THE WORLD?

One of the main reasons why you really would want to produce your jewelry in Bali, is because you’ll find years of knowledge and skills in the industry there. Did you know that Balinese silverwork takes a big part of their ancient tradition? If you dive into Balinese culture and history, immediately you will find old legends that tell mythical stories about silversmiths. Still nowadays, the smiths of Bali have been looked upon in awe. The local men and woman who have been educated here, have passed on their knowledge within their families for decades. Yep, they know what they are doing! :-)

TRADITIONAL VS WILDTHINGS

Their usual designs are completely different from those of our Wildthings items though; traditional jewelry from the island is very detailed, with complex forms and convoluted dots. It was Leanne who had to show them how to give jewelry a more modern twist. Funnily enough, sometimes they have another opinion whether it is beautiful or not, since they are not that familiar with the European jewelry style. Nevertheless, they enjoy making it and do this with the biggest smiles on their faces. But... What is it like now?

CAN WE STILL PRODUCE DURING COVID 19?

The answer is yes. We have taken accurate measures with our factories to allow our business to continue, and also our flagship store could keep its doors open, in order to support our employees financially. For this we are very grateful.  But as you probably know, it is not allowed to enter Bali at the moment. Unfortunately. Due to COVID-19, there is an entry ban for tourist travel and only domestic tourists are accepted. With 6000 registered cases, the borders will stay closed until at least January 2021. Now that it is not possible to fly, our team hasn’t been able to visit our staff working in the studio and the flagship store for a while. We really miss the personal touch with our team members and the connection with Bali itself.

But hey, this isn’t about us now...

Needless to say, this situation has a huge impact on an island where 70 percent of the population relies on tourism. Many people, especially tourism and creative economy agents, are being affected by the economy problems due to the pandemic and are struggling to earn their living.

We felt called to do our best to help the local population.
 This is why you’ve seen us launching a collection of Wildthings Facemasks this year. It was a collaboration with The Bali Curator & Cinta Bumi Artisans to provide work for Balinese tailors and to raise donations for those people who cannot do their job. The facemasks are made by Balinese tailors that can support their families from the face mask production.

Facemasks

Next to that, part of the remaining amount of the donations went to Balinese families who had too little money to buy school outfits for the children. In the future it is our wish and absolute goal to contribute even more to the locals of Bali by a long term support commitment to a local foundation. 

HEARTWARMING SUPPORTIVE INITIATIVES

We are happy to hear and see that there is a lot of social support of individuals and companies: the feeling of togetherness is great. Local initiatives, also done by expats, put their penny in the bag during these tough times. With admiration we look at organizations such as Project Nasi, which was started by expat surfers to help feed the local communities that normally depend on income from tourism. We have donated part of our flagship stores’ profit to this cool project.

Another one is Project Makan, an initiative by the Society for the Aged Sick that aims to deliver streetfood to Balinese residents once a month. One of Bali’s most popular cafes, Seacircus has also stepped up to contribute and started a food fund. And while beach lounge The Lawn Canggu had to close its doors, they’ve still found a way to continue their Lawn Friday good vibes by providing ‘lunch on us’ every Friday. The idea? Providing takeaway boxes of lunch for those who need it. (source: We Like Bali).

A big fat thumbs up to these heartwarming organizations! If you feel you want to help as well go check out their social media accounts.
Heartwarming initiatives
HOPEFUL LOOK TO THE FUTURE

Obviously, the country itself doesn’t stand still either to prepare for the future. New strategies are planned by multiple tourism players in Indonesia. One of the key-elements in this is to improve the overall hygiene. Let’s hope that with these new guidelines and policies, it will be possible to make a safe step on the island as soon as possible. Give that tourism it’s necessary injection shot! 

It would be such a pleasure to be there again, wouldn’t it?
 You wake up & get yourself some delicious smoothie bowl, jump on your surfboard to feel the hot beach breeze and you’ll end the day with a cocktail in your hand. Only when you have actually been there, can you relate with all those stories about the welcoming and friendly people. To totally immerse yourself with the vibes on the island. We cannot wait! When the time is right, we will definitely share our must see & do’s of Bali.

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Has the COVID-situation affected your travel plans to Bali as well? Or do you have any ideas about what else we can do to help the people there? Please, let us know in the comment section below!
Love, Wildthings

3 comments

  • Hey Wildthings! I’ve been in your store in Canggu a few times, really loved your jewelry. Looking out for the new collection by the way :D When o when?

    Kelly Weaver
  • Really inspiring blog post!! Never been to Bali but this definitely makes me want to visit when hopefully things will turn for the better!
    Cheers! 🤗
    Lisanne

    Lisanne V
  • What a beautiful post. Truly admirable how much you guys support the locals in Bali ❤️ Looking forward to the next blog post.

    Laura

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