Hanging out with Charline Catteeuw of C for Conscious & Bali Fashion Initiative
Meeting Charline was a match made in heaven, we were in need of someone to help us out with branding and communicating our ideas. We met for the first time for lunch at Peleton Supershop, we chatted about sustainability, what it meant to be eco conscious and what it would be like to work together. After listening to everything she had to say we knew we wanted to work with someone who had the same values and vision as us. After working with her and attending Bali Fashion Initiative, we met again at Gypsy Cafe where I picked her brain over cold smoothies and coconuts and we wanted to get to more about who she is.
What were you doing in London before you moved to Indonesia?
I went to school to study Fashion Business, and Marketing, afterwards I worked for a Public Relations company which was more so non-traditional, and worked with smaller brands. The main objective within the company was to set up a course for these brands to learn themselves, and gain knowledge on how to manage their public relations and basically image of their business.
You’ve recently moved to Bali, Indonesia. What made you decide to move here and what are your favorite things about living here and why?
I wasn't feeling entirely happy in London. My personal mindset shifted in a direction in which I realized I wanted to do my own thing with brands that I really believe in. I quit my job, and started traveling a lot, and Bali was my first destination, and it was a great first stop! I went forward in living the “nomad” life, and pursuing digital media. I really loved Bali, and the opportunities that I saw here, so I decided to stay. I felt like it fulfilled what I wanted, and I had everything I wanted in my life: beach, weather, sun, and the type of work life I wanted.
What do you practice in your daily life to live as sustainably as possible?
I'm in no way perfect yet, when it comes to sustainability, I try and make small changes in my daily life everyday, such as using my own packaging for takeaway. Sometimes I forget, and feel bad, so I’ve replaced my plastic packaging as much as I can. I’ve switched it out for nice glass packaging to refill, and essentially reuse. These are the smaller changes that I made; I don't think everyone needs to do it perfectly, but if everyone tries to make a small change it can go a long way. As for fashion, my whole mindset has changed. I used to be a mass consumer, however went through a lot of changes in the past few years with my consumption practices and become more sustainable.
Tell me about C for Conscious
It started not too long ago, when I was freelancing at the end of last year. In the beginning of the year I really realized what direction I wanted to shift in, and how I wanted to help brands become more sustainable, and that came together with all my personal values.
While working with sustainable brands, what do you think are the challenges sustainable businesses face? What do you appreciate when you hear their story?
I believe that sustainable fashion businesses face a lot challenges. There are so many different aspects in the supply chain that you have to consider once calling yourself sustainable; from sourcing fabric, logistics, and all the middlemen involved. Another big challenge is from the consumers’ perspective. There are a lot of stereotypes that sustainability faces, as well as being too expensive, or boring; educating consumers on sustainability is a challenge. I personally appreciate each brand’s story. I’m impressed that brands go through so many changes over the years in order to make a positive effort.
Tell me about Bali Fashion Initiative
Bali Fashion Initiative started with when I moved to Bali. C for Conscious, got involved with Fashion Revolution week in London. Bali being the forefront of the slow fashion movement and its position in the market, I felt that it would be important to bring that movement here, since no one was doing anything for Fashion Revolution Week.
What kind of events did you host?
We hosted various events throughout the week from panel talks, to a film screening of The True Cost and workshops. We started off BFI with a panel talk on Conscious Consumerism in Fashion, with panelists, Keira Mary Mason, sustainable content creator, Zepha Jackson, founder of Not A Stitch Up and Last Layer and Kai Paul, co-founder of Indosole. We discussed how designers, creators and customers a like can implement a much more sustainable process within their business in the fashion industry and how customers can be more mindful of how they shop. We ended the week with A Soirée in Fashion where key players in the slow fashion industry in Bali (and Jakarta) - to bring brands, makers, and consumers together for an evening dedicated to a better future of the fashion industry.
Indonesia is known for its plastic and waste pollution, what are the steps you think people here can take to control the consumption of plastic/live more sustainably?
When I came to Bali I was shocked when I saw the amount of trash. However, I am really impressed with how much people do try to make a difference, with the expatriates and foreigners, you see them getting involved in beach clean ups, saying no to plastic bags, making requests to the government etc. As for the locals, I really believe that they need to be aware and listen. There needs to be implementation from the governments side, such as banning S.U.P (Single Use Plastic), which is definitely the first step.