Chad White Brings a Little Bit of Bali to Toronto
Chad White collaborates with people in India, Nepal and Indonesia to help manufacture and create intricately carved jewelry and pixie-like clothing designs during his travels, which he sells at craft fairs and festivals all around North America and Australia.
This weekend, White was pedaling his original clothing designs and jewelry in a booth at Harbourfront Centre's World CafĂŠ and International Marketplace.
"I meet tailors and seamstresses in my travels and we make jewelry out of recycled electrical wire and semi-precious stones," says White. "It all began about 10 years ago when I travelled to South America. I met some Mexican artisans in Maruata, an Indian reservation and turtle reserve, where I spent six weeks."
A laminated sheet on his booth describes some the global collaboration efforts he has forged.
"Through extensive research we have been able to find people who respect human rights by employing women, paying fair wages and providing proper working conditions.
"This year our clothing is ethically made in Bali, Indonesia by three different groups of people. The first of these three is our good friend Mr. Rochman who owns a small family run tailoring business. He is responsible for creating most of our patterns and samples as well as producing a small part of our clothing line.
"The second is Mr. Olala and his wife Wayan. They run a very professional factory which employs many women as well as allowing many of their employees to work from home in order for them to be able to take care of their children and families as they work. Most of our cotton canvas clothing and pockets is made by them.
"The last is the Sama Sama factory. This well-lit, beautiful three-story building is nestled against the backdrop of Bali's famous cascading rice fields. We worked closely with Tut who herself is a tailor and was a great help in bringing our cotton lycra styles to life.
"We have been very fortunate this year to work with such talented, like-minded people. Next year we are looking forward to working with more natural, sustainable materials like bamboo cotton. One day we also hope to open our own factory employing underprivileged people in India, Bali and many other places."
White, along with his partner EmPee, have been working together to sell their colourful, comfortable clothing designs and handcrafted jewelry.
Photos by Roger Cullman.
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