A behind the scenes look
Last week I had the privilege of taking a tour around the factory in Bali where Solosol Movement creates and manufactures their clothing line. Located in complete paradise, it makes sense why most of the prints that Trina and Char create emulate the environment.
Arriving at the factory I was greeted by Yuli, the manager who wore a bright smile on her face as she welcomed me inside. I was shown to the meeting room and chatted with her while we waited for Reina who is the niece of the factory’s owner. Once Reina arrived, we began what I thought would be something like an interview but which turned out to be more like an engaging two hour conversation about fashion, life, yoga, pilates and of course Solosol! I found out that Yuli has been a part of this factory for sixteen years. Reina came on board a few months back to take over the other managing position while her aunt is away for travel. I was so excited to hear about how much of a family run facility it appeared to be and it truly was such a delight getting to know these women. From them I was given a unique insight into the world of fashion production.
After we chatted and the employees came back from lunch break I was shown around the factory. It opened its doors in 1993. The facility is 900 square meters but with plans to expand within the next year to keep up with demand. There is a total of 41 employees including the managing staff. It is a female dominated work environment - the employment ratio is roughly 80% female and 20% male. When I asked Reina why that is she told me that in Indonesia there is actually a higher percentage of females to males.
I began asking her more in-depth questions about the employees and her responses to questions made me really happy to hear. They are an equal employment opportunity run facility with employees of various backgrounds and currently have two people there with disabilities who had no experience prior to working there in fashion, but were given proper training and are now flourishing in their work. After hearing that, it came as no surprise to me why there are some employees that have been there as long as 20 years! Every person who is hired is able to choose which station or machine they wish to work on and then trained accordingly.
Their work hours are from 8am to 4pm six days a week with an option to work the seventh day. I asked if a lot of employees chose to work the overtime and she said yes because they are paid and compensated appropriately for their extra time and dedication to the company. Reina said that by providing choice in stations and offering fair pay, it inspires longevity for every employee and creates a more family like atmosphere within the factory life.
As I walked around the factory most of the women were laughing and chatting with one another while creating the products. It was awesome to see such a lively atmosphere within the building. When I pictured fashion production facilities I never quite imagined what I was shown at their factory. All employees there seemed really happy and enjoying what they were doing. It was really heartwarming to experience. I could see why Trina and Char chose this place to create and manufacture their line of clothing.
I asked Reina why they like working with Solosol Movement and both she and Yuli smiled stating that both Trina and Char are understanding, nice and awesome with communication. Reina went on to further say that it is fun to work with Solosol because she shares a similar taste in design and print style for active wear. I asked if there were any complications in working with companies outside of Indonesia and she said there aren’t many issues if any. Trina is amazing at communication and both women have a quick and efficient response time which makes the production run quite smoothly. The women also enjoy getting once a year visits from Trina and Char while they come to QC their current clothing line and also design samples for new upcoming lines.
To create an entire line of clothing for Solosol it takes three machines, three different workers and a quality control team (which is usually Yuli and Reina) overseeing each station as each piece is manufactured. It takes one week to make a sample for a new article of clothing and once the fabrics and design are ready to go it takes roughly thirty to ninety days to get all the pieces boxed up and shipped out!
I continued touring the factory for about an hour and as I left I was really stoked to write this article. I am so happy that I was able to visit their factory and meet all the women there. It is inspiring to see Trina and Char’s designs come to life in such a great work environment. It’s no wonder why I always feel so loved when wearing their clothing. It is created in a place full of happy people.
I always knew Solosol Movement was special but it really made me smile to see how much care and thought went into choosing such a lovely place to create their clothing. I am so proud to be a part of the Solosol Movement and work with really lovely humans who are impacting the fashion world in a positive way by being mindful about where and who produces their clothing.
Leave a Reply