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A behind the scenes look

Posted on January 28, 2017 by Shan Maher | 0 Comments

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.

Posted in DESTINATION, INSPO, SOLOSOLMOVEMENT, TRAVEL

Inspirational Women: Monette Moio

Posted on January 06, 2017 by Trina Solomon | 0 Comments

There are so many amazing women out there that inspire us. Monette Moio is one of them. We adore her so much, we named our new bikini top after her. The Moyo Top! She spells her last name, Moio but the pronunciation is the same. We spelled it Moyo because we manufacture in Bali and Moyo is a Indonesian/Bahasa word.

 

 

A little about her: She was born and raised in Los Angeles. Being an LA native, she always finds time to go to the beach which is her favorite place to free her mind + let go. She's a firm believer that life is all about balance. She balances acting, improv, singing, baking and staying active. You can find her performing in shows at Second City, doing yoga with her favorite instructors at Equinox and on her YouTube channel 'Sweet Eats'

 

Why We Love her:

 Not only is she multitalented, with a gorgeous voice and a captivating personality, she is also drop dead gorgeous and super sweet! It's impossible not to love her!

 Find her, follow her, connect with her:

Instagram 
Instagram Sweet Eats
YouTube
Second City
All photos wearing the Moyo Top and Aloha Bottom in Mamba & Paradise Print

Posted in INSPO

Buy a pair of pants, feed a pup!

Posted on December 18, 2016 by Shan Maher | 0 Comments

 

Did you know that SolosolMovement donates $1 from every purchase to a no kill animal rescue center in Bali? I discovered BARC through my partnership with SolosolMovement and I knew that a portion of the proceeds went directly to a nonprofit that aids in animal rescue but after stepping into BARC I truly realized what an impact every purchase with Solosol makes.
Considering that BARC is essentially run by all volunteers - except for the dog whisperer - and a few other local Balinese on staff this place only stands because of donations and volunteer dedication.
Last Monday I had the pleasure of spending my afternoon at BARC in Ubud. BARC is a no kill dog rescue center that currently houses 350 dogs ranging in age with many more waiting for a spot in one of the clinics. The dogs that are taken in are mostly found malnourished and living in horrid conditions. BARC is run solely on donations with seven locations around Bali. In Ubud they have a clinic and adoption center which is where I spent my time touring around and playing with the pups!
At the clinic there are fifty dogs. I counted at least seven that suffered from skin diseases. I asked BARC’s resident dog whisperer if this was common and what primarily causes these issues. He said that they find a lot of dogs like this and it happens from mistreatment of the animals. They give each of these dogs medicine once a week to treat the skin disease and over the course of three months, their hair slowly returns and their skin stops itching. It really saddened me to see so many of them in pain over something caused by humans. You always hear the phrase “Dogs are a man’s best friend” but here in Bali, I guess this is not the case.
It takes so little to provide these dogs with the medicine and care they need. For example, simply the purchase of seven yoga pants can provide skin care medication for a dog to be treated!
Along with providing medicine, the clinic is where they make all the food for the animals every day. They eat a mixture of rice, squash and chicken which is homemade in the small outdoor kitchen by one woman. The dogs each get their own bowl and the bowls are portioned out by size of the dog. They do this so that each dog gets a fair share of a meal!
The dogs at the clinic seemed really happy with their play area. They have plenty of room to run around on the grass and hang out in a large courtyard area. All of the dogs here have already been vaccinated and sterilized so they are ready for adoption with the exception of two puppies who are in a separate room waiting for their vaccinations.
The dogs are so sweet and loving and are just begging to be taken home and loved on. Sadly however, since most new owners are looking for puppies so many of these dogs have lived in the clinic for months and months and sadly, might never leave.
The adoption process at BARC is fairly easy, especially since there are so many dogs that are on a waiting list to come into the shelter. There is no adoption fee and all dogs are vaccinated and sterilized for you beforehand.
Like most things at BARC, the sterilization and vaccination is done on a volunteer basis. They have a Veterinarian who comes in on Mondays to perform the procedures and since I visited on Monday afternoon I had the opportunity to watch!
The procedure is quick, roughly twenty-five minutes total including the time for the dogs to fall asleep after the anesthesia is administered.
BARC also offers their services to other dogs and dog owners in the area each Monday. There were a few other dogs with their owners waiting their turn for vaccines.
I was so inspired by Lana, the woman who volunteers each day for multiple hours a day to help facilitate everything at BARC.
The staff is very kind and they all LOVE the dogs. It was warming to see that the dogs taken in are so well fed and receive the kindness and attention they deserve.
I feel blessed to have been able to educate myself and spend an afternoon with Lana, the dog whisperer and the dogs. It was truly an eye opening experience and I can’t wait to return.
How can we make a difference?
We donate, we educate ourselves and take the time to see where our money is actually going!
Want to check out more information on BARC? Please go to their website www.barc4balidogs.org.au

 

Posted in INSPO

Yoga Pants Save Dogs

Posted on August 02, 2016 by Charlene Solomon | 2 Comments

There is a saying we learned on our first visit to Bali, “Tough as a Bali Dog”. Every time we visit, it is reaffirmed that this is True!  On the beautiful, picturesque island of the Gods, things aren't always perfect and beautiful. We have witnessed the rough conditions of the street dogs: starving, dehydrated, covered in awful skin rashes, suffering from wounds and neglect. The environment doesn't always help either with hot & humid weather, no access to clean water, and a society that is not completely educated on how to treat and prevent common health conditions. We are animal lovers; first we observed the issues, then we cried for the suffering, then we decided to take action!  Since we manufacture our clothing in Bali, using the talent and resources of the locals, we believe it is our obligation to give something back.

We quickly discovered BARC, Bali Dog Adoption and Rehabilitation Centre which is not your typical shelter that just rescues, cages, and attempts to adopt. BARC does so much more! Injured and sick animals are brought to the center to be healed, rehabilitated and adopted.  BARC also does sterilization days where they spay and neuter street dogs and cats to control rampant overpopulations. Our favorite outreach that BARC does is education. They travel to schools to educate the next generations about caring for animals and to debunk common misconceptions about street dogs including the belief that all Bali dogs have rabies and that skin conditions are not treatable. BARC often has to speak up against the local government to prevent elimination days, where they euthanize any dog they see without a collar. Horrific pictures surface afterwards showing the results, dead dogs line the streets. Some family pets often get caught in the elimination days as well.

On our most recent travels to Bali, we made another special trip to Ubud to see the adoption center and clinic. The employees and volunteers are friendly and offer tours of the facility where you can pet and play with any animal. The shelter is open space, indoor and outdoor, where all animals can run free and eat freely. Animals are not caged! Some animals are kept separate for their own benefit. For instance, a dog who lost both of his eyes, feels more comfortable in a fenced area by himself. 

We saw a puppy with a smashed paw hopping and playing. Even though his leg will soon be amputated, his wagging tail proved that he was a happy puppy.  We saw a fluffy dog that had been hit by a car. Her hind end was smashed and her hips badly injured, but now fully healed, she hobbled over so we could pet her. A cat saw us enter, and jumped up howling meows at us until we stopped to pet her. The overall joy and sweetness of the animals at the adoption lights up our hearts! You can’t help but smile when you see the small puppy barking and trying to play with the cats and ducks… yes ducks are rescued animals too!

At the clinic, there are happy stories that include recovery and adoption are there are sad stories. When we entered, one of the sweetest dogs we have ever met approaches. His skin severely damaged by skin disease so bad that he has no hair left. His skin was thick, black, callused, and wet with oil the doctors prescribed and volunteers applied.  At first, we were too afraid to pet him, thinking it would hurt his delicate skin. But he plopped down between us, and let us pet his sweet face. Did this dog once belong to someone? It hurts my heart to think that once this dog got sick, it is likely that his owner turned him out on the street, not wanting nor knowing how to help im. Another dog in the clinic may be a forever member. Some serious accident crushed his body requiring the amputation of both hind legs and caused a misshaped spine. This same dog was here 1.5 years ago during our first visit. But now you can see the improvement in the dog’s demeanor, with more trust of humans. It’s amazing to see how this dog gets around with the strength of his front body and determination!

 

 

We could go on and on about the stories of these tough little dogs, amazing rescues, dogs seemingly on their deathbeds rehabilitated and now full of life and energy. This is why we donate a portion of proceeds from each sale to BARC. It is our dream to see these animals in the hands of an island that is educated about and cares for them. An island not full of starving stays on the streets, but full of beloved pets, cared for, loved, sterilized, and happy! So we left BARC with our big bag of BARC swag. Feeling excited for the work they are doing. Feeling optimistic about what improvements we will see for the Bali dog during our next visit

 xoxo,

Charlene & Trina

 

Posted in INSPO, SOLOSOLMOVEMENT