THE ONE-WOMAN BUSINESS THAT GIVES BACK TO NATURE AND THE COMMUNITY
From the jungles of Bali, this family-run business is redefining sustainable fashion to make little-effort-chic every season's go-to style inspiration
Sustainable fashion is the key to improving the future of the industry and the next big thing is shining light on slow fashion. Creating seasonless pieces that can be combined and re-styled in multiple ways is what makes an ethical brand truly outstanding amid the endless array of corporate labels. Balm wears does exactly that - the vintage clothing brand creates clothing, footwear, accessories and jewelry that, if taken care of, can last a lifetime. Love and attention to every detail goes into each piece to ensure that their philosophy of slow fashion is reflected in the designs.
The label is dedicated to producing in small batches and often follows a made-to-order approach to ensure that nothing goes to waste. Everything is stitched, dyed and carved in Bali where the business is based. A dedication to transparency is at the heart of balm wears where the team is constantly learning and growing to make sure that they tread lightly. Giving back to nature is an essential part of the business' vision so it comes as no surprise that the label has teamed up with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every order.
Sustainability is everything to the founder, Becs. It has been a dream of hers to open her own business with a focus on slow fashion for years. Since balm wears was born in 2021, the label has been dedicated to a zero-waste approach. From recycled materials to organic fabrics, everything that goes into the collections has been carefully thought through and repurposed where possible for less fabric waste. As a one-woman-business, balm wears is centred around working closely with the local community to provide above living wage job opportunities. The family approach is what has helped the brand grow and get established as one of the most special and aesthetical eco-conscious brands in Bali and beyond.
Becs believes that good things take time, and this mantra has been fundamental for the brand since day one. The slowly made pieces are a reflection not only of the style of the people who wear them, but also of the patience and love of everybody involved in their making, designing and packaging.
Inspired by the tropical, laid-back charm of Indonesia, balm wears is an island traveller's dream. Pieces from all collections could be styled together, making packing for a last-minute week-long getaway, a quick staycation abroad or a summer-long adventure that much easier. From the unique yin and yang pieces to the comfortable organic cotton sets and the stylish deadstock capsule's bralette, trousers and coveralls, balm wears combines minimalism with sophistication. The label is an ode to show-stopping little-effort-chic and we love everything about it.
Our editor-in-chief caught up with the founder Becs to talk about how she transformed the vision of balm wears from a dream to an independent business of unique, Bali-inspired vintage fashion pieces.
The Checkered Clog
The Cinch Terry Bikini Set
The Deadstock Linen
‘‘Focusing on making sustainable choices where possible as a label is no longer optional in my opinion, it's mandatory. We all need to tread lightly and be more conscious & this especially goes for the fashion industry. The future of fashion is slow & thoughtful.’’
Becs, founder of balm wears for NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine
NOMADSofORIGIN: The style of the brand appears very bohemian chic. Where do you draw inspiration for the designs from?
Becs: I don't personally identify the brand as being bohemian chic, but the island roots probably give that kind of vibe! My inspiration for designs come from so many different places but I'd say I'm primarily inspired by vintage everyday fashion. I grew up thrift shopping and it has always been a huge passion of mine so incorporating that into my label was so very natural.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are the balm wears pieces you can't live without?
Becs: This is a tricky one because I truly love them all! But my most frequently worn pieces would definitely be the yin yang clogs, hemp suit & scoop singlet. Ohh, and the sorbet linen pieces for when I'm feeling nice and colourful!
NOMADSofORIGIN: You are a Bali-based label. Does the origin of the brand contribute to your philosophy for slow fashion and the eco mindset?
Becs: Being based in Bali absolutely contributes to the slow fashion soul of my brand. I've lived in Bali full time since 2018 and only launched balm wears in April of 2021. After being here for a while and seeing the opportunities I had to be able to follow a dream of starting a small label while simultaneously countering detrimental fast fashion & providing opportunities to some incredible humans it seemed like a no brainer to give it a go. I work solely with independent makers and their families, not with a factory, so everything is done super slowly and in small batches. Additionally, since Bali is such a hub for production, I've been able to creatively source lots of deadstock fabric to assist in being more conscious. I honestly don't think I would have started balm wears anywhere else!
The Cowboy Boot - Date Shake
The Square Scarf
The Terry Bikini Bottoms
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are your go-to travel destinations?
Becs: Since the pandemic left us all pretty limited travel wise it encouraged me to explore a lot more of Indonesia vs. international travel, which was an absolute dream. I cannot recommend this country enough! Indonesia has so much more to offer other than the hustle & bustle of Bali. Otherwise, I've always been someone who follows the beach life dream for travels so a few other personal faves are Sri Lanka, Mexico & Nicaragua.
NOMADSofORIGIN: The label plants a tree for each order. Why is it so important to you to focus on sustainability and how do you think this is going to influence the future of fashion?
Becs: Yes! Thanks to One Tree Planted it is so wonderfully simple & accessible to give back as a brand and pay it forward to our mama earth - I think in this day and age if you're running a business and not giving back to our planet in some way, shape or form you've really gotta check in. Focusing on making sustainable choices where possible as a label is no longer optional in my opinion, it's mandatory. We all need to tread lightly and be more conscious & this especially goes for the fashion industry. The future of fashion is slow & thoughtful. Many more people are beginning to see the true detriment of massive fast fashion brands on both the environment and human rights and are thinking twice about where their clothing comes from - as this awareness grows more fashion brands will need to follow suit and begin to operate more consciously (I HOPE!).
NOMADSofORIGIN: Who is your fashion icon?
Becs: I wouldn't say I have one fashion icon in particular because I'm always most in awe & inspired by everyday style of people out in the world day to day, more so when I lived in a city, but from the island life following photographers like @thesartoralist who capture everyday street style showcasing people with unique style gives me my fix!
The Desert Cowboy Boot
The Terry Bikini
The July Hat
NOMADSofORIGIN: What can we expect from balm wears in the near future?
Becs: I can't wait to grow and create more fun collections! Keep your eyes peeled for many more fun clogs, deadstock fabric collections and there is some swimwear & activewear in the works! I will always continue to create an assortment of styles that cater to people of all ages and will be a staple in any wardrobe.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Thank you so much for this interview. We can't get enough of the brand. Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Becs: You're so welcome - thanks so much for the love! Only thing left to say is that I appreciate all the wonderful humans out there shopping slow & small and for taking time to read about my little label.
NOMADSofORIGIN x balm wears
This interview appears in NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine print #05 The Wanderlust Issue
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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