THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
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
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Balm Wears
12 August 2022
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 Terry Flares
The White Hemp Suit
The Cowboy Boot
‘‘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 Daily Scoop Singlet
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 Hemp Trouser and Blazer Set
The Terry Bikini
The Cargo Pant
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.
Shop the balm wears collections online
See the pieces we adore and follow @balmwears on social media.
NOMADSofORIGIN x balm wears
This interview appears in NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine print #05 The Wanderlust Issue