Hippocrates once said, “Nature itself is the best physician.” And Bali has certainly heard the message. With its abundance of natural resources and traditional production methods, it is little surprise that the island is a haven of eco-friendly brands. From handwoven fabrics to cosmetics made from organic plants and herbs, there has never been a better time to invest in products that are good for you, the community and the planet. With this in mind, here are some brands to check out during your next shopping expedition.
Founded as a profit-sharing cooperative (Sensatia’s employees own 20 percent of its shares) in the small fishing village of Jasri in Karangasem, Sensatia Botanicals has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2000. In fact, today, Sensatia is one of the leading skincare brands on the island. It is also the only cosmetics company in Bali that is GMP certified. Sensatia offers over 200 products including body lotions, butters and scrubs; facial cleansers, toners and moisturizers; as well as natural soaps, hand washes and toothpaste. Those searching for a gift for a loved one, might wish to check out Sensatia’s calming travel set, which includes a calming shampoo, body lotion, body wash and conditioner.
Focusing on sustainable and eco-conscious homewares, clothing and gifts, BaliZen has been collaborating with Bali’s artisans for almost 30 years. BaliZen trains all of its workers and suppliers to base their work ethic on the four Rs: reduce, recycle, reuse and repair. As such, all BaliZen products are handmade from natural and eco-friendly materials. Inspired by simplicity and harmony, the company’s huge range of wares include batik bed sheets and blouses, jewellery and other accessories, carpets and lampshades, and resort and loungewear BaliZen is a registered Fair Trade company, which means that all of its suppliers receive fair wages for their products. All of the company’s employees receive health insurance and a pension plan.
Let’s face it, the last thing you would expect is a wooden pair of sunglasses or a watch. Yet this is precisely what EcoEgo is all about – creating products from sustainably grown wood and bamboo. All beautifully handcrafted by local craftsmen, the accessories are made from trees grown on sustainable plantations to help minimize the company’s – and by extension the buyers’ – ecological footprint. If wooden sunnies or watches are not your jam, check out EcoEgo’s intricately-carved bamboo phone cases. Some designs on offer include elephants, barong, flowers, palm trees and even a map of Bali. Each EcoEgo product is treated to withstand a variety of weather conditions, including humidity.
Translating to Love for the Earth, Cinta Bumi blends traditional wisdom and craftsmanship with innovative designs concepts to create “wearable poetry.” From tops, dresses and scarves to table runners, cushion covers and wallets, all of Cinta Bumi’s products are designed by Balinese women and made using natural plant dyes. This ensures that no products are ever the same, adding an element of uniqueness to every purchase. Unlike most other brands, Cinta Bumi bases its designs on the available raw materials to ensure conscious production, and is committed to replanting and regrowing to ensure sustainability.
Eco Living Bali
From bags and sarongs to toothpaste and chewing gum, Eco Living Bali offers a huge range of locally-sourced products. Better still, all the Eco Living wares are handmade from natural ingredients, and plastic free (this includes packaging and store placement). Eco Living Bali supports a number of causes founded to make a positive impact on the environment, so you can rest assured that your purchase is making a difference. For example, a portion of the proceeds made from the sale of SOP sun cream goes to the Gili Eco Trust, an organization that works to protect coral reefs. In addition, Eco Living Bali co-organizes a weekly beach clean up each Saturday at 3 pm (apparently participants receive a free drink at Old Man’s and an eco-friendly gift).
The founder or Cantika Zest, Ketut Jasi, has been “practicing the ancient art of listening to the earth and receiving messages of the plants and their many uses” since 1997. The Cantika Zest philosophy proclaims that the body is at its healthiest when it is connected to its natural rhythms. As such, all the goods on offer – including beauty masques, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, face creams and even lip balms – are made from the plants grown in Cantika Zest’s garden. Cantika Zest also offers a variety of massage treatments and 2-hour workshops that teach participants to make a natural skin cleanser, body scrub and lotion.
Blue Stone Botanicals
With the motto “natural health for contemporary lifestyles,” Blue Stone Botanicals is all about the healing power of Balinese and Javanese plants and herbs. Ever since time immemorial, salts, tonics and oils have been used to promote physical and mental wellness. Blue Stone Botanicals’ range of products has adapted these traditional therapeutics to modern lifestyles. The brand’s lip and body balms, hair tonics, soaps and aromatherapy products are all handmade on the island from the finest natural ingredients sourced from rural communities across Indonesia. Why not try the Bali Rain Mist, a natural alternative to commercial air fresheners made from a blend of rainwater from Bali’s volcanic mountain slopes and essential oils. All Blue Stone Botanicals products are suitable for sensitive skin, and contain no artificial additives or palm oil.
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