Denica Flesch created SukkhaCitta, a Jakarta- based social enterprise. Her business offers “ethical fashion, handcrafted with pride in villages across Indonesia”. The Erasmus University Rotterdam graduate’s website declares: “At SukkhaCitta, we make the most meaningful clothes – for you, for our artisans and for the environment. That’s why we work with villages, not factories.
“You deserve to know where your money goes. #MadeRight is our promise to you that everything you purchase pays a living wage, is kind to the Earth and uses traditional craftsmanship. Indonesia’s crafts industry is very dirty – from exploitation to poor environmental practices. #MadeRight is our way to change that.”
Denica, aged 29, is determined to raise the profile of the crafts. She says it’s absurd that people who work in groceries and restaurants get paid more than artisans. “Today, more than ever, there is an imperative way that supports, rather than exploits, the humans who make our clothes and the Earth we live in. This means that, from the very beginning, my project has never been about having a fashion brand. It has been about a problem I want to solve.
“With a background in economics, I worked for the World Bank when I first returned to Indonesia. I got quite frustrated, as I didn’t feel like what I was doing had any direct impact.
I started SukkhaCitta in 2016 with only three craftswomen. Today, we empower more than 100 artisans in villages across Indonesia. Seeing how our model of change is working has been the most significant milestone in my career.”
Photographed by Vivi Rans
40 UNDER 40: THE VANGUARDS LIST IS PRESENTED BY SULWHASOO, AS PUBLISHED IN PRESTIGE INDONESIA OCTOBER 2019 ISSUE.