We ship our products worlwide + within 3 working days. Delivery time is 2 - 14 days depending on your location

working conditions

When it comes to the working conditions, we work exclusively with Indonesian crafts -men and -women on both Bali and Java. All of our workers, despite background, sex or religion, get paid a living wage which is according to Indonesian Law with which they can afford shelter, food, education and more.

Bali is one of the Indonesian islands where our workers reside. It is one of the last remaining islands in Indonesia where the Hindu religion is predominant in relation to the otherwise prominent Muslim religion throughout the rest of Indonesia. And in the Hindu religion there are many deities and ceremonies. For both our workers in Bali and Java, their religion defines their working hours.

On a daily basis, the Hindu people worship the deities as well as their ancestors, and depending on the month there will be other ceremonies throughout the month. They worship the spirits, their ancestors and many deities but also celebrate natural occurrences such as the full moon, as well as occurrences that we too hold ceremonies for in the Western culture such as birth and death, marriage and graduations.

With all these ceremonies rooted in their tradition, our suppliers don’t work a traditional Western nine to five, five day work week. Instead, they rise with the sun at 6AM, might go to a morning market to collect food for the day, and start their work days around 8AM. Sometimes they work a full work week without many interruptions, other times they are busy with ceremonies for 2 weeks.

The Balinese family and living structure is a very close one, where they live in a compound with 4 – 6 houses on them. Each house is for a family lineage. During the day, men and women work from home in the communal area. This way, they can take care of the kids from home, cook and use their own facilities without having to spend money on a babysitter, commuting and office rentals. Instead, the elderly women and men take care of the children whilst their parents take care of finishing orders. This way of working is intrinsic to the Balinese, and from what we know this is the most comfortable working method for them, at least our suppliers.

Sooka Interior Bali Journey

raw materials

Next, we have our raw materials. Most of our raw materials are sourced from Indonesia itself. Indonesia is the worlds largest archipelago counting over 17,508 islands which span more than 5000 km. Enough islands to source raw materials from!

The materials we source and use in our products are mainly timber, bamboo, bone, bronze, brass, steel and shells. Sometimes we also work with coconut husks and Ata grass!

All of the wood used in our products is V-Legal certified. This means that the wood is sourced from certified Timber manufacturers. It is tested and treated for termites and rot to ensure only the highest quality wood is used in our products.

Our bamboo is sourced from Java, where it grows in the wild and along roadsides like a weed. Bamboo is one of the fastest growing grass kind on our planet, with some subspecies growing up to 4 cm an hour! It has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete, and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel. This makes it ideal to use in our bamboo design lamps! We prefer to use fast-growing cellulose materials such as bamboo over other wood types as we don’t want to contribute to rainforest deforestation.

We also work with various bone (keratin) products, including Buffalo and Cow skulls and Swordfish Tusks. Our Buffalo and Cow skulls are byproducts of the meat industry in Indonesia. Even though Hindu people generally don’t eat much beef, the rest of Indonesia does. Years ago the animal skulls were thrown away in most parts of Indonesia as they weren’t seen as having any value. It wasn’t until they discovered that people were interested in re-purposing the skulls as a decorative object that they realised they could also sell these. Instead of simply selling plain buffalo or cow skulls, Balinese craftsmen did what they can do best: engrave and carve. These craftsmen started carving their religious stories and traditional patterns into the skulls, telling stories of their deities such as Ganesha, the story of the Ramayana, Dharma and Siddharta, just to name a few.

In Sumba, Indonesia, the Buffalo skulls have been worshipped and appreciated for much longer. Here, having a large Buffalo skull above the entrance of your door meant you were protected by the spirits from negative energies and spirits. Some homes even have a dozen or more skulls hanging on the front.

What might come to a surprise to many is that our bronzes are actually made from upcycled pipelines and other parts. Our craftsmen collect these leftover materials and put them in an oven with temperatures so high that they melt to create the raw material, which we can use again for our bronze sculptures. As bronze is a very eco- and labour- intensive material to mine, we feel it makes much more sense to reuse the material that has already been created than to extract it – again.

That was it! As we are a developing company, we are open to any suggestions and recommendations you might have. Do you know a raw material supplier that produces more sustainable wood or bamboo – feel free to drop us a message. We want to hear what you have to say!

Sooka Interior Bali Journey
Mobile Sustainabiliy option 2

packaging materials

closing the loop with waste management

closing the loop with waste management

Recycling Trash in our office

We recycle all the trash our office produces. This includes the waste that our packing & logistics department produces. We separate our conventional trash into paper, plastic, residual waste into designated containers which are picked up and emptied by the ‘GAD: grondstoffen en afvalstoffen dienst’, also known as the Raw Materials and Waste Service on weekly basis.

All of the other trash we produce, such as hard plastics and carton boxes which cannot be disposed of in conventional trash are brought to the GAD Seperation Stations. This is a station where trash is separated and disposed of in a specialised manner. At the “dump”, which we refer this station to in Dutch, large trash materials such as household furniture, hard plastics, gardening waste and electronics can be brought for specialised trash disposal.

We do this because we believe that trash is valuable and it is our duty to dispose of our trash in the most ethical, environmentally friendly manner possible. Trash is already such a big problem that not recycling it only makes this situation worse than it already is.

By recycling our office trash, we are trying to contribute a circular economy by closing the loop in one of the areas of our business.

shipping & transportation

Another area where we are still trying to figure out what our best options are, is our shipping. We currently ship with DHL and DPD.

Our office car is an electric Prius car. Since it is a hybrid, the car generates its own electricity allowing for it to move using less biofuels.

In Bali, we decided not to use buy an office car as this would be redundant. We carpool with members from our local community when we need one to pick up stock from our suppliers, instead.

Our stock is however still shipped to the Netherlands by ship freight. This is one of our worst offenders.

Last edited: May 2020

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