A message from Matt.
Since its inception, Merchants of the Sun products have been handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia. There’s a reason for this.
Bali and surrounds have a significant place in my heart, having grown up in the region and spent most of my formative years absorbing what Indonesia has to offer.
South East Asia is a fashion hub, and Indonesia is one of the world’s busiest textile, apparel and fashion producers. I didn’t base Merchants production here for that reason, however. In fact, it was this statistic that opened my eyes to the atrocities of the industry and formed the basis of my business from the very beginning.
Growing up, I saw firsthand how fashion manufacturing can threaten the natural balance of things, injuring the environment and harming people in the process. The scales are tipped towards commercial values and consumerism, at the cost of manufacturing districts like Indonesia.
I’ve seen waterways coloured by toxic dyes.
I’ve seen gullies bridged by textile waste.
I’ve seen people harmed by an industry motivate more by profit than a functioning society.
Naturally, I came to detest the idea of fast fashion. I refuse to watch the world burn in the name of mass consumption.
My approach to creation was cultivated by my experience in Bali, and continues to develop the longer I am here. Sustainability is not a choice - it never was and it isn’t now. Indifference to the planet and its people serves no one and for as long as we consume at the rate we do, our foot will remain glued to the accelerator of fashion.
Now, all production operations are contained to one workshop headed by Natry and his team of 45 metalsmiths and jewellers. Aside from maintaining a personal relationship with Natry, I have the utmost respect for the skill and pride of Balinese artisans.
Creating overseas was never a question for me, having watched the craftsmanship of local jewellers from childhood to now. Contributing to the fashion economy in a positive way is also not a question, providing an expressive outlet without the social price tag. Through Merchants, I am wholly dedicated to educating you and our community to reduce our impact and change the way we consume.
To have a base in Bali is a dream, and to shape a community to consume mindfully is the shiniest silver lining.