People & Nature
For over two decades, Balizen has been at the forefront of both the Fair Trade and sustainability movement. We create a unique line of ethical products for your home, garden and wardrobe. Our designs are inspired by nature and the Zen traditions of craftsmanship, simplicity, harmony and the use of natural and eco-friendly materials.
Balizen has a deep respect for local artisans’ lifestyle, traditions and environment. We strive to maintain the spirit of compassion and the natural serendipity that occurs when one is doing something positive for the planet. We are proud members of the Fair Trade Federation and commit our time to working closely with local village communities to educate them on topics such as conservation, sustainable development and organic farming.
Balizen not only strives to bring love and joy to our artisans’ work and your home, but we also strive to share the abilities and sensibilities of one culture with another, in order to open up communication and help bring people together into a global family, just like our own.
Andrea and Nyoman are the founders and creatives of Balizen and they split their time working between Bali and the USA. They run their business together with an incredible team of employees, artisan partners, and the wonderful support of their customers, family and friends.
Nyoman is a Bali native with a strong commitment to preserving the local Balinese culture, and helping build a greener and more sustainable future for Bali. He is the main facilitator for the Balizen community outreach and organic farming programs; is the leader of a Balinese farmers cooperative; and is spearheading and managing a large commercial, community based organic farming and reforestation project across Bali.
Andrea’s parents called her “busy fingers” when she was young because she was continuously crafting and making something. She loves nature (especially trees) art, dance, crafts, language, culture, collaboration and creating products that make people smile. Andrea grew up in a family of insatiably curious and creative people, attended Waldorf School, and studied art in college. She worked as a fashion and costume designer and then went on to help her dad, making laboratory equipment for the public health sector across the globe. All these things have contributed to her attitude towards design and commitment to ethical and inclusive business practices.
Eco-conscious Business Practices
In the early 90s, when their wholesale company was new, Andrea and Nyoman used to tell people that they only used natural, ecologically sustainable materials and most people had no idea what they were talking about. Thank goodness, terms like recycle, green, eco-friendly and carbon neutral are now household words. That’s great news for the planet. As for us, we have been essentially green since 1992, and we stay that way by following these basic principals:
- Balizen uses ecologically sustainable and natural materials, with no harsh chemicals, or anything non-renewable. Balizen tries to recycle as much as possible and makes patchwork and crochet items from their factory fabric scraps. Everything in the Balizen collection is handmade by village artisans or in the Balizen in-house Fair Trade workshop.
- Balizen utilizes, sustains, supports and promotes traditional, indigenous village handicrafts, so they can be enjoyed by future generations. Andrea and Nyoman train their workers and outside suppliers to improve efficiency and sustainability as well as the 5 Rs – reduce, re-use, recycle, refuse & repair. Balizen believes strongly in continuous improvement and is always looking to make things more efficient and sustainable.
- Balizen is a registered Fair Trade company and proud Fair Trade Federation member. This means that everyone employed by Balizen, as well as their subcontractors, get a fair living wage and have good working conditions. Balizen’s employees all have health insurance and a pension plan. But to Andrea and Nyoman, Fair Trade means more than those things – Fair Trade means fair to everyone, from the most basic material suppliers and growers to the end retail users. No one gets a huge mark up while someone else is getting little, and their customers get good value for money as well.
- Balizen supports and is involved in environmental education, re-forestation, organic farming and community empowerment projects, while also contributing to Greenpeace and Doctors Without Borders.
Balizen’s 5 Principles of Sustainability
Compassion & Empathy
All activities must be based on compassion and love, otherwise, we might exploit others without knowing it. Before embarking on any activity or new project, it is important to always start at a place of respect and careful consideration of others.
Smart & Well Measured
Every action and step taken needs to be considered, counted and calculated. We must look at the affect our actions have on other people, the environment, current systems and resources. All resources should be used effectively and efficiently with minimum waste of time and space. Always look for new ways to improve.
Better Quality of Life for All
In order for a business to be truly and continuously sustainable, the goal cannot be power, property and prestige. It cannot be seeking the accumulation of personal wealth, power, but instead striving for happiness and improving the quality of life for all.
Focus on Value Adding in the real sector
Real value adding is when you are able to take something of low value and to make it more valuable with effort, time and investment. Value adding is not so much about just making money, but more about making things more useful for humanity, for nature and the universe. The opposite of this would be by increasing value through hype and future trading.
Building Equity & Value in the Community
To be able to sustain all these good works and intentions, it is necessary to appreciate and respect social value in the communities that are involved in the business. Trust, caring, love, beauty and peace must also be fostered and sustained within the community itself.
Healthy & Wholesome Food
At the Balizen Elixir, Healthy Snack and Organic Coffee Bar in the Seminyak store, customers can find cold-pressed juices, root extracts, coffee, vegan soups and healthy snacks as well as Jamu – a traditional Indonesian herbal remedy. All of our healthy and wholesome food is made every morning using only locally sourced, farm fresh ingredients. Balizen supports and works regularly with Koperasi Tani Bali Jagadhita – a Balinese organic farmer run cooperative that produces healthy, Fair Trade food and farm products.