Coinciding with Kartini Day, YKK team had an opportunity to interview Lia Mustafa, one of successful designers in Indonesia who has many works in fashion industry. She has been in the fashion world since 1999 together with her colleague who was a quite famous designer at that time in Yogyakarta. According to her educational background in management major, Lia was in charge of marketing and human resources. Never expecting if her business would be run smoothly. However, her collaboration with her friend had to be stopped after two years of running due to busy work of her colleague as a designer. Even though the collaboration has been stopped, Lia tried to build her own fashion line.
She ventured to open her own business even though she had never studied about fashion before. Her passion is dance and art that encourages her to continue working in the fashion sector. She stated that dance same with fashion. It is still an art only with a different subject and method. She tried to get out of her comfort zone by getting into the fashion industry.
Starting a business with no experiences in the fashion industry did not make Lia downhearted. She kept trying and then realized that determining identity in work is very important. According to her, in order for her work to be widely known, we should have a thick and clear DNA (identity) as the key of successful.
“We need to have thick and clear DNA so people can see our work clearly. Oh, that was Lia Mustafa's work, oh this was whose work and so on.”
Natural pattern and tough women, detailed zippers and shoelaces as accessories become her identities in her works. She is always feel grateful for all the things that happened to her. Her main source of inspirations came from all her experiences about the world around her.
Lia's work, which was recently launched in the Muslim Fashion Festival (MUFFEST) 2021 in theme "Distruction", was an expression of her concern over every event that occurs in Indonesia. Starting from pandemics to national earth disasters that have occurred recently. To solve problems and disasters that occur, we must start from our self. Good behaviour to nature will return the goodness itself to humans.
"Along with the pandemic there are also national disasters, such as floods and so on. My work was a form of my concern, that I cannot be just sit and silent, or just ask myself without asking to other people or discussing it. I need to do something."
Therefore, she tried to implement a sustainable fashion system in her fashion line by utilizing the available materials. Recycling and redesigning were her way to create sustainable fashion. She also choose environmentally friendly materials and create clothes with pattern that can be redesigned. Besides being able to protect the environment, it can also control the amount of production. She realizes that fashion industry is a one of contributor of waste in the world. She asked people to re-open their closets and look back at the things they already had and can still be used. Stay at home situation can be an opportunity to clean stuffs by recycling and re-creating them into new items.
The implementation of sustainable fashion needs to be done from upstream to downstream, both by producers and users and starting from ourselves. She was very happy when she found out that YKK pays attention to sustainable fashion. Especially Natulon®️ products made from recycled materials such as PET bottles using Mechanical Recycling technology. She hopes that many of designers will also start paying attention to sustainable fashion issues. Because all related parties and qualified technology are supporting factors in running a sustainable fashion system now. She also hopes that her works can inspire people and give them the spirit to keep fighting.