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William Ingram: Sustaining Indonesia’s Textile Traditions
October 27, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am PDT
Threads of Life commissions heritage textiles from 1,000 weavers on 12 Indonesian islands to sustain culture and alleviate poverty.
William Ingram is co-founder of Threads of Life, a Bali-based social enterprise that has worked with over 1,000 traditional weavers and their families in 50 communities on 12 Indonesian islands since 1997. As co-director of the Bebali Foundation since 2002, he has led the organization’s support for sustainable use of natural dyes and other non-timber forest products by these same community groups. Through his work he seeks to demonstrate how profitable businesses can have a social mission, how community businesses can be profitable, and how both can be sensitive to the values of Indigenous culture. Born in the UK and trained as a mathematician, he has lived most of his life in Japan and Indonesia. He is the author of “A Little Bit One O’clock: Living with a Balinese family”.
Threads of Life is an Indonesian fair-trade business that works directly with over 1.,000 weavers on 12 islands and buys high-value, heirloom-quality textiles and baskets made with local materials and natural dyes that it sells through its retail gallery in Bali and on its website. These textiles and baskets express traditional aesthetics and embody meanings associated with an indigenous worldview that Threads of Life conveys to its customers. Established in 1998, Threads of Life has aligned with Indigenous culture in its fieldwork and marketing to alleviate rural poverty, help weavers to form independent producer groups, and facilitate their sustainable management of natural resources.
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In just over 4 years, Portland TextileX Month (PTXM) has turned from an ambitious idea into an engaged community movement. This transformation highlights the power of our mission to foster collaboration, cross-pollination, cultural dialogue, and intergenerational exchange among the Portland textile community and beyond.
This year we’ve organized the PTXM festival with over 40 events and directly sponsored a multitude of FREE programs including exhibits, workshops, artist talks, community events, and more—representing a diverse range of textile interests and practices. This year’s PTXM Regeneration Festival has brought together makers, businesses, teachers, students, institutions, and organizations to gather around shared interests and knowledge-sharing. PTXM would not have been possible without the dedication of event organizers, paid contributors, paid interns, amazing volunteers and the receptiveness of the textile community.
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