At the heart of everything we do here at Psylo is sustainability. From using bamboo fabric - a sustainable crop and source material, to organic cotton - a non-GMO alternative, to constantly looking for ways to minimize our workshop's waste, to supporting local communities. Beyond eco-friendly practices, sustainability for us is about balance. It's about practices that could continue endlessly for generations to come. Practices which promote ‘life’ are the opposite of practices which bring destruction and promote ‘death’. It’s a whole-listic approach that applies to every aspect of our lives.
This philosophy is also what inspires our design process - which is not limited to only rockin’ clothes. Everybody who has been to one of our flagship stores experienced the Psylo aesthetic carried through the furniture, interior design and architecture. This is also why you’ll find Ami Ganiel, our creative director, when he’s not designing the upcoming collection or creating content for this website, joining Earthship projects, cob houses construction or exploring rammed earth techniques - there are various sustainable ways to build and create! Ami is also involved in supporting local communities through raising awareness of eco-building projects here in Bali, using natural materials or/and upcycling rubbish.
So when our Bali shop was due for renovation, Ami took it as an opportunity to exercise the new sustainable techniques he was researching. It wasn’t going to be the first time that eco methods were part of building a Psylo shop, especially at the Bali location. The Psylo store in Seminyak is part of a complex we built back in 2010, using mainly reclaimed wood from old Javanese houses, and adapting the structures to our needs. Restoring the traditional decoration and saving it from decay, it is now part of Psylo’s shop structure.
The concrete industry is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions
This time, the plan was to push the boundaries even further. During his investigation into sustainable building, Ami learnt that people use up-cycled leftover scraps or cuttings of materials to create their concrete mix. You see, usually, to make concrete, you’ll need to mix the cement with sand, gravel and water. Together, they form a strong bond which is concrete. But sourcing the gravel, which makes 20%-25% of the cement mix, requires mining. The concrete industry is also responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions. These, among other factors, are making the concrete industry one of the biggest polluters in the world.
This is why sustainable approaches are looking for alternatives. As Ami discovered, among green communities people have been using 'Eco Concrete', replacing the gravel with other materials. For example, shredding disused plastic bottles and using that instead of gravel. Another alternative to gravel is straw. As traditionally, “cement” used to be straw, limestone and clay - like in cob houses or rammed earth. This made Ami think: “Could other material/s replace it, too?”
This was the inspiration for the next experiment: replacing the gravel with fabric scraps from our workshop. As a way of preventing leftover material from being sent to landfills, we’ve incorporated it into the cement mix. This cement was used for the new floor of our 120sqm Bali shop, our neighbour shop's 80sqm floor, and for the supportive pillars, too. All together, in this up-cycling project we stopped 200kg of leftover fabric from ending in landfills.
In this project, 200 kg of fabric scraps were upcycled
Minimizing the waste from the process of creating our alternative clothing has always been one of our main missions here at Psylo. Those familiar with our collection will know the Pecoa line - a unique patchwork design. This beautiful line makes the most out of what otherwise is considered waste, saving kilos of fabric from landfills. We’re now looking to expand this line, making further use of more leftovers, and bringing you fresh designs of this unique patchwork. We also have further plans for minimizing our workshop’s waste. So stay tuned ;)