We put the spotlight on brands exhibiting at Amsterdam Denim Days - The Market Edition Part II. This time up; Indigo People
Who are you, what is your background?
Johan Van De Berg & Kiat Yen, founders of Indigo People. Kiat has been working in denim design for over 20 years and is the creative brain behind Indigo People. Johan has a background in publishing literature in Dutch dialects.
What made you start Indigo People, and when did it begin?
While staying in the rural areas of Thailand and Laos for a volunteer project in 2003, we encountered master weavers who were still using traditional handloom methods and the natural indigo dyeing process. They spin the raw cotton into weaving yarn and dye it in natural indigo using a generation-old, very labour-intensive method. These indigo blue yarns are then woven into textiles by hand. The handmade textile is very suitable for scarves and shows a beauty that is raw and timeless. Indigo People was born out of a love for this traditional craftsmanship and the beauty of natural indigo. The brand pays tribute to the artisans who preserve their heritage that is endangered by the slow process and labor intensity. Our goal is to help these artisan weavers preserve their tradition and pass it on to their next generations.
How do you work, where do you get your inspiration from?
We take the traditional pattern designs of our weavers, restyle and reproportion them for a contemporary touch. The generations-old patterns are an endless source of inspiration because they are timeless yet full of history.
What is your brand’s philosophy?
By combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design to create unique and timeless products. We want to support local artisans to preserve their tradition and pass it on to their generations.
What is the brand’s biggest achievement so far?
Raising the awareness among the local communities to treasure and to protect their heritage. You attended all the Denim Days editions - in Amsterdam, New York and Nashville - what is your experience?
It's a great opportunity to meet the denim professionals and indigo enthusiasts, who show the same affection, take the time to understand our brand and show their appreciation for our products.
How do you see the future for your brand?
We are constantly looking for small artisan communities that make products using traditional production methods. We see that more and more product designers share this passion and start their own brands in different types of products. We will work with these brands to bring new products to our collection, such as tableware and home decoration.
What is the most valuable lesson your have learned during your work?
When you work with people from other cultures, you need to understand their way of thinking and speaking in a way that they can understand.
What are you currently working on?
We are exploring opportunities to partner with small local brands to create handmade tableware and home decor. It is a great learning process for both parties in which we exchange our skills, knowledge and experience.
Do you have a life slogan, or one that inspires you?
If you are passionate and faithful, you can make it happen.
Visit Indigo People at Amsterdam Denim Days, 21 & 22 October 2022.