Indonesia is a country polarized by class, socio economic status, education and health. In such a large country in which a strong collectivist mentality is held a shift will only be observed through the engagement with Indonesian society as a whole.

It is the aforementioned collectivist mentality that needs to shift in order to see progressive change in Indonesia’s waste management strategies. Legislation, government-based initiatives and political reforms tackling waste management have proven to be inefficient and are ill-equipped to tackle the severity of the issue.

Jakarta’s 13.2 million population alone produces 6,250 tons of rubbish each day (World Population Review 2015), enough to fill a soccer pitch five meters deep (Lucas 2014). The lack of waste management systems have resulted in a myriad of environmental, health and social issues.

Designers, makers and thinkers are leading a social and cultural movement towards ethically sustainable futures and communities. Designers and collectives such as Sapu, XS projects, Kelingan and Ruangrupa are currently tackling the waste management issue in an engaging manner. Innovative techniques using products, systems and ideas such as upcycling and community driven initiatives are at the forefront of this change.

These ideas however, are facing a number of obstacles. Local groups have limited resources and understanding of consumer habits. Furthermore, the push toward rapid commercially driven design renders sustainable practices uneconomical.

Consequently it became clear to our group that the issue is not a matter of a improving the quality of the product. Rather, it’s the simple fact that these local designers cannot effectively communicate their ideas with the global community.

Our first hand research revealed that the organization such as Fair Trade use complex accreditation systems. This results in many local designers being unable to receive this necessary tick of approval.  In a market saturated with claims of sustainability it is essential for the consumer to be able to trust the products origin.

Unfortunately the complex procedures necessary to obtain a legitimate accreditation means many of these ethical brands are unable to connect to the global audience at which their products are targeted.

At Kolektif our aim is to discover, promote, manage and circulate fresh, innovative ideas of inspiring designers, while connecting Indonesia with a global audience. Kolektif is an online platform that independently accredits and promotes a curated collection of local produced and sustainably created products. We’re seeking to connect buyers to makers through promoting emotionally durable design. Our site promotes considered comsumption on consumer goods through unique distribution methods. These methods allow shipping costs to remain affordable while curbing the instant gratification that’s become ingrained in consumer culture.


Customers furthermore have access to a customizable app, triggering a dialogue and new forms of collaboration between global audiences. The ‘Meet the Maker’ blog further builds personable relationships between buyer and maker, allowing global audiences to have further insight into initial production right through to reception of their purchase.

In short, Kolektif is an open source, social marketplace that promotes local designers and grants them access to a global audience. We believe that through telling the stories of our partners we can help to promote a more personal dialogue with the maker. We firmly believe that consumers worldwide will respond positively and be more considered in their spending habits.

Through a global effort we will see real and effective change regarding waste management and sustainability. By connecting like-minded people, groups, collectives and organizations an environment can be established in which a realistic global effort can take place.


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Sean Lurie – Simon Blanckensee – Paula Thomson – Emily Stone


Lucas, A. 2014, Jakartas Rubbish Nightmare, Inside Indonesia, Jakarta, viewed July 6 2015, <http://www.insideindonesia.org/jakartas-rubbish-nightmare>.

World Population Review 2015, World Population Review – Jakarta 2015, World Population Review, viewed July 6 2015, <http://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/jakarta-population/>.

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