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Embracing Tradition & Empowering Women Through Fashion with TORAJAMELO

Updated: Jun 20

2 female Models showing Products from Toramajelo
Models showing Products from Toramajelo

Are you ready to embark on a sustainability journey that not only empowers women through fashion and celebrates the rich cultural heritage of Indonesia? Look no further than TORAJAMELO, a vibrant and socially conscious brand revolutionizing how we perceive fashion and community development. With their high-quality, and functional products made from traditional hand-woven textiles, TORAJAMELO aims to break the cycle of poverty and violence experienced by indigenous women in Indonesia.

photo 2nd generation weavers in Mamasa, Sulawesi
2nd generation weavers in Mamasa, Sulawesi

The story of TORAJAMELO, which translates to "Beautiful Toraja," began in 2008 when its founder, Dinny, set out to create a better life for marginalized rural women weaver artisans in Indonesia while revitalizing the art of Indonesian hand-woven cloth. What started as a humble initiative in Toraja, South Sulawesi, has now blossomed into a movement that spans the nation and empowers women through fashion

photo of a women Toramajelo Weaver:  I Made Your Clothes
2nd Generation Weaver in Lembata Nov 2020

TORAJAMELO operates with a comprehensive approach to community development and sustainability through the following programs:

  • Preparing weavers for the global market by conducting Community Organizing programs and Capacity Building initiatives, equipping them with essential skills like fashion trends and textile design.

  • Providing access to micro-finance and social support, including donations of reading glasses.

  • They have a regeneration program that ensures the transfer of weaving knowledge to the younger generation, safeguarding the craft for years to come.

Group of Toramajelo Women Weavers
Toramajelo Women Weavers

For the B2B business, Torajamelo works with brands to develop and produce products through their resources, which provides small designers and emerging brands to manufacture products through their program. They are able to ship products worldwide and work closely with you, buidling relationships with each maker/brand.


Photo of CEO of Torajamelo Aparna Saxena
CEO of TORAJAMELO Apart Saxena

To learn more about their work and how you can partner with them, watch our Iive conversation with Aparna Saxena, as she shares the story and explains the services they offer.

CEO Aparan Saxena sharing the story of TORAJAMELO


Let's take a closer look at TORAJAMELO's vision, mission, and values:

Vision: Alleviation of poverty by creating a sustainable ecosystem focused on women in indigenous communities.

Mission: TORAJAMELO is committed to establishing a sustainable economy in indigenous communities by merging cultural, social, and environmental approaches.

Values: Collaboration with the community, upholding quality, practicing integrity, taking purposeful action, and believing in compassion.

TORAJAMELO's efforts are guided by three pillars, each contributing to the creation of a sustainable ecosystem in rural economies:

  1. Commerce: TORAJAMELO showcases the captivating "stories of Indonesia" to locals and the world through their ethical-slow fashion lifestyle brand. They cater to business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) customers, including larger B2B and wholesale orders through their extensive community network.

  2. Community Collaboration: At the heart of TORAJAMELO lies its core pillar of community collaboration. They work closely with weaving communities, ensuring the design and development of weaving techniques that preserve the authenticity of the craft while staying relevant to evolving market trends. This pillar also extends beyond textiles, creating additional sources of income and livelihood for partner communities through community-based tourism and regenerative economy projects such as community farming and agriculture.

  3. Consultancy: TORAJAMELO offers advisory services to corporations on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices and how to integrate UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into their businesses. They also provide mentoring and coaching support to impact businesses, helping them navigate the current landscape while staying true to their core purpose.

a few of the United Nations Sustainability Goals image
4 of United Nations Sustainability Goals

In addition, Toramajelo makes an impact by focusing on these additional driving forces in its business practices:

woman weaver for Torajamelo
Torajamelo Weaver

Social: Torajamelo community work focuses on addressing poverty and promoting gender equality by providing sustainable opportunities for women weavers, preventing migration, and improving financial stability. We also offer funding support after disasters to help communities rebuild.

photo of Traditional textile weaving from Torajamelo
Traditional textile weaving from Torajamelo

Cultural: Through Torajamelo's "cultural sustainability" initiative, they collaborate with 1200 weavers to preserve and revive . They aim to pass on the tradition of backstrap loom weaving and showcase the diverse heritage motifs across Indonesia.

photo of saffron used for textile dying
Saffron for textile dying


Toramajelo prioritizes sustainable practices by sourcing natural materials, reducing waste, and promoting a circular economy. With a focus on responsible consumption and climate action, their goal is to set a sustainability standard for fashion brands, starting in Indonesia, and achieve full product traceability.

With a passion for Indonesian hand-woven textiles and a commitment to empowering women, TORAJAMELO creates a range of fashion lines and gift products, all made with love and care. Each TORAJAMELO product is a beautiful and functional item that becomes a part of a powerful movement supporting the livelihoods of thousands of weavers across rural Indonesia and empowering poor urban women who produce the finished goods.

TORAJAMELO atTenun Fashion Show 2021

women modeling Woven textile Designs from Torajamelo
Woven textile Designs from Torajamelo


Goals for the future: By 2025, TORAJAMELO aims to become a major shopping destination in Indonesia, offering high-quality fashion lines and gift products made exclusively from Indonesian hand-woven textiles, collaborating with at least 5,000 weavers across rural Indonesia and at least 100 urban poor women. Dinny, the visionary behind TORAJAMELO, explains that their mission is to alleviate poverty by creating a sustainable ecosystem focused on women in indigenous communities.

TORAJAMELO is so much more than a fashion brand. It's a force for positive change, a testament to the power of collaboration, and celebrates Indonesia's diverse cultural heritage. Whether you visit their flagship store in Jakarta, explore their online shop at, or work with them for your own products, you'll find beautifully handcrafted products that carry the stories and dreams of countless talented women across Indonesia.

Join TORAJAMELO on their remarkable journey, where every purchase becomes a catalyst for empowerment and a step towards a more sustainable and inclusive future. We can weave a brighter tomorrow, one thread at a time.

Photo of Torajamelo woven Dress, belt and pant
Torajamelo woven blouse and skirt

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