About Us & what makes our product "green"
For over two decades Balizen has created a unique line of products for home, garden and body. Our designs are inspired by nature and the zen traditions of craftsmanship, simplicity, harmony and the use of natural materials.
With respect to the local artisans' lifestyle, traditions and environment we also work with village communities, educating them in conservation, sustainable development and organic farming. We are a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Through our designs we not only strive to create more enjoyment for people in their daily lives, but also to share the abilities and sensibilities of one culture with another, enabling open communication and helping make the world more of a global family--like our own.
The name “zen zen” comes from a Japanese expression which loosely translates to “but of course” - that natural serendipity which occurs when you’re doing something positive for the planet. This has always been the mission of the company founders, as they continuously work to create a beautiful line of products that are handmade from sustainable materials and all with a personal touch.
Andrea and Nyoman live and work in Bali & the USA. They run the business together with the help of a great team of employees and the wonderful support of customers, friends and family.
“My parents called me busy fingers when I was little,” Andrea says. “I was knitting at 5, making my own clothes at 9 and designing my first interior at 12, always making something. I love art and dance, crafts, language and culture, collaboration and creating great products that make people smile. I grew up in a family of insatiably curious and creative people, I went to a Rudolf Steiner school, and studied art in college, did costume design for a while and then worked with my dad making laboratory equipment for public health laboratories across the globe. All these things have contributed to what I am and do and share today.
In the early 90s, when zen zen, our wholesale company, was young, we used to tell people that we only used natural, ecologically sustainable materials and they usually had no idea what we were talking about. Thank goodness, terms like recycle, green, eco-friendly and carbon neutral are now becoming house hold words. That’s great news for the planet. As for us, we have been essentially green since 1992, and we stay that way by following these basic principals:
- We use ecologically sustainable natural materials such as bamboo, vetiver, capiz shell and organic cotton. We also try to recycle as much as possible. We make patchwork and carpets from our fabric scraps and decorations on our bags too. Everything is hand made by village artisans or in our Balizen in-house fair trade workshop with the smallest carbon foot-print we can manage. We utilize, sustain, support & promote traditional, indigenous village handicrafts, so they can be enjoyed by this and future generations. We train our workers and outside suppliers to improve efficiency & sustainability as well as the 5 Rs – reduce, re-use, recycle, refuse & repair. We also believe strongly in continuous improvement. We are always looking to make things more efficient and sustainable.
- We are a registered fair trade company, Fair Trade Federation member. This means that everyone we employ, and our subcontractors too get a fair living wage and have good working conditions, and are planet conscious too. Our Bali workshop employees all have health insurance & pension plan & Friday afternoon sports. But for us Fair Trade means more than that. To us fair-trade means fair to everyone – from our most basic material suppliers/growers to the end retail users. No one gets a huge markup while someone else is getting little, and our customers get a really good value for their money too.
- We support and are involved in sustainable education, re-forestation, organic farming, community empowerment projects and contribute to Greenpeace and Doctors Without Borders.
Loving, Healthy Food
We work with and support the efforts of Koperasi Tani Bali Jagadhita, a Bali organic farmer run cooperative producing healthy, fair trade food and farm products. Our cold-pressed juices, root extracts, coffee, vegan soups and healthy snacks are made fresh every morning in our kitchen, using only locally sourced, farm fresh ingredients.
At our Balizen Elixir, Healthy Snack & Organic Coffee bars at our Seminyak and Ubud Boutiques, we are serving nourishing, farm fresh food, made with love - featuring: