We love designing fabrics based on nature & traditional Asian motifs and home décor items using all the fabulous hand made textiles & natural fibers that are available in Bali. We love to create items that give people joy in their own homes... So as they’re sharing dinner with their family and friends – they can also be thinking to themselves with an inner smile & a twinkle in their eye – ‘what a beautiful table setting’.
Through our designs we not only strive to create more enjoyment for people in their daily lives, but also to share the abilities & sensibilities of one culture with another, enabling open communication and helping make the world more of a global family…like our own.
About the owners and what zen zen means
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 company owner, Andrea Phillips. She continuously works to create a beautiful line of products that are handmade from sustainable materials and all with her personal touch.
Andrea and her husband Nyoman live and work in Bali & the USA with their two children. They run the business together with the help of a great team of employees and the wonderful support of customers, friends and family.
Nyoman, a Bali native, has a strong commitment to preserving the Balinese culture and helping to move Bali into a green and sustainable future. In addition to managing our in house fair trade workshop, he is the main facilitator of all our community outreach and organic farming programs, working with government officials as well as directly with village communities he is truly a driving force.
“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 . . . Essentially, through my designs I strive to create more enjoyment for people in their daily lives & share the abilities & sensibilities of one culture with another so people can feel like they are part of one big global family…like my own.”
Our Eco Consciousness
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 several sustainable education, re-forestation, organic farming, community empowerment projects and contribute to Greenpeace and Doctors Without Borders.