18 Apr
  • By Ben Fijal
  • Cause in

Pak Wirata, Behind-the-Scenes TRI Warrior

A meeting with Pak Wirata always includes a cup of the best coffee in Bali, an abundance of smiles and laughs, and an overall sensation of warmth that comes from spending time with a trusted friend.  Whenever I have any doubts about our ability to make a significant impact with TRI, I am reminded of all the great people that have come together to support our project at just the right times.  As the guy that’s responsible for the production of our chiefs, Pak Wirata was TRI’s first important team member outside of our family unit.

Just got back from a week in Jogja last night and met with Pak Wirata at his Sama Sama Shop in Ubud this morning to finalize colour selections for the 1400 (yup, that’s one thousand four hundred!!!) chiefs we are ordering for the Bali Spirit Festival.  We talked about a great many considerations related to the production of TRI chiefs and we discussed how to ramp up production.  I learned a lot from Pak Wirata that we hadn’t considered until now.  Turns out producing chiefs from up-cycled retired bedsheets is a bit more complex that we had assumed.  Pak Wirata was just quietly and humbly shouldering the challenges without sharing them with us.

The challenges are as follows:

1) Not all the sheets that are donated from hotels are usable.  Some are not 100% cotton, or they have been washed with too many chemicals so the dye doesn’t hold well to them.

2) We’re about to scale up production (significantly, we hope!), so we need to find a large and reliable source of retired bed sheets.  We need one big resort on our side, or at least a few little ones.

3) Extra labour is required to use bedsheets which, of course, are not the ideal size.  We need to work with producers who are willing to make the extra effort for the sake of our cause.

4) There is waste involved.  We have to take responsibility for this and find a creative application for it.  Anybody have any ideas what we can do with a growing pile of bed sheets cuts into thin strips?…

Team TRI is up for finding solutions to these challenges and we’re going to have to get on it fast so we have our order ready in time for the Bali Spirit Festival!

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