On Saturday, 1 April, a pop-up store for sustainably made Indonesian handicrafts opened in Antwerp. Maryna Mai, who has been promoting Indonesian handicrafts in Europe for a few years through her market access platform CodesignHub, has finally opened an on-location shop in the city of Antwerp, where she has lived for the past four years.
“When I lived in Indonesia, I often visited small villages where I met many local artisans who make beautiful handicrafts. I kept thinking about that after I moved to Belgium, so I contacted the Indonesian embassy to see if I could offer these products to European customers. That’s how CodesignHub was born, a platform to sell sustainable products from Indonesian makers”, Maryna explained about how she created her platform.
The pop-up store is a collaboration between CodesignHub and the UMKM Gayeng project, initiated by the Central Bank of Indonesia to support green, sustainable and digital exports. Along with Maryna, Indonesian Ambassador Andri Hadi cut the ribbon to officially open the shop. The event was celebrated with traditional music, dance and food, so customers could fully immerse themselves in Indonesian culture while discovering the unique products.
It is encouraging to see that the products being promoted in Belgium have added value in terms of sustainability, with quite an interesting story telling.H.E. Andri Hadi, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg & the European Union
“The European Union is a huge market with a population of almost 450 million and is Indonesia’s 3rd largest trading partner. Belgium is one of the entry points to the EU market. In 2022, Indonesia’s export to the European Union grew by 14% from 2021, with a total value of $33.1 billion. On the other hand, our export to Belgium grew by 18%, with a total value of $2.8 billion. This positive trend will certainly be more [green, sustainable and digital] if supported by exports of our SMEs products. It is encouraging to see that the products being promoted in Belgium have added value in terms of sustainability, with quite an interesting story telling”, Ambassador Hadi said at the opening.
From clothes and various textile items to handbags to ceramics and furniture, everything on display is handmade in Indonesia using recycled material and sustainable means of production. The store only focuses on fashion that is recycle-based to continuously promote Indonesia’s fashion industries that encourage sustainable development, eco-friendly production and women empowerment.
Maryna goes to see her family in Indonesia every year, taking this opportunity to also visit the local craftsmen, check if everything is going well and pass along new orders. “In this way I help the social economy in Indonesia and, at the same time, I bring the story of the local makers to the customers in Europe”, she said.
The store is located on Wiegstraat 10 and is open from 11am to 6pm until June.