Batik Fractal is a fashion and accessories brand under the social enterprise Piksel Indonesia. Batik Fractal uses technology to enable batik artisans to create unique designs to earn fair wages that will lift them from poverty, thereby preserving the traditional Indonesian craft of Batik.
Explore their products at www.batikfractal.com.
Nancy Magried was deeply inspired by traditional Batik rich cultural symbolism and the art of textile creation. However, she saw how painstaking it was to make new designs which led to similar designs flooding the market. Middle men could then play artisans against each other and command lower prices, thereby taking a major cut of the profits. Therefore, while Batik products are highly valued in Indonesia, the artisans still live in poverty. Nancy conceived of Batik Fractal in 2007 to enact her vision of harnessing technology to transform traditional Batik art into a sustainable industry that supports communities. Batik Fractal’s innovation is their creation and application of the jBatik Software that generates unique Batik patterns with mathematical fractal formulas and enables artisans to create new patterns easily so as to stand out from their competitors.
Batik Fractal trains the artisans they work with, to use the jBatik software. The software enables the artisans to effectively generate unique Batik patterns over a short period of time. By enabling product differentiation, bringing the work of the artisans to bigger markets and eliminating the middleman, Batik Fractal enables the artisans to receive fair wages. She also targets the corporate market where margins are higher and she can thus offer artisans stable income and a means to escape from poverty.
Currently, Batik Fractal has 3000 users of their software across Indonesia. They aim to have over 10,000 Batik artisans using their software in the next 5 years to create their designs and thereby participate in digital economy. There is also an increase in income among the artisans they work with who can access larger markets through Batik Fractal.
Batik Fractal’s work disrupts the dominant perception they find in the local communities that they work with that technology is an exclusively male domain. To become more accessible to the women they aim to impact, Batik Fractal is developing a training program that can be completed onsite at the residences of the artisan women, so as not to take them away from existing responsibilities and obligations.