Talking Sustainable Ethical Homewares with Local Artisans from brand Balé Candles

Amongst our clothing in the store, there's a handful of carefully selected local brands that share our values of sustainability and ethics. Artisans who combine their extraordinary craft with a commitment to being as eco-conscious and sustainable as possible.

You may have spotted a beautiful candle collection in the store recently and wondered where these treasures come from. Well, meet Chilya from Balé Natural. An amazing Indonesian artisan who has a true and unique passion behind her process of making candles.
We caught up with her to discuss all things candles, scents, and ambiance.

If you've ever visited Bali, you'll know that one of the first things people fall in love with is wandering the streets and being immersed in the daily nature-based worship of the Balinese Hindus.
Offerings are placed all over and wafting aromas of tropical frangipani petals and wisps of incense are placed throughout the streets and homes of Bali as creations and prayers. These traditional daily offerings and rituals have remained the same for more than 1,000 years. Their creation and placement are both a delight to watch and they are integral to Balinese culture and to the practice of Hinduism on the island. It was here Chilyas true fascination with scents and aromas began around the age of 8 or 9.

Chilya shares her connection to nature, her journey as an artist, and how her creativity with candles began. We've been following Chilyas journey for some time, admiring her craft. Below we talk to this local creative about her work and her unique approach to creating these beautiful pieces.

The name 'Balé' even started in the most expressive and beautiful way. Chilya tells us, a 'Balé Balé' is a chair that is made out of bamboo or coconut trees, and these chairs are often placed on the edge of a river underneath a big tree. The 'Balé Balé' chair is somehow poetic, a place where people go for a moment of reflection, contemplation or to soak up the ambiance. A place of rest, to admire the moon, or a place for farmers to rest and have lunch.

Chilya expresses, 'the name perfectly fits my brand and that's what I want my products to bring. Ambiance.
To bring feelings and I want to accentuate your feelings with the scent.

Scent is very powerful, it can bring you into the past, bring you into the moment, in the present or even bring you into the future, into your imagination. It is that powerful that it can truly change your feelings and that's what I aspire my brand Balé to be. To change and create those feelings'.

FTL: What is important to you when creating candles?

Chilya: "In general my brand stands for sustainable products with sustainable processes. We minimize waste, focus on recycling and using upcycled & repurposed materials, as well as bringing something beautifully created & thoughtfully handmade.

FTL: Why is being sustainable so important to you, personally?

Chilya: 'For me, it's a form of gratitude. Sustainability is about longevity, protection, and preserving the earth. It's about giving back to nature and treating all the creatures in it with respect and love. I'm a mother and I want my child to still be able to see and touch the nature that we are living in right now in her future.'

FTL: How do you create conscious processes when making candles?

Chilya: In my opinion, it's all about the raw materials within the practice. My candles are made with coconut wax and other natural ingredients. It is a long process and a long thinking process as well but I believe I'm making something beautiful for me, my customers, all whilst not harming the environment. Most candles use beeswax but as you know, bees are becoming extinct and we feel it's important to use a sustainable source for the base of our products.

FTL: Tell us a little bit about the scents and the materials you use in the process of creating.

Chilya: I make coconut candles, not just scented candles, I create the scent by extracting natural oils. All the scents are designed and extracted by me. The wax I get is mainly from sulawesi and bekasi, then I blend it myself here in Bali. The oils I made by enfleurage with vegetable fat or with resin, & essential oils.

FTL: Why is it important to use natural resources for your business?

Chilya: It's not fair to always just take, even from natural resources. Sometimes even natural things can be overly exposed and for me, I focus on thinking about longevity and the long-term benefits for my business and our earth.

FTL: What is something you hope to see in the future of your business?

Chilya: Minimum waste is important for our future, and repurposing things. For example, now, we are developing packaging from all the waste we have, from our cork, to our papers, everything that is waste will be remodeled and repurposed into something else. This is something I want to see in the future of this business. I want to have everything from the whole process made in-house, with as little waste as possible.

A selection of Chilyas beautiful candles can be found in our flagship store in Berawa, Bali.

Contact Chilya via email for any commission inquiries.
Shop Balé Natural candles online here.
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