What We Found in the Forest

Natural Materials from the Rainforest Overview

Rattan and Water Hyacinth:

 If we use more of these materials, positive economic pressures are placed to keep the forest in tact.  The indigenous people of the forest also benefit by staying on the land and managing it in the sustainable ways of their ancient cultures.

As the New Year is upon us, most of us have a keen eye on the future, and what better resolution than to go eco – starting with our closet.  On our resent journey to Java and Borneo (Kalimantan), we discovered exotic beautiful materials.  These materials are a new and exciting chapter for Purse for the People on our road to creating new designs and partnering with the traditional peoples of the forest.  This series will follow with many more blogs, sharing this adventure and what we found in the forest.  

There are many fabrics such as rayon, viscose, and modal — everyday textiles that our closets can be filled with to replace plastics and petroleum or chemical based synthetics.  Some of these plant based replacements, though they are a healthier alternative to plastics, are not helping the forests.   Our mission is to introduce you to some of the splendid, but maybe lesser known plant based materials.  All are grown, harvested and then processed into fashion items sustainably, in the rainforest.

The rainforests of Indonesia have been experiencing large-scale deforestation over the course of the past decade. According to Global Forest Watch, the country lost over 60,000 square miles of tree cover between 2001 and 2013.  We are asking you to help us increase the demand for products that help conserve the forest and it’s many resources.  

Here’s a brief overview.  We hope you enjoy our journey as we share the amazing beautiful products we discovered.






Rattan not only is a strong and beautiful material for fashion and furniture, it helps keep the rainforest intact.  It needs the trees to be present, so it can climb up into the forest canopy.  This makes rattan an option that’s as green and sustainable as it is stylish.

Sustainablychic Aspen Bag by Purse for the People

Natalie of Sustainably Chic

Water Hyacinth



Hyacinth is considered an invasive species and water pest plant. However it can also be made into a variety of products because the fiber is quite strong.  Using it in such a way helps the environment and as a natural fiber holds great potential when integrated into fashion items and home decor

Up next: Pandan and Banana Leaves.