Naturally handdyed, ethically handmade with pride – at RŪPAHAUS, every piece worth so much more with each thread loomed, as they are a true reflection of the time spent in the making, the endurance of the makers, the untold story.
- Acknowledgement of Country
- Our Story
- Our Process
- Behind The Name
RŪPAHAUS acknowledges Australia’s first peoples and the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connections to the lands, waters and skies, in which we live and conduct our business. We pay our humble respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples; and to Elders past and present.
Stephanie Chandra, our founder, began the journey in 2016 when she initiated a collaborative project with traditional local artisans in rural Indonesia in response to the shift towards a slower lifestyle in today’s society. Having grown up between Indonesia, Australia and Germany, Steph has always seek to integrate the three cultures and her journey led to the birth of RŪPAHAUS, a platform that not only embraces the artisans and the natural resources found in Indonesia, but also finding ways to give back to the communities and the environments where the cultures collide.
Based at her home studio in Perth, Western Australia, Steph is all about being hands-on and this is reflected in our journey from personally sourcing each artisan to working directly with the artisan collectives. Through this, we are able to create collections that are not only beautifully curated but also highlighting each artisan’s skills, giving them the medium to explore creativity beyond their norm while sustaining their professions by taking on ancient traditional processes and re-inventing them into more efficient and sustainable practices.
RŪPAHAUS is home to naturally and ethically made products – from wearables to home décors. We believe that tradition and heritage is core to any culture and should be preserved and this is the very reason why each and every RŪPA piece is crafted to reveal the stories behind our artisans’ affluent traditions and cultures. While reducing our environmental footprint through our continuously refined processes, we also make it our responsibility to support the artisans’ communities and improve their local economy – placing them as the focus of our operation.
Although our partner artisans are their own entities, the demand created through our pieces provides them a platform to exhibit their art and craftsmanship in hopes to stimulate growth, social & environmental sustainability awareness, and encourage the preservation of skills amongst the artisans’ future generations. Started off with a group of weavers, we are now a proud community made out of 4 artisan co-operatives scattered across Indonesia, consisting more than 80 pairs of hands working collaboratively in infusing life to each rūpa creation. In addition to a fair remuneration set by the artisans, 5% of the revenue from your purchase are reinvested back into the artisans’ community.
The process of natural dyeing and textile weaving were used by tribes across nations as an unconventional way of passing on history through generations. With the discovery of chemical dyes and the advancement of textile manufacturing, not only did natural dyeing slowly became forgotten, but the environmental aftermath was also being neglected. We hope, by reviving the traditional methods in our processes, we can contribute and make small differences to our environment.
As a country of thousand islands, Indonesia is home to more than 300 native ethnic tribes. Each artisan community has its peculiar dying and varying fabric processing techniques resulting in distinct textures and shapes, which are reflected in the unique regional character of our pieces.
Every RŪPA piece is crafted using organic fibres of raw unbleached cotton and natural pigments collected from plants, flowers, tree barks and roots. It is then followed by a fixation process using natural mineral mordants (salt crystals, copperas & alum) to create varying unique colour tones. The combination of techniques passed through legacies and the delicate complex processes behind our RŪPA pieces results in authentic and unique handcrafted products – giving every RŪPAHAUS piece its own story and identity.
RŪPAHAUS/ru·pa/ is form in Sanskrit.
In many of the Indonesian traditional dialects, /ru·pa/ broadly refers to the appearance of physical material objects;
both the body and the external matter. As material forms, /ru·pa/ is portrayed in four primary elements: earth,
water, fire and air; all of which can be experienced through our five senses.
[haʊs] is a house in German.
It represents an intermediary medium that supports a collaborative environment to build products
that complements our cultures and traditions.