Our Mission

Indigo People was founded when Kiat and Johan encountered artisans struggling to maintain their cultural heritage. It was often the case that mothers and grandmothers lost the ability to pass on the secrets of their craft when children moved to the city to pursue economic opportunities. When they discovered that these skills were about to be lost to the world forever, they started Indigo People to support the talent and skills of traditional craftsmen and share the beauty of their work with the rest of the world.

To see how we work with the traditional artisans, please click here.

How it started

Founded on the affection for traditional craftsmanship and the love for natural indigo, Indigo People was established in 2013. Combining contemporary design with authentic techniques, every product is produced in small scale and thus unique. Each product is handcrafted and customised with integrity by a master artisan, who handpicks the base materials and dyes them in indigo. Our aim is not only to create unique products for indigo lovers but also to keep the mastery of the traditional techniques alive by working directly with the traditional weavers and indigo dyers.

How we work

We collaborate with traditional weaver communities in Asian countries where hand looming and indigo dyeing have been practised for generations. Each community has its own specialised technique that has a long tradition. Ikat weaving and batik printing are the most authentic manual techniques that are used by our artisans. These production methods can result in little imperfections that give each product a unique appearance. The main material is based on unbleached and unprocessed cotton. The raw cotton is manually spun, which results in unevenness in the yarns. These little nubs in the weaving yarns give the product a natural and rugged look. When the scarves are worn more often, the cotton fibre will get more flexible and gain softness. In some products, the cotton fibre is combined with silk to increase the wearer’s comfort and to give the product a subtle shine. To learn more about each technique, please click here.

Our founders

Indigo people is founded by Kiat Yen and Johan Van de Berg who share the same love for traditional craftsmanship and passion for preserving authentic traditions.

Kiat Yen, the creative brain behind the brand, was born in Malaysia. After spending his childhood in this multicultural country he migrated with his family to the Netherlands where he received his master’s degree in fashion design. As a denim designer Kiat has worked for several international jeans brands, where he gained a lot of experience in both design and product development. During the trips he made back to his root in Southeast Asia, he met many traditional artisans who faced difficulties in maintaining their heritage. In 2013 he decided to found Indigo People to fulfill his dream and to help the artisans. Combining his design skills and multicultural background with traditional craftsmanship, he succeeds to create unique and authentic products. Today you can find Indigo People’s collection in the best jeans and concept stores in Europe.

Johan van de Berg, the financial brain behind the brand, was born and raised in the eastern Netherlands, where people still spoke regional dialect. At the age of 19, he started a publishing house with his father, which specialized in Dutch dialects and regional history. They realized the importance in preserving local languages and traditions because of the rapidly decreasing interests of the young generations. For over 30 years, he published history books and novels in the disappearing dialects. He conserves dozens of local and regional dialects in dictionaries and collaborates with several institutions to promote speaking and writing in Dutch dialects. When he got in contact with the wonderful products, the endangered traditions, techniques and craftmanship of the artisans from Southeast Asia, Johan decided to help these artisans by bringing their products to the global stage.