Topiku

A Sustainable Partner

Who They Are

Monty, at the incredible young age of 22, is the prime example of an “accidental entrepreneur”. While working with a nonprofit in his home country of Indonesia, Monty witnessed locals creating bags from upcycled materials. Living in a country where waste management infrastructure can't support the large amounts of trash created, he was inspired to make use of all of the materials left behind after textile production and create something different–hats! After pitching his idea to no avail, Monty put his idea on the backburner. But luckily for us, when one door closes, another opens!

Almost a year later, he showed his designs to a friend and future business partner, Anthony Zhang. Anthony loved the idea, and soon after, Topiku was born. From Kickstarter, to Start Up, to Trend Setter– Topiku is on a mission to become the world’s most sustainable hat manufacturer.


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Why We Like Them

Monty and Anthony realized the need to address the mountains of trash that already exist. This means that each Topiku design is carefully designed to utilize recycled and upcycled materials. They recycle plastic buckets to make each hat brim, re-use leather scraps for the adjustable straps, and collect leftover fabric from nearby village manufacturers to create the main hat material. Topiku hats even feature the unique Batik style of wax dying that’s native to Indonesia.

All of these materials come together through the hands of local artisans to create their one of a kind hats. Topiku is the sole employer of women in the Desa Rehayu neighborhood in Cigondewah, Indonesia, providing the ability for women to work from their own homes. This creates opportunities for women to not only work and support their households, but also grow as artisans and businesswomen while leading teams of workers and sharing their skills. Topiku’s mission has helped employ both men and women in villages across the area, bringing fair, higher pay and health insurance to many of the local people.

In addition to creating hats using sustainable materials and socially responsible labor, Topiku also promotes the idea that education is a critical piece to the waste reduction puzzle. They’ve partnered with Waste 4 Change to help spread the knowledge about better production practices and waste management infrastructure in Indonesia.

These practices are only the beginning. By expanding to neighboring villages and cities, Topiku’s environmentally focused, “people first” mentality can help create real change in the lives and ecosystems throughout Indonesia.

  • Handmade
    Handmade
  • Safe & Fair Labor
    Safe and Fair Labor
  • Charitable
    Charitable
  • Upcycled Content
    Upcycled Content
  • Upcycled Cotton
    Upcycled Cotton
  • Recycled Plastic
    Recycled Plastic
  • Recycled Content
    Recycled Content

We support small businesses and craftspeople who create each of their products with care. Handmade products are generally produced on a small scale, without the use of large energy consuming factories and production facilities. Buying handmade helps support art, communities, and people’s livelihoods.

We support safe and fair labor practices when producing sustainable products. This company cares for their workers by fostering a safe work environment and providing their employees with fair wage.

This company donates a portion of their time or profits to charitable efforts in their community or abroad.

Upcycling is the process of taking an otherwise-discarded item or material and reusing it as-is (without further production or processing) in a way that creates a new product without compromising the integrity of the reused material. No energy or resources are needed to break the material down into its core form, so upcycling is a very effecient way to give old products new life. For example, a bag made from upcycled bicycle tire tubes would use the material as is, instead of melting and processing the rubber to form a new material. This product contains materials that are made from upcycled content.

Upcycled cotton salvages pre- and post-consumer fabric scraps and reuses them in new designs. Fabric scraps are cleaned, sorted, and often unwoven before being used again in new items. Upcycling cotton prevents the need for new textiles to be produced, and extends the life cycle of existing materials, rather than sending them to the landfill. Plus, it maintains the original structure of the cotton yarn, eliminating extra energy that would otherwise be needed to break down and respin the fibers into new yarn.

Recycled plastic utilizes salvaged post-industrial plastic scraps and post-consumer products such as water bottles and other plastic containers, and transforms them into new products. The containers are sorted, crushed, and then heated to form resins, which are liquid plastics that can harden into new shapes. These resins can be molded and used to create anything from carpet to outdoor furniture. Recycling plastic lowers the amount of petroleum extracted and the production of greenhouse gasses associated with first-time plastic production. Plus, by using these existing materials, we’re benefiting from the original energy and resources spent to create them in the first place, while diverting waste from the landfill.

Recycling is the process of taking an otherwise-discarded item or material and cleaning, sorting, and breaking it down into its basic form (such as fibers or pellets). This material is then used to produce new items. Recycling keeps useful materials from being discarded in landfills, prevents resource extraction due to the creation of new materials, and provides a new life for used items. Recycling can utilize both pre-consumer waste (materials left over from production) or post-consumer materials (used clothing, empty water bottles, etc). This product is made from recycled content.

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