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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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 firstmentality can help create real change in the lives and ecosystems throughout Indonesia.

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