OUR PROCESS

TOPIKU’s ultimate vision is the creation of a resilient society that can survive and thrive in the long-term – especially focused in developing communities.

STEP BY STEP

 

1. COLLECTION

Environmentally-conscious material selection allows us to divert waste from ending up in landfills. Local trashpickers are contracted to collect buckets and metal scraps from landfills.

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2. RECYCLING

Salvaged buckets are crushed, shredded, washed, melted down and then remolded into brims. Brims are left flat or folded by hand to become curved. Reject-brims are re-crushed and recycled.

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3. UPCYCLING

Textile offcuts and leather scraps otherwise known as post-industrial waste, are collected and purchased along with deadstock fabrics from local apparel manufacturers.

We incentivize these producers to hold on to their waste rather than dispose of it – or burn it, as is commonly done with trash in developing countries. This process is known as upcycling: adding value to old or discarded materials.

 
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4. ASSEMBLY

These revitalized waste materials then come together in our hat-making community located in Desa Rahayu, Cigondewah, Indonesia.

Each hat is meticulously handcrafted by skilled artisans, who can work from the comfort of their own home.

Equitable work opportunities are provided for both men and women. We pay a fair living wage of nearly double the local minimum wage for all our hat-makers.

 
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5. REINVEST

It doesn’t just stop after production. We are building the foundation of sustainable community development in the areas we work with through our commitment to Industrial Ecology.

Profits are reinvested into programs such as waste management education and collection services through a partnership with Waste4Change.

Oh yeah, and we sponsor the cost of health insurance for 14 trash-pickers.

 
 

consciously-chosen components

 
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BRIM

RECYCLED HDPE PLASTIC

We work together with local pemulung (trash-pickers) to salvage HDPE plastic buckets (among other plastic items) from landfills.

Virgin (new) HDPE is typically made from petroleum, a popular fossil fuel. Characteristically, the plastic is actually very easily recycled. Since we focus on collecting this waste and not using petroleum, we can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our brims.

After the buckets are collected, they are shredded, washed, melted, and then remolded into brims. It’s that simple.

As it is a stronger plastic, it is easily bendable and flexible, allowing you to customize the curvature of your brim and personalize it to the unique shape of your head.

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 PATCH

UPCYCLED LEATHER OFFCUTS + SCRAPS

Leather you can feel good about. If we’re being realistic, the cow and tannery businesses are not going anywhere anytime soon. In an effort to reduce the industry’s negative environmental impact, we collect leather scraps and offcuts from various leather makers in the neighboring community of Cibaduyut.

We go around to various producers of shoes, belts, jackets, purses, and all things leather. These weirdly-shaped, but high quality post-industrial scraps are perfect for us to emboss logos on.

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BASE

UPCYCLED ORGANIC COTTON TWILL

We’re proud to say that we source some of the best GOTS-certified organic cotton twill that Indonesia has to offer for the main base of our hats.

We work together with a manufacturer in Solo, Central Java, to collect their deadstock inventory (aka verified old, leftover, or over-ordered fabrics). Instead of allowing these leftover textiles to waste away in a warehouse (before they are ultimately thrown away to make room for new orders), we purchase them in an effort to divert them from ending up in landfills.

No additional energy, water, or chemical inputs necessary – just scavenging for hidden treasures buried in the basements of factories.

 
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BATIK

UPCYCLED TEXTILE OFFCUTS FROM DANAR HADI

Post-industrial batik scraps and deadstock fabric sourced from internationally-renowned designer brand Danar Hadi.

Each one-of-a-kind pattern is extremely limited so every hat is unique, rare, and the last of its batch.

Sourcing deadstock fabric allows us to reuse and divert these materials from the landfill and into your wardrobe.



 
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BUTTON

RECYCLED ALUMINUM CANS

Who said that soda was only an unhealthy drink? Instead of using new metal for the buttons on the top of our baseball hats, we work with local pemulung to collect aluminum soda cans. They are first cleaned and cut open into sheets, so that buttons can be punched out of them.