How do you preserve the intangible?

Batik is a traditional, wax-resist textile dyeing technique inscribed as part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage. To date, traditional textile arts such as Batik and Tenun (weaving technique) still form the bread and butter of artisans in rural areas of Indonesia. 

Against the backdrop of fast fashion where classical batik patterns such as parang and kawung often get replicated in mass productions of cheaply-printed fabric, aNERDstore aims to preserve this intangible heritage by promoting the reinvention and evolution of the use and language of Batik in modern everyday lives to preserve its relevance.

Each apparel and product we offer has a direct link to the human hands that made them, not machines (except sewing machines😊). We ensure our apparels and lifestyle products are made using fabrics that are original creations of the traditional methods: handstamped (batik cap) or hand-drawn (batik tulis) as a sustainable source of income for the artisans In Indonesia.

You reap the benefits in having long-lasting quality pieces. Because real Batik does not fade; it ages gracefully.

Who are you kids?

Tony Sugiarta and Hannah Angsana first met as young adults in a non-partisan initiative to urge Indonesians overseas to vote during the 2014 General Elections. Today they advocate for adults - young, old, and aspiring - to understand the language of Batik as a technique and an intangible cultural heritage to be preserved.

Tony's fascination for the Indonesian textile arts started when working with Batik and Tenun fabrics while producing a theatre performance of the Indonesian Society in National University Singapore. So in 2016, after leaving a position as a pharmaceutical research scientist, he embarked on a journey across Java to visit the different batik villages to understand deeper about the craft. Inspired by the human stories, he founded aNERDgallery as a platform to spread the word of Batik today beyond the familiar fabrics “our grandmas used to wear”.
Hannah grew up in a family home which once housed a batik factory, where she would admire photos hung on the walls of her great grandmothers & great grand-aunts donning kebaya and sarung. She therefore had a hard time accepting that authentic batik fabric was challenging to find in her hometown of Jakarta and that she would have to settle for a machine printed fabric to match her kebaya. There was a gaping hole of an opportunity right there.
Shortly after, in 2018, Tony and Hannah reconnected during Tony's first batik art exhibition and geeked over their love for batik, during which the sparks of collaboration flew. They co-founded aNERDstore to further promote the Indonesian textile arts to a greater audience with ready-to-wear apparels and accessories for modern urbanites.

Learning about the negative impacts of the fashion industry made them initially resist starting another fashion brand, but with further research and through conversations with the communities they are familiar with, Tony and Hannah saw the opportunity to make batik better: for the makers who make them, for the people who wear them, and for Mother Nature that provides them.
Committed to ethical practices and responsible consumption, aNERDstore works with textile artists and clothiers across Java, Indonesia, to help hone their skills while systematically encouraging sustainable practices in the long run.