One of the many CSR programs of PT Ekamas Fortuna (Ekamas Fortuna), a business unit of APP Sinar Mas founded in 1984, is supporting the government in empowering women run businesses in Sengguruh Village, driving economic development in the region. At the centre of this narrative is the Kaputren batik group, a spirited ensemble of women, led by Mrs. Sri Rahayu.
Over the years, Ekamas Fortuna has been a lifeline for the villagers, providing jobs and boosting local incomes, alongside nurturing social assistance programs for the community. However, the mill's goal was to not only uplift the economy but also the cultural heritage. And so, the Kaputren batik group was born.
Kaputren batik is a good example of what is possible when a community rallies together. In those early days, batik-making was an intimate, almost solitary affair. But thanks to upskilling efforts, practical training sessions, and the provision of essential tools for the batik craftswomen, they created higher quality batik fabrics. Seventeen women joined this venture and with improved batik-making tables, widangan (a type of frame used to spread cloth), and dyes, their craft evolved, echoing the rhythms of the dynamic market.
The village itself dug into its village funds and stepped in to amplify the group’s marketing efforts, ultimately branding the Kaputren Batik as the cultural emblem of Malang regency.
Within a span of two years, the once-quiet batik artisans roared back to life. Their hiatus from 2015 to 2020 was replaced by a surge of creativity and prosperity. Turnovers of Rp. 10,000,000 to Rp. 15,000,000 and a net income of Rp. 5,000,000 to Rp. 6,000,000 per month painted the village with newfound vibrancy. Kaputren batik wasn't just a source of income; it was now a guardian of Malang cultural heritage and a testament to the power of a united community.
The spirit of collaboration took over, as they joined forces with other batik groups, sharing the burden of large orders and forging long lasting partnerships. Marketing was an art they had mastered, both online and offline. The village administration staff donned uniforms from Kaputren Batik, schools embraced their batik for their students, and even the grandest national events showcased their exquisite creations. Social media, particularly the Sengguruh Village government's platforms, carried the legacy far and wide, garnering more and more orders.
The story wasn't just in their art but also in their packaging. Each batik piece was a work of art, wrapped in an attractive tube with a goody bag, adorned with product information.
What began as a flicker of hope in 2013 - 2014 evolved into a blazing fire of determination. Today, with seven active members who diligently uphold the group's values, along with those of Ekamas Fortuna, the village, and numerous agencies, their future shines with promise.