Coco and Ginger is about honouring colour, folk art and artistic tradition, while interpreting life in the tropics. Inspired by Bali’s colour and vibrant life, Coco and Ginger works ethically to produce whimsical clothing ranges with a modern take on folk textiles. We collaborate with local artisans to craft pieces that tell a story about the island of Bali and its people as much as about the little girl who wears them.
Coco and Ginger grew from the tiniest of beginnings, after Saffron Pugh-Blaby, our creative extraordinaire, moved to Bali in 2002 with her husband and baby Coco. After her second daughter Ginger was born, Saffron started making her tops and dresses to wear in Bali’s hot climate. The growing interest for her pieces prompted her to design her first collection. Inspired by the endless dance between people and nature and the everyday life on the flower-festooned Hindu island; the collection was a success and encouraged Saffron to continue creating beautiful pieces for little girls.
Eight years and half-dozen collections later, Coco and Ginger is an established label with a distinctive look and a philosophy that reflects our core values. We believe the beauty of our clothes reflects the nature and vibrant palette of Bali as well as the beautiful craftsmanship of the artisans behind them.
Working together with small collectives of Balinese women, each piece in a Coco and Ginger range is unique. The traditional ikat Saffron uses, for instance, is produced by a woman in the former royal capital of Klungkung. Each piece may have a little bauble here, or a variation in colour there. “It’s those imperfections, what the Japanese call wabi sabi, that make life and art interesting” Saffron says. “I hope that people see each piece of my collection as a small work of art.”
Working in the rice paddy-set Coco and Ginger studio, Pak Wayan, the main tailor, oversees the drafting of patterns and samples. Managing all the process is our production director, Ibu Komang, who has been part of the team since our debut in 2008; Pak Putu keeps it all humming smoothly behind the scenes; and Ibu Putu and Dewi help customers make their selections in our Bali flagship store while Ginger herself gives feedback on crucial aspects, such as how a dress twirls.
The Coco and Ginger design process remains playful and low-tech, with Saffron finalising pieces using real mock-ups rather than a computer. “It’s organic, creative, dynamic” Saffron says. Hand-printing, chalk screen-printing, hand-stitching and hand-embroidering are some of the techniques involved before our tailors take the pieces to their own work spaces to sew to completion. Once ready, the pieces are hand-washed, sun-dried and ironed; swing tags are attached and they are inserted into biodegradable, Bali-made eco bags made from cassava starch. It’s a long process each season, but one marked each step of the way by integrity and respect for workers and the environment.