Dec. 2 - An Indonesian designer and woodcrafter has transformed a grass-roots craft shop into a model of green, sustainable business practice. Singgih Susilo Kartono is the brains behind a company called Magno which produces stylish hand-made wooden radios, now in households all over the world. Tara Cleary reports.
One of the first things Indonesian businesswoman, Indy Handono does when she gets to work is to switch on her Magno wooden radio. She says she admires the philosophy behind the design. The man responsible for the sustainable, and stylish, invention is Singgih Susilo Kartono. Kartono was looking to capitalise on his product design degree after finishing college. He says his hometown of Kandagan was being ruined by illegal logging so he decided to stay and make a difference. SOUNDBITE: SINGGIH SUSILO KARTONO - MAGNO, SAYNG: "Indonesia is notorious for illegal logging which causes enormous damage to the forests. So I wanted to design and create a high-quality product made from wood that could be a global icon." In 2005 Kartono built his first radios, 80 percent of which were made of local timbers like ebony, pine and mahogony. And just three years later he started giving back to the forest by planting thousands of seeds on a hill near his workshop. SOUNDBITE: SINGGIH SUSILO KARTONO - MAGNO, SAYING: "In one year we only use 80 trees and those trees support our 35 staff. So, one staff member only needs two trees and now we are able to replant 10,000 trees in one year." And as he'd hoped, Kartono's radios have become global symbols - 90 percent of his products are sold abroad, including in the U.S.A., Europe and China. His local customers are also fiercely loyal. SOUNDBITE: INDY HANDONO - MAGNO SUPPORTER, SAYING : "I am interested in the story behind this radio. The design has a philosophy, I admire the creator. I really like the radio." A radio that is broadcasting a message of sustainability, beauty and a smart green business philosophy.