MILAS was founded in December 1997. The name represents a very long dream, 'Mimpi lama Sekali'( which means The dream of a better world) (in Indonesian)
The whole idea of a MILAS is based on this dream with a focus on education, health and environmental issues. MILAS strives to raise awareness and offers healthy alternatives at a local level in a world of fast food and mass production. This is in response to the mainstream global economy and it's questionable idea of progress and development.
MILAS operates on non-profit principles. The profit from their restaurant, creative arts and craft products with their natural foods store and donations, is used to provide program's according to the aims of increasing environmental awareness, improving health care and education. Their handicrafts are made by young adults whose lives are centered on street youth culture and have been involved in MILAS program's in both the past and present. The focus is more on creativity than production.
Most of the handicrafts are made on site at MILAS in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Everything is hand made; many of the materials are natural, re-used, or recycled. Some of the items include notebooks, jewellery,other stationery and cosmetic bags. The sale of these items supports program's in the handicraft workshop at MILAS. Assistance is provided in areas such as health care and informal counselling, as well as skills training in seeing, papermaking and woodworking.
The MILAS playgroup has a focus on learning whilst playing; social skills and environmental education are priorities. the children are encouraged to use their imagination and creativity in all activities. In the spirit of MILAS, the costs are kept low to enable families from all ecomic levels to participate. There is regular communication between the educators and parents about the progress of their child and the activities during classes.
MILAS products sold on EKOLUV use the ancient art method of batik and therefore encourages the use of products that have been crafted using these particular artisan skills such as batik, embroidery or other special techniques applied, which preserve the perpetuation of ancestral and cultural traditions, therefore helping to preserve the heritage of a the Indonesian culture. They also bring about awareness of the Indinesian cultural heritages through their art or design.