Lovi (Flacourtia inermis) is cultivated in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka for both its fruit and decorative foliage. The fruits are round, cherry-sized, and dark red when ripe. Some are sweet, but most are sour and astringent, and normally used for making jams and syrups.
© Hafiz Issadeen 2009
It’s true there was a romantic moment when two lovers sat in that iconic San Francisco garden looking at Sinhala fruit vocabulary and brainstorming names for the nascent sarong company. But there’s more to moniker than that. There’s also a story about a harmless little fruit that packs major punch, a little unsung hero that deserves more attention than it gets.
The lovi fruit is a berry-sized plum that grows in bunches like cherries do. The beautiful bright red lovi grows in Sri Lanka (and much of tropical Asia) and wields many healthful properties. Such a gem of a fruit is near perfect, aside from one thing. Its high acidity makes it too tart to eat fresh. And so it was just a little ingenuity we needed to turn the traditional fruit into delicious chutneys, jams, sauces, and even wine.
The LOVI sarong has much the same story. The sarong is a beautiful garment produced in mass quantities, a unisex silhouette for anyone tall or short, slim or portly. It is made in Sri Lanka (and much of tropical Asia), perfect to wear in hot, humid weather. Such a gem of a garment is near perfect, aside from one thing. It is too out of date to wear as is. So it was just a little ingenuity we needed to turn the traditional garment into evening wear sarongs for any occasion with pockets, lining, and even belts.
Sarongs with pockets. How do you like them LOVIs?