Welcome to the ESH Radar: a little run down of some ethical and sustainable brands that have caught our eye this past month or so.
Co-owner and Creative Director of Melbourne brand Elk, Marnie Goding chats to Tess about what their relationships with factories around the world look like, their plans to be fully traceable from farm to garment and whether or not she’s feeling optimistic about the current state of the fashion world.
An article we recently published on the impacts associated with mining precious metals like gold, got me curious about eco-friendly jewellery options. I came across Atlanta based Machete who launched in 2017, making their gorgeous jewellery from Italian imported cellulose acetate.
Cellulose acetate is a natural, renewable material made by extracting cellulose fibres from cotton and wood pulp to make a transparent paste. The paste can then be coloured, processed, moulded and cut into different shapes. Think of it as a plant based plastic.
Acetate is handcrafted and fairly labour intensive. There’s a really beautiful little video of it being made here by Italian manufacturer Mazzucchelli. Because it’s manufactured, there are not the same social and environmental risks associated with the mining of precious metals. This renewable material also offers a great alternative to the sea of petroleum based accessories that are slowly filling up landfills and our oceans.
Cellulose acetate has been used in the production of glasses frames since the 1940s. The original Rayban Wayfarers are still made from acetate, and we’ve previously talked about sunnie crush brand Carla Colour. It might also already be in your wardrobe - acetate fibre is highly valued since it is low in cost and has excellent draping qualities.
For our antipodean readers, you’re in luck because Mooma has you covered for some of Machetes prettiest styles. Oh, and did I mention they're pretty affordable? Enjoy, babes.
In Part 1 of ESHs Fabric of Fashion, we take a look at some of the stories behind those familiar and not-so-familiar words on your t-shirt tags. What do caterpillars have to do with silk? How are wood chips turned into modal? And what role has the cotton industry played in the disappearance of the Aral Sea? That fabric on your back has a whole history it hasn't told you yet.