sustainability, construction and materials

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All shoes are made by hand by me, Matea, on a Made to Order basis. This means they only start getting made when you place your order. The materials I use are selected with consideration of their aesthetic, sustainable as well as hardwearing properties, so your shoes will be able to last a lifetime.

sustainable
Nearly all the materials used in Done by Matea shoes are either recycled, recyclable, salvaged, natural fibre or a combination. I recycle studio waste where possible.

ethical
I make all the shoes myself, completely by hand, in Melbourne, Australia. There are no sweatshops or factories involved in the construction of any items. Additionally, I source all my materials from Australian businesses.

Made by hand in Melbourne, Australia.

read more about my construction methods here

Each Done by Matea shoe is lasted by hand, which means that the leather of each shoe is carefully pulled and nailed to create the unique shape of the shoe.  Unlike factory machine lasted shoes, which aggressively pull the leather, overstretch it and stop it from being able to mold to your foot properly, a hand lasted shoe allows the leather to be able to move and stretch to the needs of your feet once you wear them. This process is very time consuming, usually taking 3-4 weeks.


• Made in Melbourne Australia. Every pair of shoes is carefully and lovingly created by hand by me

• All edges are burnished and polished by hand for a gentle sheen.

• Any painted or sculpted elements are done by hand.

• Toe and heel stiffeners are leather or thermoplastic depending on the style. You can find details in each products’ description. Leather is a fantastic stiffener, but sometimes it doesn’t provide the right type of rigidity or wearability for particular styles, in those cases I use a thin thermoplastic stiffener that still feels soft and has give.

• Insoles are made from beautiful veg tan leather or from a lightweight mouldable natural cellulose board, which are both breathable and mold to your feet over time.

• Soles are often sewn or clinched with handmade brass nails and are made with 3-5mm vegetable tanned soling leather. Soles are also branded with my cute little flowers - so youre always walking on a lovely flower bed!

• Flat shoes are shank free! This allows for a natural foot flexibility. High heels do have shanks however, to maintain their form.

• I use only toluene free adhesives. I also take care to use only water based adhesives in the areas of the shoe that come into contact with the skin.

All Done by Matea materials are used with consideration of their environmental impact and are always sourced from Australian suppliers.

read more about each material below

LEATHER
Vegetable Tanned Kangaroo Leather is light and strong, and is used as often as possible for uppers and linings. It is the most ethical and sustainable leather available. 

Vegetable Tanned Bovine Leather is thick and hardwearing, and often used for insoles, soles small heels and some uppers. Vegetable tanning has less impact on the environment as it uses less harsh chemicals, and produces biodegradable leather.

High Quality Salvaged Surplus Leather is often used for uppers and linings. This is leather that has been salvaged from larger businesses waste.

All Done by Matea leather is sourced from suppliers who are members of the Leather Working Group - an organisation responsible for the world's leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry.

 

FABRICS + FILLINGS
All fabrics and fillings used are either natural fibre or recycled. Fabrics used: 100% Pure Mulberry Silk, Organic Cotton, Eco Recycled Plastic Bottle Fabric. Fillings used: Eucalyptus Fibre, Cotton Wadding.

 

SOLING
Depending on the type of shoe, the soling will be made from timber, natural cork, vegetable tanned leather, rubber or EVA.

All timbers are native Australian grown and FSC Certified. Natural cork is biodegradable, recyclable and sustainably grown. Rubber is used in small quantities for soling applications and when available, I use a 20% recycled content Australian made rubber. EVA foam soles are sometimes used in place of leather to minimise the use of bovine leather and to offer a more comfortable fit. EVA is easy to replace, so you shoes can be resoled as much as needed.

 

OTHER
Decorative features may occasionally be made from bio-resin or acrylic. Bio-resin contains 20-50% bio content - renewable biological resources such as organic vegetable waste. When acrylic is used it is only used in small quantities and only made based on demand. Vegan options often use plastic based fabrics instead of leather. Some insoles are made from cellulose board which is a breathable durable paper-like product, and can be recycled.

 

LEATHER CONDITIONER
Done by Matea leather conditioner is carefully blended by hand, by Matea, in Melbourne, Australia. Using sustainable Australian sourced ingredients: South Australian beeswax, Organic Shea Butter, Lanolin, Sweet Almond Oil, Kangaroo Island Lemon Myrtle Oil and Australian Tea Tree Oil.

 

PACKAGING

All Done by Matea packaging is recyclable, biodegradable or natural fibre.

• boxes are recyclable
• cloth bags are 100% Organic Cotton
• tissue paper,  mailer bags, paper stickers and packaging tape are all biodegradable and compostable

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