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Sustainability


Done by Matea is a slow, sustainable and ethical label. Everything is made with consideration of its environmental impact.
Read through for a detailed look at the materials and making methods used.

 

 

SLOW, SUSTAINABLE AND ETHICAL

slow
Footwear is made by hand on a pre-order basis and accessories are made in small batches according to demand. Minimal amount of stock kept on hand, to ensure there is no wastage of materials or product. The materials used in the construction of items are selected with consideration of their aesthetic as well as hardwearing properties, so your item will be able to last a lifetime.

sustainable
Nearly all the materials used in Done by Matea items are either recycled, recyclable, natural fibre or a combination. Acrylic is used in some items due to its unique aesthetic and machining properties, however it can be recycled at specialist recycling services such as KF Plastics. Studio waste is recycled where possible.

ethical
Nearly everything is fully made by hand by Matea in Adelaide, SA. For the few items that aren't completely handmade, any outsourcing of labour is only to machines, owned and operated by small local South Australian, or Australian businesses. There are no sweatshops or factories involved in the construction of any items. Additionally, all materials are sourced from Australian businesses.




 

 

MATERIALS

All materials are used with consideration of their environmental impact. Materials are primarily sourced in South Australia to support the local economy, however when there are no local suppliers an interstate supplier will be used. Local, recycled, end of job and low impact materials are preferred. 

LEATHER
Kangaroo leather is used as often as possible when leather is required as it is the most ethical and sustainable leather available. More information about this is available here.
In short, kangaroos are not farmed, they live free but they are culled at a set government percentage each year. This is due to the fact that since white invasion they have no predators, and their increased numbers actually cause ecological damage and impact other species negatively by reducing their available food source and habitat. Culling is strictly controlled and monitored by the Australian State Governments.

When bovine leather is used for Done by Matea items, quantities are kept to a minimum, and either vegetable tanned bovine leather or end-of-job lots are used. Vegetable tanning has less impact on the environment as it uses less harsh chemicals, and produces biodegradable leather (more info here).

When chrome tanned leather is used, end-of-job lots are bought from local suppliers, these are hides that were part of large orders for other businesses that didn’t end up getting used, and would otherwise get sent to landfill. No new orders are made to suppliers for chrome tanned bovine leather.

Vegan leather would be a great alternative in many applications, however high quality vegan leathers are not readily available to small makers/manufacturers. When Done by Matea is operating at a larger scale, vegan leather will definitely be explored!

PLASTICS
There are some things that can only be aesthetically achieved with the use of plastics. In these cases, they are used in small quantities and items only made based on demand, so nothing gets made and then thrown away. All possible scraps are utilised in some way or another - nothing contributes to unnecessary landfill. As with vegan leathers, recycled acrylics do exist but are only available to larger manufacturers making larger orders, and will be explored when manufacturing volumes are adequate or when smaller orders are possible. Vegan options also often use plastic based fabrics instead of leather.

RESIN
Where resin is used, it is a minimum 20% bio content resin, and whenever supplies are available, a 77% bio content resin is used. Bio content refers to renewable biological resources such as organic vegetable waste.

OTHER
Cork and EVA foams are used in place of leather in some soling applications, to try and minimise the use of bovine leather. Where possible, recycled rubber is used if local suppliers are available at the time. Where wood is used, it is usually a sustainable native hoop pine or hoop pine plywood. Offcuts from other makers and studio scraps are reused as much as possible.

 

 

 

 

CONSTRUCTION METHODS

All footwear is made by hand and all materials are raw and cut by hand with scissors or shears. No pre-made components are used in the construction of Done by Matea footwear - everything is made from scratch.

Matea designs on the last (the foot form), creates and cuts patterns by hand, skives uppers with a knife, sews them on a leather sewing machine, and lasts shoes by hand with lasting pincers. Soling is attached using a cemented construction method and sometimes Blake stitched, depending on the style. Footwear is finished manually on a sander and polished by hand.

Most accessories are completely made by hand, and all have at least one hand made component. All painted, dyed and sculptured details are done by hand. Depending on the item, there may be laser cutting involved, however this is usually just one part of the making process.

Traditional construction methods create character and will result in slight variations between end products.

  

PACKAGING

All Done by Matea packaging is recyclable or compostable.

- all boxes are recyclable
- tissue paper is biodegradable and compostable
- mailer bags are biodegradable and compostable
- packaging tape is biodegradable and compostable
- stickers are paper and printed with soy based inks, making them biodegradable and recyclable