Done by Matea is a slow, sustainable and ethical footwear and accessories 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
Footwear is made by hand on a Made to 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.
Nearly all the materials used in Done by Matea items are either recycled, recyclable, natural fibre or a combination. Acrylic was used in some earlier items due to its unique aesthetic and machining properties, however no new acrylic is being used any longer. Studio waste is recycled where possible.
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.
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.
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 kangaroo leather 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 deadstock is used. Vegetable tanning has less impact on the environment as it uses less harsh chemicals, and produces biodegradable leather (more information on leather biodegradability here).
When chrome tanned leather is used, deadstock is 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!
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. Vegan options also often use plastic based fabrics instead of leather.
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.
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 FSC certified sustainable native hoop pine or hoop pine plywood. Offcuts from other makers and studio scraps are reused as much as possible. Some styles may use scrap acrylic from the studio. Acrylic can be recycled at specialist recycling services such as KF Plastics.
All Done by Matea packaging is recyclable, biodegradable or natural fibre.
• all boxes are recyclable
• cloth bags are 100% cotton
• 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