All shoes are made by hand by me, Matea over the course of a few weeks. The materials I use are chosen based on their aesthetic, sustainable as well as hardwearing properties. This slower pace also ensures that all social and environmental impacts of their creation can be addressed.
Nearly all the materials used in Done by Matea shoes fall into one of these categories. They are either recycled, recyclable, salvaged, natural fibre or a mix. I recycle studio waste where I can. Sustainable shoes and sustainable fashion is possible!
I make all the shoes myself, completely by hand. I do this from my studio in Melbourne, Australia. There are no sweatshops or factories involved in the construction of any shoes. I also source most of my materials from Australian businesses. This ensures Done by Matea has a transparent supply chain.
Done by made strives to use as many eco-friendly materials as possible.
read more about each material below
UPPER + LINING LEATHER
All Done by Matea leather is sourced from suppliers who are members of the Leather Working Group . The Leather Working Group is responsible for the world's leading environmental certification for the leather manufacturing industry.
• Vegetable Tanned Kangaroo Leather is light and strong. It is used frequently for Done by Mauppers 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. It also produces biodegradable leather which is eco-friendly.
• High Quality Salvaged Surplus Leather is often used for uppers and linings. This is a recycled material. It is salvaged from larger businesses waste. It is either vegetable tanned or chrome tanned. Recyled materials are eco-friendly materials!
• Vegan Leather is used occasionally. It is available on request for custom orders. All vegan leather currently available (with the exception of Reishi which is pure mycellium) is some kind of natural fibre, mixed with a plastic binder.
FABRICS + FILLINGS
Some styles require the use of fabrics and stuffings. All of these are either natural fibre or recycled.
• 100% Pure Mulberry Silk
• Organic Cotton
• Eco Recycled Plastic Bottle Fabric
• Eucalyptus Fibre Filling
• Cotton Wadding
Depending on the type of shoe, I may use just one or a combination of the following.
• Vegetable Tanned Leather. Vegetable tanning is better for the environment. It uses less harsh chemicals and produces biodegradable leather. It is also very hard wearing.
• FSC Certified Native Australian Timbers or New Zealand grown pine. I often use these for heels.
• Natural cork which is biodegradable, recyclable and sustainably grown.
• Rubber is used in small amounts for soling. When available, I use a 20% recycled content Australian made rubber.
• EVA foam soles are sometimes used in place of leather to reduce the use of bovine leather and to offer a more comfortable fit. EVA is easy to replace, so your shoes can be resoled as much as needed.
• Some features are ocassionally made from bio-resin. Bio-resin contains 20-50% bio content. Bio content is sourced from organic vegetable waste.
• Some features may be made from acrylic. When acrylic is used it is only used in small amounts and only on demand.
• Many vegan options often use plastic based fabrics instead of leather.
• Some insoles are made from cellulose board. This is a breathable and durable paper-like product, and can be recycled.
All Done by Matea packaging is eco-friendly!
• boxes are recyclable
• cloth bags are 100% Organic Cotton
• tissue paper and mailer bags are both biodegradable and compostable
Each Done by Matea shoe is lasted by hand. This 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. The entire shoemaking process is very time consuming, usually taking anywhere from 3-12 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. 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 cellulose board. Both of these are breathable and mold to your feet over time.
• Soles are often sewn or clinched with handmade brass nails. Soles are made from 3-5mm vegetable tanned soling leather.
• Flat shoes are shank free! This allows for natural foot flexibility. High heels do have shanks so they can 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.