Esthétique is an ethical Italian brand. This label is created by Italian nonprofits operating in fair trade. This sustainable label offers a selection of ethical design products, made by artisans working together in Madagascar.
The label begins with a wonderful initiative from the Materia Critica project, a design and communications studio formed by three young people from Emilia-Romagna, Northeast Italy. They set up a cooperative that has been active for thirty years in a world that supports its work.
Esthétique’s products are accessories, there are also jewelry and high-quality household items. This product was created out of a relationship based on the principles of justice, respect, and self-growth. Here’s the story of this sustainable brand from the manager.
Esthétique in Madagascar
Maria Teresa Pecchini as Esthéthique’s brand manager is one who has been exploring Madagascar for more than 30 years and has lived there for two years in a row. She is well aware of the reality of the place and puts them within herself along with her people and her contradictions.
The first thing Mary tells us is about raffia craftsmen and especially women who make bags. They are the most historic group in this label: Rahasolofo is Raiamand’reny (literally means father and mother, but also means rich in wisdom), in their village people processing raffia, sisal, natural fibers, earth-smelling fibers, and nature.
She has been working with this label since 1990 so Maria is very familiar to her and her beautiful big family. Though old, she was still diligently weaving. Her daughter-in-law Hasina, a real woman with three children, also worked on raffia processing since she was very young. In addition to experts in that field, Hasina is also well known in her school.
It works weaving cotton with a traditional pattern on the canvas. The work is indeed a tradition in Madagascar, especially in the highlands. The craftsmen continue to weave with traditional looms, often working even using two looms at once because of the complexity of decorative patterns. This group of craftsmen is under the responsibility of a woman with four children named Gisele.
Gisele coordinates as many as a dozen small family groups who have worked with the brand managed, Maria since the late 80s. For Mary, they are all women who want to improve their work to develop ideas and paths that will build a different future for their children, as well as their village.
They are the staff of this sustainable label weaving expert. Their hands work fast, fingers are interwoven, the eyes are careful not to make mistakes and colors to arrange patterns are very interesting to see. Patterns and drawings are made showing a story about traditions and dreams, as well as ideas and beliefs.
From the story of Mary, she greatly admired the craftsmen who worked with Esthétique. Most of them are women who are fighting for the welfare of their families. Indirectly this brand also helps empower women to become more independent. That’s how Esthéthique processed in Madagascar.
What is Esthétique aiming for
Thanks to its principles of fairness, respect, and growth, it encourages the company to measure the social impacts of fair trade and to plan new interventions to support the growth of traditional workmanship.
They are not only working on the socio-economic impacts produced by the craftsmen and their communities but also want to establish relationships with the community to reflect the collective development and trade value.
In its web, the brand says that their main goal is to grow collective knowledge in the perspective of raising consumer awareness, as well as producers, about what is healthy and what makes a healthy life. Through their blog, ACTFROMTHESOFA, they provide content for visitors who want to analyze an in-depth subject in a variety of corporate actions, such as production engineering craft, design, social impact, cooperation and brand development.
The products produced by this company use materials that are environmentally friendly, natural, and recycled. This is intended so that consumers can be aroused to be more responsible in using their money while shopping and maintain critical thinking.
Shopping smartly is to consider and put into an account for what we bought, so as not to cause negative impacts for ourselves and the surrounding environment. Buying eco-friendly items can show a responsible attitude to the environment because the impact on the planet is very much taken into account. Nowadays many companies are producing environment-friendly goods, one of them is Esthétique.