Believing in quality over quantity, Esse produces elevated basics at prices that are fair, not inflated. A responsible fashion house that values transparency, they’re dedicated to working directly with manufacturers in Vietnam and Thailand, where their collections are produced.
Esse is committed to making clothes with a smaller environmental impact in countries that support fair wages, gender equality and no child labour. They look at factors like quality, location and working conditions when choosing factories. Esse produces its garments ethically in Vietnam and Thailand by a team of small makers. They work in a safe environment, enjoy work benefits and get fair pay. Their factories follow a detailed guideline of acceptable practices. Their ‘Partners’ Guide’ also sets standards for choosing manufacturers and partners, to remain true to their values. Even if they don’t have the relevant accreditations certifying a safe workplace and fairtrade practices, the team visits often to ensure their compliance. All the workers at partner factories work in a safe environment and receive benefits like guaranteed minimum wage, paid holiday leave, sick pay and overtime pay.
Esse uses GOTS Certified Cotton, Certified Lenzing Tencel, Linen and Cupro and recycled fabrics in their collections. Using renewable fibres is a conscious decision to waste fewer resources and have a lower impact on the environment as compared to conventional cotton and oil-based fabrics (polyester). The brand also takes into consideration the water use, land use, eco-toxicity, human toxicity and greenhouse gas emissions. Esse designs products with longevity in mind. They also launch in small capsules with just two to three new timeless designs and in small quantities to prevent any wastage from excess inventory. They offer made-to-order designs to not overproduce. The brand recycles its textile scraps whenever possible to meet their zero-waste goal on the cutting room floor. Esse also launched an OFFCUTS capsule to find creative ways to reduce textile waste.
They go plastic-free, using compostable materials and recycled paper instead. To make their packaging more circular, Esse has embarked on a trial with Package Pals to combat single-use packaging waste. Their goal is to extend the lifespan of single-use packaging. Package Pals collects used packaging (such as poly mailers, paper envelopes) from the public and returns them back to Esse.
The brand chooses factories in the nearby region to reduce their carbon footprint. So, they can visit them regularly to check if all regulations are met. It is important they maintain a safe workplace and continue with fair trade practices. Esse also uses natural, certified and biodegradable textiles and even collects textile offcuts to manage their waste and reduce their environmental impact. In addition, they have embarked on a circular packaging initiative, Package Pals, to reduce single-use packaging waste.
Esse was born out of a desire to redefine the way we think about our clothing, by inspiring us to think more about a garment’s purpose and lifecycle. The label merges elevated classics and timeless designs with social responsibility and environmental awareness in their designs. Esse also gives back to the community, through working with a number of charities and environmental conservation initiatives.