You wake up in the morning, all refreshed and prepared to start a brand new day. With a smile on your face, you thought to yourself, “This day is going to be perfect!” Then with one hand, you fling open your wardrobe and started browsing through the clothes you have once so happily bought. As you move towards the end of the closet, a frown starts to creep onto your face until one thought becomes imminent in your mind, “I have nothing to wear.”
Sounds familiar? Like many of us, Alicia Tsi, the designer and founder of Esse faces the same problem and on top of that, the issue of finding herself constantly throwing away clothing from fast fashion brands. Determined to make a change, she decided to take a leap of faith and launched Esse in 2017 to redefine how people consume fashion.
With environmental and social consciousness at heart, Esse prides itself in redefining fashion by looking at the entire supply chain – from using sustainable fabrics, reducing waste, working with ethical suppliers and creating thoughtful designs with a focus on quality. Some of the eco-friendly fabrics the brand uses are Tencel, Bamboo and Organic Cotton. In addition, Alicia sources leftover, excess fabrics from factories that were once doomed to the dismal fate of the landfill. Now, instead of contributing to textile wastage, Esse rescues and breathes a second life into these fabrics by creating key essentials that combine wardrobe classics and timeless designs. This not only allows Esse to stay true to the philosophy of sustainability but provide people styles that go beyond seasons and act as canvases for wearers to flaunt and paint their creativity on, producing pieces they can ultimately call their own.
Their latest collection hinges on the idea of nature. Through it, Esse wishes wearers to experience the feeling of relaxation, invoking the sense of serenity as though one is breathing in the mountain air or being embraced by the warm glow of the sunset. One of the notable pieces from their capsule collection is the two way spaghetti top which is reversible, making it easy to style with other separates. Talk about being #effortlesslychic. Another is the tie-waist blouse and drape gaucho tailored pants that to me are like peanut butter and jelly, being the best combination when worn together as a ‘jumpsuit’ but still ‘tasting’ as good when worn on their own.
To further the cause on sustainability, Esse also aims to work towards a zero-waste goal, with the plan of launching a recycling programme somewhere in the near future that allows customers to donate clothes they no longer desire to keep.
What differentiates Esse from other fashion labels is their fervent passion in advocating human rights. After witnessing the exploitation and violation of garment workers from the Rana Factory collapse in 2012, Alicia was deeply moved by the news and wanted to ensure that the factories she worked had in place labour and human rights practices. The Rana Factory incident also brought to light the lack of supply chain transparency in the fashion industry, and Alicia wanted to change that by showcasing the factories and makers behind these garments. The first step was to develop a constant conversation with her customers, sharing information about the design studio that she works with in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
Learn more about Esse’s collection and their inspirational back story at Esse The Label.