How this all began is quite a story…

How this all began is quite a story…

It was in yoga class that I realised our yoga clothing and accessories are made from a lot of plastic. I had a cheap eye pillow on my face and had to remove it mid savasana. It just felt so wrong.

This sent me down a path to discover sustainable, plant-based fabrics that were soft and comfortable. I soon discovered the tradition of weaving from the stem of a lotus flower.

This fabric had only ever been worn by Buddhist monks and the highest of royalty across Indochina.

The rest is quite a story…

I soon found myself surrounded by lotus while meeting a friend in Melbourne’s Botanical Gardens.

I (accidentally) cracked a stem open, and there it was. This delicate microfibre from inside the lotus stem, just like I'd read about.

I instantly rolled it with my fingers and there was the delicate yarn in my hands.

Less than 3 weeks later I travelled to Cambodia, where I could see first-hand how this exquisite fabric is made.

It exceeding my expectations and I couldn’t keep my hands off it. I knew I’d discovered something special that I needed to share with the world.

When I arrived at the textile mill, they told me all their seamstresses were home with their children and couldn’t make my samples, and I had to wait another few days.

It was then that I knew I’d found my supplier. They’d proven to me their values as they were played out right before my eyes.



This was February 2020, and COVID-19 had just hit South East Asia.
I was stranded at a crowded Bangkok airport coming home and didn’t have a face mask.

All I had was one of my sample lotus scarves to wrap around my face.

After falling asleep on the plane with 3 layers of this lotus fabric wrapped around my entire face, I quickly realised I’d also found a supremely breathable fabric.

2020 was just beginning and we didn’t know what was ahead of us. It didn’t occur to me at the time that our lotus fabric would make amazing face masks.

But we soon pivoted and made face masks also, which have sold out 4 times around the world, and are still selling with repeat purchases due to their comfort and breathability.

Acala Stem face masks here

They’ve since been clinically tested at Nelson Laboratories for their effectiveness, and results can be found on our website.

It’s hard to believe how much has happened in just over 1 year. Our brand is still young and still emerging, but I’m so thrilled you’ll come with us on this journey and witness our new ethical brand grow as the news spreads.


Lots of love,

Leanne Savage x
Founder, Acala Stem 

Acala Stem face masks here