From flower to fabric

Witness the artisanal splendour of lotus silk making

Update: We WON GOLD For Sustainability and Environmental Impact

16TH MAR 2023

We're thrilled to announce we won 3 awards in the global Women Changing the World Awards held this year in London on 18th April. 

We won 2 GOLD for Women in Sustainability and Environmental Impact and SILVER for Humanitarian Impact.

 In the last 3 years, the support of our amazing customers has lead to a significant impact towards our humanitarian and environmental goals. 

Below is a quick summary...

Our Humanitarian impact

  • 85% of garment workers overseas earn less than $3 a day. This is modern slavery.
  • 80% of children living in orphanages are not orphans, due to the spike of “voluntourism”*.
  • 10 million+ children are living in slavery conditions worldwide.

These numbers are too high to ignore.

Creating opportunities for vulnerable women

Acala Stem is a powerful brand with a very strong purpose. We are long term partners with a social enterprise to manage the division of sewing labour across the rural provinces of Cambodia. This creates opportunities for vulnerable women to work at home with their children, with a good wage and flexible working conditions. This can lower the risk of children entering orphanages, slavery and trafficking, and instead creates opportunities that every woman on the planet deserves. 

How does it work?

The seamstresses can travel with their children to the textile mill and collect the work, every one or two weeks as required, then return the work once it’s finished in their own time. No mother on earth should have to choose between working and keeping their children. The statistics of Cambodian children in orphanages, slavery and trafficking is staggering, and rising every day.

Creating opportunities for artisans

Acala Stem’s supply chain has already helped train more than 150 spinners who can earn up to $USD14 a day or between $USD200-$400 per month (considering the average income in rural provinces is $USD70 a month).

Creating opportunities for farmers

The production of our lotus silk has also increased the opportunities of lotus farmers who once could only sell the flowers and seeds. The sale of the stems can now exceed $USD30,000 per year for farmers. Previously the stems were discarded as waste.

An advocating voice

Acala Stem is an advocating voice for overseas workers. Many are under coercive control and fear losing their jobs if they speak up or take a stand against poor conditions. This is why we have to be their voice – as brands, and as consumers. The responsibility is in our hands to make these changes happen.


Our environmental impact

Lotus silk is the most sustainable textile in the world, produced with no water, gas, oil or electricity. Even the stems are collected with a raft and oar. This also helps reduce the purchase of cotton or bamboo which are heavy in water and chemical consumption. Lotus is grown from SE Asia’s rainy season so it doesn’t require watering. Most of the lotus stem grows underwater therefore harvesting is less disruptive to our planet.

We are a 100% plant-based brand, so we don't use any animal-derived fibres. Our lotus silk is made with zero chemicals, bleaches or harmful dyes.

With 85% of mass-produced textiles going straight to landfill each year, it’s now critical to create products designed to keep for life. High quality accessories that last and can be handed down to future generations. Acala Stem is disrupting the current luxury goods market and re-framing the meaning of luxury for the future.

Our lotus silk Benefits:
• 100% plant-derived, cruelty-free vegan silk.
• Ultra-breathable and antibacterial.
• Always ethically-made by skilled artisans.
• Award-winning for social responsibility.
• Factory-free and ethically-made.
• Every scarf is uniquely handwoven and hand-dyed.
• We only use DyeStar, certified OEKO-TEX®.
• Contains no heavy metals.

Green-washing and Ethics-washing is as bigger risk to humanity and the planet as is fast fashion. Educating consumers to clearly identifying authentic brands can help consumers decipher the difference.  


Our vision is to prove to consumers and other companies that we can still be successful and profitable without exploitation. We can be successful when we lead with empathy, kindness, and community first. We are already proving this in our 3rd year of business.

Once this model is realized, we will see it implemented on a larger scale by other future ethical brands.

For more information on the awards visit: