Acala Stem was founded after I couldn’t find a meditation eye pillow that was ethically-made, and all-natural fibres. An eye pillow needs a pure fabric that feels amazing, is incredible for the skin and with minimal impact on our earth.
I soon discovered the ancient traditions of weaving the microfibres from a lotus stem. For centuries, this magnificent fabric has only been worn by Buddhist monks and the highest royalty throughout Indochina.
One Sunday afternoon, I found myself surrounded by lotus 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 rolled it with my fingers and there was the yarn in my hands.
Less than 3 weeks later I travelled to Cambodia so I could discover first-hand, how this exquisite fabric is made.
This fabric on my skin gave an instant calm, with its softness and cooling fibres. I knew I'd found something special.
For centuries eastern philosophers have sworn by the lotus’s remedial healing abilities, which they believe can aid the treatment of anxiety, fertility, headaches, heart ailments, asthma and lung issues. And I could see why.
My company was launching this new brand in March, then the world changed and we put the launch on hold. We quickly realised the microfibre in the lotus stem was able to filter out airborne particles. It's 4 times more effective than ordinary cloth and 20 times thinner than a human hair. We did a quick pivot and also launched our unique, organic face coverings, which are ultra-breathable, washable and biodegradable. We persevered with the launch, releasing our face coverings, scarves and signature eye pillows. Fast forward to October and we're about to release our eye masks, scrunchies, ties for men, and a range of teas. All our packaging is sustainable made form organic cotton or handmade paper made from the lotus stem.
DISCOVER OUR FACE COVERINGS HERE
Since our launch this year, we've already been able to help re-employ 60 women with the growing worldwide demand for our organic face coverings. We've also donated back just over 250 to The Salvation Army Australia. Our goal is to employ 500 women in Cambodia to be able to keep their children at home and work from home.
Developing countries and their people have been hit hard recently. Our supplier is a textile social enterprise which empowers women to work from home with their children in their own provinces, with flexible hours in order to become financially independent.
Many of these women are single mothers, just like me.
I have a deep connection with Cambodia and its people, having lived there previously as a volunteer English teacher in Phnom Penh and in a rural Community. This changed me at the core forever.
After my experiences living in the villages of Cambodia, I saw first hand the real cost of fast fashion on the people making it. I now want to see the developing world thrive. It was there that I learnt our fellow humans and our planet are the priority for everything we do.
This is the foundation for our business.
Founder, Acala Stem
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Watch how the lotus fabric is made in our 3 minute video below: