Our Story

Leanne Savage was volunteering as an English teacher in Cambodia where she made two life-changing discoveries. 

The first life-changing discovery: there’s a very big problem with the way women (especially mothers) are expected to work in developing countries.

It’s not uncommon to leave children in unregulated orphanages just to keep a job that has long hours of inhumane proportions. And paid so little, it wouldn’t cover 3 meals a day. Right now, this is how 80% of the world’s female garment workers are living. And those who suffer in the most horrific ways are their children.

Leanne heard the stories first-hand from her students and friends in Cambodia. They grew up in orphanages, and were even sold to slavery and the sex industry at a young age. The stories are so bad, they’re too difficult to re-tell. Censorship protects the western world from the true realities of poverty, and is also a perpetrator in why this can hide below the radar of our hearts and minds.

The second life-changing discovery: lotus silk.

Lotus silk is a rare and exclusive hand-made fabric once only worn by royalty and offered to the highest ranking monks across Indochina. The fibres to make the yarn are extracted completely by hand from inside a lotus flower stem, and woven into a soft luxurious fabric. This ancient art requires no water, gas, oil or electricity, making it the most sustainable textile on the planet. It’s 99% antibacterial and ultra-breathable, making it perfect for humid conditions.

For centuries, eastern philosophers and alchemists have documented the lotus for its high vibration and remedial abilities, which is known to aid the treatment of anxiety, fertility, headaches, heart ailments, asthma and lung issues.

Watch how the lotus fabric is made in our 3 minute video below:

Leanne’s life-long appreciation of fine textiles and 20 years experience as a designer, along with her humanitarian values, has now manifested into a powerful brand that is challenging the meaning of luxury.

Acala Stem have a strong partnership with a textile social enterprise in Cambodia, empowering women with working from home with their children, avoiding long travel times, with a good wage, flexible working conditions, and a path to financial independence. The same we expect for our own daughters, sisters and mothers. Because every woman on earth deserves this.

We’ve been taught all our lives that luxury and empathy are worlds apart. But Acala Stem challenges this. Acala Stem closes that gap, bringing opulence and purpose together, to create a new luxury fit for modern times.

Since Acala Stem’s launch in 2020, they have won 9 industry awards, including Social Responsibility and the coveted 2023 ‘Women Changing the World Awards’ for Sustainability and Environmental Impact.

Acala Stem’s cult following of devoted customers are its army, who have discovered the immense satisfaction of shopping with purpose, knowing the most beautiful products are delivered, while making measurable impact to our world.

Acala Stem is ahead of its time and in a league of its own. Please join us in becoming a force to change the world.