Welcome to The Green Scene. Every week, we're highlighting the designers and brands working to make the world of fashion and beauty a greener, more sustainable place. The brands to support are the ones making a difference; check back every Tuesday to meet your new favorites.
Converting to a sustainable wardrobe can be a tough process to navigate, especially when some of the current major trends are some of the most harmful to the planet. As the fight against plastic rages on worldwide (and well beyond the fashion industry, for that matter), trends such as PVC, lucite, and resin jewelry remain as popular as ever, with most consumers not considering the environmental implications that come along with them.
Thankfully, brands are beginning to seek out more eco-friendly options for these particular trends. Enter, Machete, an accessories brand that's taking the resin jewelry and hair accessory trend to sustainable new heights.
Machete was born back in 2015 when founder Jennifer Matchett created a couple pairs of earrings with a glossy deadstock acetate she'd picked up at an auction. After selling them online and immediately realizing the popularity and demand for acetate jewelry, she went on to create her full label, with eco-consciousness at its core. Fast-forward to 2019, and the brand is most known for its creative takes on candy-colored hoops, artful cuffs, and hair accessories such as barrettes, clips, and claws—all handmade in the brand's U.S.-, France-, and Italy-based studios.
Machete is all about sourcing sustainable materials, beginning with the plant-based acetate it uses for some of its most popular pieces. "The acetate we source is high-quality and non-petroleum based, imported from Italy," says Matchett. "Cellulose acetate is a natural and renewable material, providing an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum-based materials. We're also no-waste, and use 100 percent of our materials." In addition to sustainable plastic alternatives, the brand uses 100 percent recycled brass for its full metal pieces.
Machete goes beyond just its products in terms of being as sustainable as possible. In terms of mailers and shipping boxes, Matchett opts for options that are compostable, biodegradable, or produced from recycled materials. She's also begun phasing out plastics altogether (which had been used to protect jewelry during the shipping process), with plans to be entirely plastic-free as soon as this August.
The best part of all? Machete's prices won't break the bank, either. Oftentimes when we hear the words "sustainable" and "jewelry" in the same sentence, we automatically assume that prices are going to be astronomically high. Machete debunks that myth by offering sculptural earrings, cuffs, and more under $80, and colorful hair clips under $25. (Um, and with rings on sale for as low as $5—how can we not?!) Affordable sustainability? That's something we can all get behind.
While sustainability in fashion is gaining overall traction, Matchett believes that in terms of jewelry and accessories, it's still on the rise, but sees it becoming the norm in the near future. While it's not the easiest process for existing brands to become sustainable when it's not already built into their ethos, Matchett mentions that the best place to start is with sustainable shipping and packaging options. "It would make an incredible difference!" she says.
You can shop Machete's latest offerings at ShopMachete.com.