Ecosophy produces textiles for the home that are thoughtfully designed and sustainably made. Our name combines eco (from the Greek oikos, meaning household) and sophy (from sophia, meaning wisdom). This dual meaning of 'ecological wisdom' and 'household wisdom' reflects our goal, which is to help our customers make ecologically wise choices when decorating their homes.
Ecological wisdom is, at its heart, about relationship. It is about recognising that we are part of a web of connections - to plants, animals and people - and that living in a way that is mindful of these connections is good for ourselves and our planet. At Ecosophy, we try to develop this wisdom through taking a mindful approach to production. Our designs are inspired by nature and are produced using methods that benefit the people involved and their local environment. We work with fair trade factories and artisanal groups and trace all stages of our supply chain, so we can tell each product’s story from seed to stitch.
Our product range focuses on textiles as they represent concrete and symbolic links between our homes and the wider world. Just as a piece of fabric is woven together, textiles reflect the inter-linked nature of our globalised world. The textile industry is one of the largest in the world and its potential to affect it in both a positive and a negative way is huge. We want to harness the positive potential and to show how mindfully produced textiles can create not only beautiful homes, but also a more beautiful world.
Ecosophy was founded by Kate Anderson, who has a background in anthropology and a life-long love of interior design. Inspired by her studies of artistic traditions around the world, which often use decoration as a tool for connecting different realms, she decided to explore how decor could be used to create positive connections between our homes and the wider world. To do so, she set off on a journey that took her through India, Bangladesh and South-East Asia, meeting with farmers and artisanal groups who were pioneering sustainable forms of production. Partnerships with these groups soon followed, and Ecosophy was officially born.
INSPIRED BY NATURE
We are inspired by natural colours and patterns, and believe beauty comes from designing with nature rather than against it. For this reason, we work with natural fibres only and most of our products are dyed with pigments from plants or other natural sources.
Natural materials bring a subtle beauty and elegance to the home. They also have a soothing effect on the mind and body, as their patterns and textures are ones that humans have evolved with. In our digital age, it is easy to feel disconnected from our environment, but by decorating our homes with natural materials, we can create a space that helps us reconnect with the world and brings us back to our senses.
When designing a collection, we consider all stages of the production process and try to make responsible choices for each.
We use natural and sustainably produced fibres, such as organic cotton, matka silk and wild silk. Where possible, we use natural dyes, as these have many social and environmental benefits, as well as therapeutic effects for the user. For our products that are washed on a regular basis, such as bed linen, we use low-impact GOTS-approved dyes.
With the exception of our bed linen fabric, which is too large for a hand loom, all of our fabrics are woven by hand. Hand weaving is a sustainable form of production as it requires no electricity or other carbon-intensive inputs. It also provides an important source of income to rural communities, particularly in Asia.
By taking a responsible approach to production and considering all stages of a product’s life cycle, we aim to redefine luxury as an approach to design that is rooted in care for the entire supply chain and its impact on people and the planet.
Textile production is a complicated process, with many actors playing different roles, from the farmers who grow the fibre to the weavers who create the fabric and, finally, to the people who stitch it into the final product. We visit as many of these actors as possible and spend time with them so that we understand how, where and by whom our collections are made. We then communicate this to our customers so that you gain some insight into the people and processes behind our products.
On our journey to create a sustainable supply chain, the biggest source of inspiration has been our producer partners. Many are pioneers in their field and are using textile production to drive sustainable and inclusive development in their local area. Their activities are still small, but their vision is large, and we are honoured to partner with them in building a textile industry that is good for people and the planet.
Photo: Mukesh at Magan Sangralaya explaining the baling stage of cotton production