New life to unusual materials
At Smateria, any material has potential. Materials are core to Smateria's concept, as they guide the creation of new, innovative designs, while lowering our impact on the planet. Each season Smateria sources, tests and designs new styles using unusual materials and upcycled products.
Giving scraps a second lifeThat’s what we like most at Smateria, turning waste into something unconventional and of high quality. The leather we use comes from sofa factories in Cambodia which inspired the name of the Diva line. We collect the leftovers from local factories and give them a new life. Each piece has to go through several manual operations before being placed on the surface with a pattern, like a puzzle. Working closely with the pattern makers, we design unique shapes to make the most of these wastes.
REPURPOSED NYLON NET
Giving a soul and light to an industrial material
Nylon net is a multipurpose material mainly used for fishing or in the construction field. In Phnom Penh we are surrounded by this material. It was such an inspiration that we decided to repurpose it and make it our signature material. We love to play with the different colours and layer them to obtain endless combinations of colours and textures.
Reviving handicraft while upcycling plastic waste
Plastic bags pollution is a big issue globally and particularly in Asia. At Smateria, we have found a way to upcycle them and they are a part of our raw materials. We wash them, cut them and transform them into a thread which we use to crochet, to knit and to weave.
By mixing these new fabrics with our net we give life to our re-mix collection. For this project, Smateria employs a small group of women located in the outskirts of Phnom Penh who otherwise have difficulties finding fixed jobs.
Our production process
Our bags and accessories are not only ‘cut and sew’ products but are a result of multiple operations to create “the main fabric”. All the pre-assembling is a manual process entirely managed by hands and not by machines. The three main materials used (Net, Leather and Plastic) at Smateria go through a complicated process.
The cutting of the net, the pinning together of the different layers, the handling of the pieces of leather, the plastic, etc: we don’t just assemble the materials, we create our own fabric.