Our approach, thinking and purpose
Échapper was conceived as a response to growing worldwide interest in and movement towards useful, healthy, and responsibly made products. In a post-pandemic world, as we spend ever-greater amounts of time in our own spaces, we believe that small gestures of comfort and protection can assist in fortifying our spirits and attitude. Our intention is to design and produce humble, resilient, and beautiful products to use and wear. We aspire to ‘do more good and create less harm’ in the way we work and think about design and commerce.
Échapper was conceived during a three-year period of meticulous trials, research, and development between Paris, Tokyo, and Melbourne. Our objective is to work with raw, tactile natural fibres—such as soft wool, flax-linen, and responsibly grown brown cotton—all of which are carefully sourced and sensitively processed. The materials are finished and manufactured in specialist factories across Japan. Finished products are either raw (uncoloured) or uniquely botanically dyed with non-toxic pigments, which are safely colour-fixed for a long-lasting finish.
This distinctive production approach complements an increasing awareness and expectation of respect and responsibility that is applied throughout the entire cycle of our products’ development. A transparent and collaborative ethos is extended to and expected of our growers, partners, and manufacturers. We work with a view to encouraging sustainable, innovative and responsible production practices.
Form & function
Échapper is designed for utility and purpose; understated in tone, voice, and intention. We aspire towards doing less and better, with clean design thinking implemented as discreetly as possible.
How we produce
Échapper is always respectful of people, processes and materials. We strive to make the most from the least and are mindful of doing so with a light footprint.
Échapper works closely and respectfully with all of our suppliers—from the fields where our materials are sourced to the factories where our products are woven and the laboratories where the botanical dyes are tested, produced and applied.
As responsible as possible
Échapper strives to use the least material for the greatest effect; to reduce all waste, excess detail, and distraction; to minimise non-essential manufacturing processes; and to design with longevity in mind.
Our approach to colouring
Using the latest research and technology, we have explored and developed a rich selection of botanical colour dyes. When these dyes are combined with minimal quantities of stabilised mordants (colour-binding agents)—and, where required, small quantities of man-made pigments—the results are superb. For our first collection, we have drawn on three distinct plant sources to create a palette of refined yet vivid tones to appeal to any preference or mood.
Kuma bamboo grass
Kuma bamboo grass is sourced from Tateshina in Japan’s Nagano prefecture. Often used as a natural, anti-bacterial food preservative, it has been selected for the emerald-green hue imparted by its colour pigments.
An evergreen coniferous tree of the genus Pinus—sourced from surplus wood material salvaged from forests in Japan’s Chiba prefecture—provides a source of earthy ochre-brown pigment, making this tone one of our most desirable.
Cleyera Japonica (Sakaki) is an evergreen tree, native to warm parts of Japan and the surrounding region. Upon extraction, the naturally occurring Anthocyanin compounds in the berries of this tree yield deep, rich blue colour pigments of a similar hue to traditional indigo.
In an effort to operate as responsibly as possible, we have tried to minimise all superfluous packaging and eliminate the gratuitous use of plastics wherever possible. Our products are wrapped in simple cord and linen bundles in the spirit of furoshiki—also known as hirazutsumi (a traditional and environmentally sound style of wrapping with cloth, which dates back to the Nara period). This wrapping enables us to transport products to you safely and with negligible additional weight.