DONE by Matea is an ethical, slow, and sustainable handmade footwear and accessories label based in Adelaide/Kaurna Land, Australia.
All items are designed and handmade by Matea Gluscevic, in her studio in the Adelaide CBD.
She is a qualified shoemaker, having completed a Cert IV in Custom Made Footwear, Cert IV Small Business Management and a Bachelor of Visual Art Specialising in Sculpture and Installation.
Matea has made work for exhibitions at The Mill, the 2019 SLOW Fashion Festival and in collaboration with other labels such as Sicknasty. She has been featured as a shoemaker in publications such as The Advertiser, Made It, The Adelaide Magazine and more.
Regardless of what she is creating, Matea is often inspired by natural forms, figures and patterns and by materials and processes from a range of different industries.
Her interests and motivations are centered around the exploration of materiality and connectedness to emotion and nature. Many things Matea makes tend to have a playful aspect to them, whilst still maintaining their practical qualities.
Matea is drawn to leather is for its natural tactile appeal; it is skin - and a subconscious signifier of touch and intimacy and connectedness to emotion.
She is also drawn to it for its materiality - it can be sewn like fabric and machined like wood, it can be soft yet strong. However Matea does have strong ethical views, and attempts to juggle these with her appeal for leather’s materiality. For this reason all materials used in Done by Matea are sourced in the manner described below.
Local, recycled, end of job and low impact materials are preferred.
All materials are used with consideration of their environmental impact. and are sourced locally/nationally to support local businesses.
Kangaroo leather is used as often as possible when leather is required as it is the most ethical and sustainable leather available. More information about this is available here.
In short, kangaroos are not farmed, they live free but they are culled at a set government percentage each year. This is due to the fact that since white settlement they have no predators, and their increased numbers actually cause ecological damage and impact other species negatively by reducing their available food source and habitat. Culling is strictly controlled and monitored by the Australian State Governments.
When bovine leather is used for Done by Matea items, quantities are kept to a minimum, and either veg tan bovine leather or end of job lots are used. Vegetable tanning has less impact on the environment as it uses less harsh chemicals, and produces biodegradable leather (more info here).
When chrome tanned leather is used, end-of-job lots are bought from local suppliers, these are hides that were part of large orders for other businesses that didn’t end up getting used, and would otherwise get sent to landfill. No new orders are made to suppliers for chrome tanned bovine leather.
Vegan leather would be a great alternative in many applications, however high quality vegan leathers are not readily available to small makers/manufacturers. When Done by Matea is operating at a larger scale, vegan leather will definitely be explored!
There are some things that can only be aesthetically achieved with the use of plastics. In these cases, they are used in small quantities and items only made based on demand, so nothing gets made and then thrown away. All possible scraps are utilised in some way or another - nothing contributes to unnecessary landfill. As with vegan leathers, recycled acrylics do exist but are only available for larger manufacturers making larger orders, and will be explored when manufacturing volumes are adequate. Vegan options also often use plastic based fabrics instead of leather.
Cork and EVA foams are used in place of leather in some soling applications, to try and minimise the use of bovine leather. Where possible, recycled rubber is used if local suppliers are available at the time. Where wood is used, it is usually a sustainable native hoop pine or hoop pine plywood. Offcuts from other makers and studio scraps are reused as much as possible, to reduce waste.
+ Past Work +
Formerly, Matea was the owner and curator of Phase Space; a retail art space in Adelaide that unified traditional and experimental aesthetics, a directing member of the Format Collective, and a partner in a Renew Adelaide retail space called Trans-Form. Matea has also worked as a stylist and art director for a number of editorials featured in publications such as i-D online, as well as music videos, short films, and Fringe shows. Occasionally she also works as an event curator and promoter of local club night; Wildstyle.
Additionally Matea has worked as an artist; with works featured in solo and group exhibitions in shows at Feltspace, Format, ACE Open, SALA Festival, Z Ward and Cloister Workrooms. Matea has also had work under a variety of prior brand names featured in publications such as, CityMag, The Advertiser, Spynews Magazine, The Adelaide Magazine, Behind the News on ABC, FAINT magazine.
examples of her other work can be seen here.