The name Esse, is derived from medieval Latin, which means 'existence' or 'to be'. It is a word that invites us to look inwards, to be aware and discerning.
How It Started
Tired of having a wardrobe brimming with clothes, but having a sense of nothing to wear and throwing out clothes that fall apart after a few washes, designer and founder, Alicia Tsi quit her job and set out to pursue her love in fashion and create quality classics that make women feel beautiful in them. After delving deeper into the fashion supply chain, she uncovered a system that trains us to adopt a ‘disposable’ mindset and an industry that turns a blind eye to the high environmental and social cost of its production. Uncovering these truths propelled Alicia to embark on a journey to create a fashion label that’s better for the planet.
Growing up in Singapore, Alicia learnt dress-making for a number of years and is passionate about working with makers in Asia to keep the tradition of garment-making alive. She now calls New Zealand home, and combines her passion with an appreciation of Aotearoa’s great outdoors; inspiring the brand’s design sensibility.
Proving there’s a better way.
Esse has been paving the way for the slow and sustainable fashion movement since 2017 and was born out of a desire to redefine the way we approach fashion, inspiring us to consider our garment’s purpose and lifecycle.
A conscious fashion brand that is constantly moving the needle forward, Esse merges timeless designs with a traceable supply chain that champions environmental and social responsibility, striving to create positive change in the fashion industry.
Through creating a transparent supply chain and two-way dialogue, we want to create a community of people who care about every step of the process as much as we do.
The change the fashion industry needs.
Creating the Best Product
We are incessant about improving processes in each stage of our supply chain because we want to make the best product possible. From putting each of our garments through wash tests to understand how it will stand up against wear and tear to rigorous sample fittings, we’re continuously tweaking designs and fit based on customer feedback to ensure that we limit our ecological impact with garments that last for a long time.
Beauty without compromise
We believe that creating beautiful garments doesn’t have to come at a compromise to the environment or our humanity. By drawing on the belief that beauty stems from within, we focus on creating garments that are made with integrity and that do less harm, and more good.
Progress over perfection
From working steadily to make all areas of our business more sustainable to developing new ways to do things, we always do our best to move the needle forward.