Honestly, it’s likely you’ve already heard of MACHETE.
It’s possible you’ve seen them mentioned in Vogue, or InStyle, or Bazaar or any number of publications you like to peruse in your morning elevator scroll. Maybe you (politely) accosted a nice lady you saw in the coffee shop because you really needed to know where she got her tortoise shell jumbo clip and matching earrings. Or maybe you’ve seen that literally perfect feature Soho House did with Zazie Beets. Like I said, it’s likely you’ve already heard of MACHETE.
In which case, you’re probably just as excited as we are to have them in the shop! We love MACHETE here, and when it came to picking some accessories for Green & Bean we wanted to start off with a cult classic.
Back in 2017, Jennifer Matchett launched her eco-conscious line of accessories for everyday wear, and are very notable for their aforementioned earrings, and also tortoise shell pattern… everything. It’s really easy to pair their earrings to their hair accessories to the compact you’re checking yourself out in since they’ll replicate each of their simple, elegant patterns in various forms. My personal favorite styles are the checkered tortoise (obviously) and the blonde tortoise. They’re timeless. They’re chic, effortlessly. They’re simple, staple pieces that are nevertheless unique and garner a bottomless pit of compliments.
Now that we’ve sung their aesthetic praises, we can talk about what these beauties are made from: cellulose acetate.
(I just wanted to interrupt this program in case you, like me, don’t naturally know what things like “cellulose acetate” mean, but also don’t have the inclination to do a deep dive about every odd material you come across. There’s a lot of odd terms out there, many of them jargon but as a general rule, phrases that include ‘poly’ are going to be one of plastics’ infinite life forms, ‘cellulose’ will typically come from plants. Always better to actually do research, but it’s a good starting point. Anyway.)
The cellulose acetate MACHETE uses in their products is sourced from Italy, and is made by extracting cellulose fibers from wood pulp and cotton that become large blocks of this acetate material that then becomes earrings, hair claws, keychains, sunglasses. This cellulose acetate is a natural, renewable material unlike other petroleum-based hard plastics commonly used in the accessory industry.
In her interview with Vogue, Matchett shared a little about the process that goes into creating the tortoise shell pattern:
“Every color [in the tortoiseshell] is created separately, so you develop each block, then mix different shades together and press out the sheets. It takes a very long time, and then the blocks need to dry out. We have access to better tools now, so we can make thicker, larger pieces, but it’s not like working with metals that you can just melt down and start again. It takes a lot of time to work with these materials and get them to a specific color and thickness.”
In a nutshell (I suppose in this case it would more likely be a tortoise shell), MACHETE epitomizes everything we look for in a brand. When we talk about “slow luxury”, or even use the word “luxury” we consider the whole package, not just the price tag or flashiness. Machett’s quote said it perfectly: it takes a lot of time to work with their materials, to create these signature patterns organically where each block lends to pieces woven together like a fingerprint– unique unto itself.