Classic timeless footwear that is comfortable and conscious is what creative director and founder Marre Mujis built her brand around. Essen launched in response to the fast-fashion industry, “I’ve always loved the fashion industry, but I grew increasingly frustrated and creatively exhausted by the relentless cycles and seasons and endless pursuit of newness. I craved a slower pace and more conscious process.” Despite Marre working in the footwear industry at the time, she could not find good quality, timeless shoes that were comfortable, ethically made, and without the designer price tag. The industry was oversaturated with disposable and poorly constructed products. This led to the creation of ESSĒN.
“So, in 2016 I launched ESSĒN as a response to a fashion cycle that overproduces more than it carefully crafts, chases trends more than it determines classics, and wastes more than it sustains. It has enabled me to carve out my own path and not just follow old-fashioned processes dictated by a traditional industry.”
Guided by sustainability the brand is built on a foundation of considered consumption, ethical production, and transparency. ESSĒN has a permanent collection of no-compromise pieces- timeless classics that are reimagined in new ways and made to last. Marre opted to move away from traditional season and not focus on the fashion calendar, “I can take all the time I need and there’s no limit to the resources I can invest in my designs. So I take it slow, developing, testing, and then releasing one key piece at a time.”
The shoes are all handmade in small production lines using neutral colours and the best quality leather for wearable every day. They offer styles and colours that are exclusively made-to-order, minimising waste and overproduction. “By purchasing products that are made to order, you’re likely to feel more attached to it after having to wait for a while. It teaches us to think about each purchase before you buy. To choose the long-term.”