Aesthete Label - Fluted Bowl
In Conversation with

Courtney
Of
Aesthete
Label

A kinder way of living: The label on a mission to change
how we style our homes.

Design blends into life for Aesthete Founder Courtney Wemyss, who never switches off from ‘work mode’. Inspired by her environment, she’ll often find something that sparks a creative idea, no matter where she is. This endless curiosity and ability to find inspiration everywhere explains the name of her brand: Aesthete (noun), a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauty of art or nature. For Wemyss, however, this beauty must be cruelty-free, and it must be sustainable. Fortunately for the many fans of her designs, she is incredibly skilled at this, and her harm-free, stunning and timeless creations are as beautiful as they are environmentally friendly.

Lucy Siddall, in conversation with Courtney Wemyss, about sustainable styling and the importance of creating thoughtful home interiors.

Lucy Siddall: Tell me about Aesthete Label. What inspired the name?

Courtney Wemyss: The brand was born from my desire to live according to my vegan principles, and the word ‘aesthete’ encapsulates how I see a home. Somewhere visually pleasing that feels good to be in, where kindness and aesthetics co-exist. In my collections, you’ll never find products made from leather, wool, down, bone chine, etc. I also ensure the vintage pieces I source are entirely cruelty-free, and anything showcased on the site also fits that criteria.

LS: What is the ethos behind the brand’s ‘kinder way of living’ statement?

CW: I’m vegan and have been for many years, but when I looked for an interior brand with a cruelty-free ethos, I found hardly anything. Yet, many luxury fashion brands are moving away from animal-derived materials and towards more innovative and sustainable options, and I believe interiors should be doing the same. I want Aesthete Label to be an antidote to the throwaway culture deeply embedded in how many people shop today and for our customers to buy items they love and keep for a long time. I want to create vegan designs, but my designs are not just for vegans. I want to produce interiors so stunning people don’t notice they’re vegan, but I know that in making them, I’m benefiting the environment and not benefiting from animal cruelty. I’m not necessarily trying to change people’s minds, but I want to show an alternative route. I see it as a softer approach. Hopefully, after shopping at Aesthete Label, people will see, over time, how incredible non-leather pieces are. I want to become the Stella McCartney of interiors.

Aesthete Label - Vintage Candle Holder

LS: Can you tell me about the materials you use for your products?

CW: We try to work with the best materials possible. We work with local producers on small, limited-quantity orders for sustainability reasons and, so customers buy items that are almost a one-off. They won’t be in everyone’s homes because there were only 50 ever made. We worked with a blacksmith on the Smith Candle and produced something beautiful but also made from very high-quality materials, and in this instance, using traditional techniques. I specifically select durable materials that will last to avoid customers subscribing to a “fast” shopping approach with our products.

LS: Why do you think premium materials like marble are better for the home than their cheaper alternatives?

CW: More craftsmanship is involved in traditional materials, making them feel more special. There is a different quality, and it doesn’t feel as flimsy. They feel durable, like something you’d keep for a long time. Especially with marble, the material is incredibly unique, so each piece is slightly different. The colour variations and patterns vary, and it feels much more beautiful.

Aesthete Label - Vintage Spanish Vase

LS: How do you ensure your products are cruelty-free?

CW: We work closely with our suppliers and commission artisans to create bespoke pieces that fit our criteria and philosophy. Working with them directly means vetting their processes and materials is more accessible. It took work to ensure everything was vegan, for example, packaging. Finding a cruelty-free adhesive was challenging, and I wanted to ensure everything was biodegradable. Still, it’s getting easier now as most suppliers are happy to support you. Even the stickers are vegan. It took longer to finalise, but now it’s done, and it was never any extra hassle for the customer. However, ensuring even the details are vegan was essential because I want customers to know that we built our entire brand philosophy around this ethos. We use Piñatex, a leather alternative made from the fibres extracted from pineapple leaves, to produce our designs. Instead of bone china, we use ceramics and a lot of marble and stone. Ultimately, I’d like for us to be PETA-approved. My goal is for us to be the number one destination for luxury, cruelty-free interiors.

To find out more about Aesthete Label and to shop the range, visit their website here.

A Kinder way of Living

An antidote to the throwaway culture deeply embedded in how many people shop today.

Aesthete Label - Vintage Books
Aesthete Label - Cloud Bowl
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