What does Théla mean?
The word ‘Théla’ colloquially means ‘plastic bags’ in Hindi.
It is used casually and very often when we use the phrase “I don’t need the plastic bag.” while shopping for groceries, clothes or anything else!
Where are you based?
We are based in India and Greece. At the moment, our production happens in India and we are shipping locally and internationally from Mumbai and Athens.
What handcrafting techniques do you work with?
We use two craft techniques – crochet and weaving. The crocheted products are made by me, Diti in Greece and the woven products are made in collaboration with ethical craft and tailoring units in India.
What do you mean when you say ‘circular’ fabrics or ‘circular’ products or ‘circular’ practices?
Simply put, circularity or circular economy aims to eliminate waste and extend the life cycle of a material as much as possible. In an ideal scenario, the idea is to keep using and reusing (sharing, leasing, repairing, recycling) a material again and again and again without it ever going to a landfill.
For a company like Théla this means:
– Designing our products with as less waste as possible
– Donating any waste generated to organisations that will reuse or recycle it
– Not using any new plastic or harmful chemicals during the entire production and retail process
You can read more about our circular practises here.
What is the difference between vegan and plastic-free?
A vegan brand is cruelty-free and does not use any animal products or by-products like leather, wool, silk, fur or feathers. However, if they are truly sustainable or not depends on what materials they use instead. For example, a common leather substitute is fake or faux leather that is made from non-biodegradable, toxic and plastic-based materials like nylon, acrylic and polyester. These materials are not plastic-free and are not sustainable.
At Théla, all our products are vegan and our core material is discarded plastic. Hence, we cannot claim to be plastic-free, but no new plastic is used. And no toxic chemicals and dyes are used either. Our secondary material is 100% certified organic and fair trade cotton that is naturally or azo-free dyed.
What is the difference between upcycling and recycling?
Recycling is a complex, industrial and energy consuming process that involves the destruction of waste in order to create something new. When we put something in the recycling bin, it is not necessarily getting recycled. If we look at plastics alone, less than 10% of it is actually recycled. Current solutions are just not sufficient.
Recycling plastic drinking bottles into fibers to make clothes
Upcycling takes waste and creates something new and of higher value. It is a lot less intrusive and can be done at home by you and me. It is highly creative and encourages reuse and handcrafting. It is almost like giving the waste material a second chance – the original form is retained and is recognisable, which gives it a story – you can see what it has been and also what it has become.
In summary, upcycling reduces or delays the need for recycling and is therefore a great environmental solution.
Transforming an old ladder into a bookshelf
Converting a torn sock into a puppet or a toy
What is ‘fast fashion’ and ‘slow fashion'?
Inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends is ‘fast fashion’. The problem of fast fashion is threefold:
It encourages over consumerism and waste
From the consumer’s perspective, fast fashion is cheap, trendy and disposable. Shoppers are encouraged to update their wardrobes regularly to keep up with ever-changing trends. It makes purchasing clothes on impulse easy and affordable. And throwing them away as well.
It is unethical
90 percent of the world’s clothing is produced in low and middle income countries. Everyday the workers endure poor, dangerous working conditions and wages too low to afford basic needs.
It has an enormous environmental footprint
It requires a lot of energy and resources to manufacture. It relies on toxic fabric dyes and other harmful chemicals that contaminate the water. Its most common fabric is non-organic cotton which requires a lot of water and pesticides to grow.
‘Slow fashion’ arose as a movement to combat fast fashion. It considers the processes and resources required to make clothing and fashion accessories. It encourages buying better-quality garments that will last longer, and values fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet along the way.
How do you maintain transparency?
We maintain an open, honest relationship with our partners and our customers. All information about our community, partners, process, and sustainable practices is on our website.
One of the ways to radically improve Théla is to stay accessible and welcome conversation. Get in touch with us if you have suggestions or if you need help with any of our resources. We’d love to chat.
What is the best way to get in touch with you?
You can get in touch with us by:
1. Emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org,
2. Visiting our Contact page.
Do I need to have an account with you?
No, but it makes everything easier. Your account information, addresses and email preferences are in one place and for example, you could process a return much faster. We never pass on or sell any of your account details.
How can I update my account information?
You can log in to your account and update it. If you still need help, you can always send an email to email@example.com.
How do I unsubscribe from your mailing list?
At the bottom of our blog emails, there is always an “Unsubscribe” link. Please click on this to stop receiving our blog posts.
Can we feature your products in our store?
If you’re interested in bulk orders, featuring our products in your store or a commercial collaboration, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would appreciate as much information as possible about your business and ideas. Wholesale pricing and timelines can be made available upon request.
Can I make a custom order?
Yes you can! Do email us at email@example.com and we would be happy to discuss it. Please bear in mind that costs and timelines will depend on your order.
Do you offer gift cards?
Not at the moment, but we plan to in the future. Sorry!
How do I clean my product?
Depending on the type and thickness of the plastic bags used, there are differences in their behaviour and cleaning ease. All of them can be cleaned by hand with soapy water and wiped with a simple sponge or cloth. They can be laid flat or hanged to dry. Because they are made mostly of upcycled materials, we would not recommend you to put your products in the washing machine.
If your product has cotton fabric apart from the upcycled plastic, please keep in mind that it might fade with repeated washing as it is naturally dyed. Please use only natural or mild detergents.
If you’re in doubt or have any problems with one of our products, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll talk you through it.
How do I store my product?
We recommend that you store your product away from direct sunlight. This is because plastic disintegrates and natural dyes fade over time under the sun.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We use PayPal and Stripe for our payment gateway. They are as secure as they come and can process payments from most Debit & Credit Cards.
Can I pay with PayPal?
Yes you can! You can use your PayPal account and if you don’t have one, PayPal can process your card payment as well.
Do I need to have a PayPal or Stripe account to pay?
Not at all. We use PayPal and Stripe as our payment gateways and you can pay through them even if you don’t have a an account with them.
Do you accept international credit cards?
Yes, we accept all Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express cards.
Do you charge additional taxes on any product?
No. All taxes and VAT are included in the price you see.
Is it safe to use my debit or credit card on your site?
We use SSL in order to encrypt all data, like credit card numbers, and other sensitive information that passes through our website. SSL encryption ensures that all communication between you and the website is confidential.
Packaging & Shipping
What packaging do you use?
Our packaging is plastic-free. Our products are wrapped in paper, tied with a hemp cord and placed in a cardboard box or envelope. Everything is recyclable and can be composted at home.
Do you ship worldwide?
Yes we do! We ship locally in India and Greece and globally from our headquarters in Athens, Greece.
How long does it take to ship?
We will dispatch your order as soon as possible and always within 5 working days. It takes up to 7 – 10 days for deliveries to India and Europe and 2 – 3 weeks for deliveries to the rest of the world.
Please bear with us as our shipping services may not be the speediest.
What are the shipping costs?
Shipping is free for India and Greece.
For the rest of the world, the cost of shipping depends on the country and will be visible during checkout.
We try our best to reduce packaging and the total shipping cost for you.
Is there a custom or duty charge for international shipping?
There may be additional charges according to the standard rules of your country and can be paid directly to the courier or postal company.
Can I change my shipping address?
We can easily change your shipping address if the parcel has not been dispatched yet. Cross your fingers and email us as soon as possible at email@example.com and we’ll take it from there.
Where is my order? Can I track it?
We will send you an email with the shipping confirmation and a tracking number once your order is out of our hands.
I haven’t received my order, is it lost?
Did you give us the correct address when ordering? If everything is correct and you still have not received your order, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to track your parcel.
Returns & Refunds
Can I cancel my order?
Of course! Just let us know by emailing us at email@example.com within 24 hours and we’ll sort it out.
Can I return my order?
You can return your order only if it is flawed or damaged.
If this is the case, we’ll be happy to issue a refund. Please let us know within 5 days and return your items within 30 days of receiving your order. Please make sure the products are in an unused condition and in the original packaging.
How do I initiate the return process?
We don’t have an automated system of returns yet, but you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the process started.
How long does it take to get a refund?
Once we receive your package, we will inspect it within 72 hours and if everything looks fine your refund will be processed and credited to the original method of payment within 7 days. Please note that it is not up to us when the credit will appear in your Paypal or card account.
We will always keep you updated on the status of your return/refund.