Meet Jhana & Arya Cayton
We recently caught up with Jhana Cayton to hear more about his inspiration behind the urban accessories brand, EST WST and the brand's handloom collectives based in Nepal. It was in Nepal that Jhana's American father and Australian mother first met and married. Jhana and his sister, Arya, spent their early years in South Asia before returning to California to settle as a family. In 2009, the brother and sister returned to Nepal where they rediscovered the warmhearted nature of the people, the rich cultural traditions and gorgeous textiles. For both Jhana and Arya, there was a deep sense of coming home that inspired them to co-found EST WST, an urban accessories brand based on eco friendly materials and traditional handloom textiles.
Jhana and Arya quickly took interest in Nepal’s rich tradition of creating handloom textiles. They recognized the traditional craft, perfected over 100’s of years, as an important opportunity to bring sustainable development in rural regions in Nepal, a country that has been ravaged by war and government corruption. For a year and half Jhana and Arya developed EST WST supply chains, meeting with weavers to create handloom collectives that now support sustainable development and the expression of culture in Nepal and India.
EST WST seeks to use natural tones and colors found in the environment as an inspiration for their urban accessories designs. At the heart of their mission is a desire to use naturally occurring things and repurpose them for modern, urban consumers, blending the East and West. The EST WST logo itself is a creative visualization of the weaving of these two cultures.
Eco Friendly Textiles
It is the vision of EST WST to minimize their environmental footprint by utilizing natural fibers and recycled materials in each of their products. EST WST utilizes exclusively organic cotton, bamboo, and hemp. The lining in their backpacks and ipad convertibles are made from recycled plastic bottles, providing water-proof functionality.
In addition to the work EST WST does to support development through their handloom collectives, one dollar from every piece purchased from EST WST is invested in a Rural Development Fund to support their communities of artisans. The Rural Development Fund provides resources towards sustainable microenterprise development, clean energy and education.