Teshani talks fabrics, ethics, and all things Luna and Sun.
Teshani, the powerhouse behind Luna + Sun, was not always the ethically and sustainably minded gal she is today. After realising the detrimental effects her habits were having, she decided to put them to bed once and for all. Boy, are we glad she did.
What made you start Luna and Sun?
After I learnt more about the conditions most workers in garment factories around the world were subjected to, I didn’t feel confident wearing anything by a company who didn’t provide information on where their clothes were made. I don’t think it’s fair for another person to have to suffer so we can have something new to wear at our next big event. I started to ask these questions to the companies that I bought my clothes from and I was shocked at how many companies didn’t respond or told me that for privacy reasons they couldn’t give me any information.
This is one of the main reasons I wanted to make our clothing in Australia by a manufacturer accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia. I wanted the women buying my clothing to know that the people making their clothes are paid a living wage, receiving all their legal minimum entitlements and working in safe workplaces throughout the entire supply chain.
I have huge dreams of what I want Luna and Sun to be and what I want to achieve. But at the core of what made me start Luna and Sun, was to show women that if wearing the most beautiful piece of clothing came from another person suffering, then it can’t be truly beautiful.
Do you have a morning routine? If so, what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Lately as things have been crazy to stay relaxed and live in the moment I have started morning affirmations. This remind myself to be mindful and live in the moment during the day and not sweat the small stuff. This is something I’m still trying to improve on though.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
I think the starting up costs can be really high to ensure your materials are sustainable and clothes are ethically made, especially if they are made in Australia. But if you start small it is definitely achievable and I would recommend having your clothes made locally so you can be apart of the whole process. I loved meeting all the people making our clothes and being able to regularly visit the factory.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Luna and Sun, who made the things you sell? Can you tell us a bit about them?
When starting my label this was something that was the most important thing to me. I wanted to ensure I met the people making my clothes and they were paid living wages and working in safe conditions with the same entitlements we receive in Australia. That’s why I chose to have my clothes made in Australia by a manufacturer accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia. Only 8% of the clothes Australians wear are made locally so I also believe supporting our local workers is great for Australia too and supports local jobs. I regularly visit the factory and speak to the lovely people making the Luna and Sun clothing.
Why did you pick the fabrics you have chosen to work with?
I chose linen as our fabric as linen is one of the most eco-friendly fabrics. It requires far less water and pesticides to produce compared to cotton. Our fabric also has the Standard 100 by OEKO-TEX® Certification so it is free from hazardous chemicals.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
My amazing mum who has been my role model my whole life has given me some great advice that puts things into perspective when things have got tough. When we migrated to Australia over 25 years ago she worked so hard to start her own business (which she still owns today) and she did this all whilst raising two small kids. She never once complained and I can’t imagine how hard it would have been for her. When I’ve been telling her about all the obstacles I’ve faced when starting my business she always reminds me to think about all the positive things we’ve achieved so far even if they are small.
Me and my husband also celebrate every small win and I think that’s something all new businesses should do.
What’s next for Luna and Sun?
As we’ve just started out I would love for Luna and Sun to grow as I have so many ideas about what I want to do next. I would love to expand our sizing so we can have sizes 16-18 as we weren’t able to have these sizes in our first collection due to the higher costs. I would also love to travel to India and Sri Lanka work with some of the fabric manufacturers to see if we can use their deadstock fabrics to make some clothes in our next collection instead of having these fabrics end up in landfill. I also would love to offer made to order clothes and mending services to ensure our clothes are able to be worn even longer. I currently still work full time in another job but I would love to devote even more time into looking into these things as we grow.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
Over the last few months I have met so many lovely women and I’m so grateful to everyone that has offered to help me. I’m not an influencer and I didn’t know anyone famous before starting my label so I’m incredibly thankful that I’ve had so many people offer to help me. I wanted to mention two people that I really admire- one is the lovely Emily from Kappi Life. I absolutely love Kappi Life and everything her and her husband are doing to end plastic pollution. She is also such a beautiful soul and has helped our little brand get our name out their by doing joint giveaways and promoting us.
Also Britt from Britts List is someone who has really helped my label and she is someone I really admire too. If you don’t know about her I would recommend checking out her website as she has some great blog posts about Ethical Fashion. She also has walking tours in Brisbane where she educates people on sustainable and ethical fashion. I’ll be going to one of her tours in December and I can’t wait!