In a world of climate change, slave labour, pollution and poverty, it's really f*cking awesome when you hear about genuinely awesome people doing genuinely awesome things. When I first set my eyes on La Luna Intimates, I have to admit that I was a little too dazzled by the pretty colours to think about much other than how they would look on my derrière. When the daydream began to fade and I looked a little deeper, I learned that this brand is actually doing amazing work for the environment by saying no to polyster and using natural fibres and hand-made dyes from substances like Dandelion and Black Tea.
Of course, we wanted to know more, so we sat down with the brand's creator Emily Margan and asked her a few questions about her new Wildflower collection and where it all began.
The ethical fashion revolution never looked so damn good..
Hi Emily, how are you today?
I’m great thanks, super excited to be talking to you guys about my first collection release!
Where are you based?
I’m incredibly lucky to be based in Byron Bay, Australia.
For those of us a little out of the loop, what’s so bad about polyester?
Polyester is made with petrochemicals like petroleum and coal, which are obtained through mining. These synthetics are non-biodegradable and although a polyester garment will eventually breakdown, it could take up to 20 years. Natural Organic Fibres are kinder on the environment, farmers, wearers and planet.
Okay got it, so what's the story behind La Luna Intimates?
I found it really hard to find underwear that was made from natural fibres and was still cute. After working in the fashion industry for a couple of years I decided; why not create my own label? Something cute, comfortable and environmentally conscious that I would be proud to wear.
Growing up on the Northern Rivers of NSW I’ve always had a love and respect for nature, and been conscious of our impact on the environment. Ethical fashion is a way for me to explore my creativity by creating a brand and product that doesn’t come at the cost of people or our planet.
Where did you get your inspiration for the colours and designs in the Wildflower collection?
For the designs I wanted easy-to-wear pieces that made you feel comfortable and confident. Inspired by nature the dying process uses all natural elements; Turmeric creates the warm tones for our Dandelion, Alkanet Root for the soft subtle Lilac, and Organic Black Tea for our earthy Cinnamon colourway. Everything is hand dyed, making each piece unique.
All of the pieces in the collection are super cute! What processes do they go through before they get to the customer?
Thanks! It starts with a design idea, then a whole lot of fitting and tweaking until I’m happy with the end product. The dyeing process is a lot of experimenting; I love playing with different formulas, turning my studio in to a little science lab and seeing what I can come up with. It’s really amazing what colours you can find just from nature and I’m constantly learning what works and what doesn’t!!
Are these kinds of processes becoming more mainstream or do we still have a long way to go?
There is a lot of great stuff out there but it can be hard to access. It can still be difficult to find good supply chains, but like with anything you’ve just got to be willing to keep trying. It’s all about supply and demand and by creating more awareness about eco-friendly fashion; we can hopefully create change where all suppliers and manufacturers offer eco-friendly options.
Have you noticed that people are becoming more conscious of how their fashion choices affect our planet?
Yes, Fashion Revolution was on the 24th of April to mark the anniversary of the Bangladesh Rana Plaza collapse. It’s tragic that it took such a disastrous event to draw awareness to how our clothes are made and who is making them. Since the Bangladesh disaster, I believe consumers have become more conscious and pro-active to find out more about the ‘story’ behind their clothing. This shift is a wonderful change, and has helped fuel many movements like #whomademyclothes – putting a spotlight on the issues faced by the fashion industry and all who work within its many realms.
What barriers do you face when trying to bring ethics into the design process?
For me it’s about asking questions that align with my own ethics; what is the fabric? Who is making the garment? And do these reflect what I want La Luna to stand for. The design process can take a lot longer from growing the cotton to sewing the garments and hand dyeing them. I really love the term ‘slow made,’ to me it sums up the ethical fashion process so well and is such a contrast to what we read about the fast fashion ‘I want it now society.’
Are there many major fashion labels that are doing the right thing for the environment at the moment?
Yes it’s definitely becoming more prevalent, Stella McCartney was one of the very first major labels to take a sustainable approach towards their collections, and is particularly good at recycling/reusing textiles to reduce landfill.
On a larger scale H&M offer a ‘Conscious Collection’ that uses sustainable fabrics and offers consumers an affordable option. There are also a lot of great Australian labels out there too for consumers that want to support local businesses.
We’ve got a long way to go and it’s great to see the media getting on board and covering more eco-friendly brands and stories. I feel like we’re all starting to take steps in the right direction and I hope La Luna can contribute to this movement.
Interview // Anna Jordan @annajordan89
Intimates // La Luna Intimates @la_luna_intimates