Each week eco.mono will showcase a different brand on the blog in the style of a Q&A so that you, the reader, can quickly get to know your favourite ethical brands, who they are, what they do, and what their values are. This week we are chatting to Jessica Abraham from Tasi Travels, it has been a pleasure working with Jess over the past year and we are excited to share more of her story with you.
Tell us about your brand and what you do:
Tasi Travels is a travel clothing brand that combines minimalism, practicality and style. We believe in travelling light, in being able to pack less, but better. Our travel clothing was designed with minimalism in mind, so you can go away with only a handful of items that are versatile and practical enough to be all you need. We endeavor to create a community of wanderers and to inspire slow, authentic travel. We want to help you travel freely, travel easily and travel often.
When and how did you start?
The idea for Tasi was formed on Atauro Island, Timor-Leste in November of 2016. Timor is an incredible country, but I'd struggled to pack for the very hot and humid, but conservative culture. All the clothes I owned were either made of a material that was too thick, or they wrinkled, or they didn't dry quickly enough or didn't have appropriate coverage for the conservative culture. I wanted to be able to travel with just a small backpack of essentials, but I couldn't find these essentials anywhere! That's where the idea for Tasi was born. I came home and got started right away and we launched our collection in July of 2017.
What has challenged you the most since starting your business?
I have no background in the fashion industry, so I think that has been really challenging for me in learning where to source fabric, how to find manufacturers, how to position our brand for retail. Particularly in terms of sustainability (as I do have a strong background in the environment), it was difficult to know who to turn to and ask for guidance without any industry connections.
Where are your products made?
All of our pieces are made here in Australia. We started with a make to order model out of our Sunshine Coast studio with one seamstress. We now work with three brilliant manufacturers in Melbourne while still employing two seamstresses in-house on the Coast.
Meet the makers: Can you tell us about the people who make your products?
There are many amazing people involved in making our clothes. Our in-house head of production's name is Charlie and she has been with us from day one. Even as we have grown and begun to outsource to small-scale manufacturers, Charlie has still been the one to prepare all of our patterns and samples for productions. We also work with LCN Fashion, New Model Beauty Queen and Collier Clothing - all based in Melbourne.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I am very much inspired by nature and travel. I find most of my inspiration in down time, so I make sure that I take time to slow down and create space for ideas and inspiration.
What is your main ethical and sustainable agenda?
To produce clothing in a way that is kind to people and planet.
Which of the following Values do you align with?
Fair (Human rights)
Locally Made (In Australia)
Sustainable (natural, organic fabrics etc)
Quick Fire Round!
Just for fun! We asked Jess some random questions, a bit silly, just for laughs!
If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
A dolphin - the ocean is my favourite place in the whole world.
What is one of your weird quirks?
I am always twirling my hair, it drives some people crazy!
What is your favourite movie quote?
“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” ― Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo (I think of this quote so often - anytime I'm scared to take a leap)
You can invite 4 people to a dinner party, dead or alive who would you invite?
Yvon Chouinard, Emma Watson, Dermot Kennedy and my great-grandmother Ruby, who I never got to meet.
If you where a super hero what would your powers be?
Turn plastic into trees
Anything by Dermot Kennedy
Favourite book growing up
If we're talking very young, The Rainbow Fish!