Brisbane-based womenswear label Luna and Sun has just dropped its A/W collection, featuring earthy tones, relaxed silhouettes and feminine prints. The Ahimsa collection, which in Sanskrit means ‘compassion for all living things’, reflects the brand’s core values of slow and ethical production.
“This collection has been something I’ve been working on for about a year. Before starting work on this range, I reached out to our followers and customers to find out what they would like to see in our next release,” founder and designer Teshani McManus says.
“I’ve always wanted to be driven by our customer base and create clothing that they will love and wear for years to come.”
It was through these conversations with customers that the Ahimsa collection evolved.
“Over the past year, one of the most common pieces of feedback that we have received from our customer base was that they would love to see prints within our collection. We have taken this onboard and have introduced three new printed designs,” Teshani says.
“When deciding on a print, I wanted to feature some shapes and patterns that meant something to me. In collaboration with our textile designer Kendelle, we were able to create some amazing designs that were inspired by traditional Indian architecture.
“These prints are very similar to the beautiful prints and embroidery I grew up admiring on the lovely sarees my mum and grandma wore.”
The cut and silhouettes of the pieces are also influenced by Teshani’s life at the time of designing, with Teshani noting, “As I was working on the new collection while I was pregnant, I wanted all the styles to be comfortable, loose fitting and to include some breastfeeding friendly pieces as well.”
When looking into fabric suppliers Teshani did a lot of research and found a local fabric agent based in Brisbane.
“Similar to our last collection, we used 100% linen with the Oeko-Tex Standard 100 Certification, which was sourced through our fabric supplier – Potters Textiles. We were pleased to be able to continue working with Potters as its linen is incredible quality. For our linen custom prints, we used Sericin Silk, as they do digital printing, which uses much less water than screen printing,” she says.
“Both suppliers are also very transparent about how the fabric is made and milled and work closely with their mills, visiting them regularly.
“In the future I would love to be able to visit the mills and see firsthand the working conditions and meet the people making our fabrics, similar to what I am able to do with the manufacturing company that we work with in Brisbane.”
As an extension of this, having the Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA) accreditation is key to the brand and continues to be at the heart of the production process.
“The ECA accreditation is something that is incredibly important to me and something I invested in very soon after we launched in 2019,” Teshani says.
“There is a lot of greenwashing out there and being Australian made doesn’t necessarily mean your clothing has been ethically made. Something a lot of people aren’t aware of is that a large amount of Australian garment workers are homeworkers and outworkers. Many of which are from refugee and migrant communities and unfortunately aren’t aware of their rights and this makes them very vulnerable to exploitation.
“I want our customers to know that a third party has gone in to check our manufacturing facilities, including things like pay and entitlements for all of the workers who make our clothes. We want to know for certain that every company we are working with has proper practices in place and is legally compliant. This is an integral part of the process for me as certain things like pay and OH&S aren’t things I can check myself.
“Having the ECA accreditation for our label also ensures that other members of our supply chain, such as patternmaking, textile designers and anyone else that has been part of the production process is also checked.”
You can shop the stunning Ahimsa collection pieces here and feel good about filling your wardrobe with ethical and sustainable items that are made to be worn time and time again.
This article was produced in partnership with Luna and Sun.