A colourful tale of sustainability is told through each thread of Little Tienda’s garment and homewares ranges.
The Brisbane-based brand has created a home for consciously crafted whimsical and romantic shapes with bright patterns and soft hues.
For founder and designer, Em Dezentje, bringing these stories to life was a way to utilise her natural creativity and business brain, while juggling life as a stay-at-home mum – a task that is no easy feat with four children.
“I started Little Tienda as a way to explore my love for hand-crafted textiles and fashion,” she says. “At the time I had three kids under three. I was keen to use my skills, but it had to be in a way that would allow me to be around and present as my children grew up.”
Ten years on, it is this drive, alongside the core value to do ‘better, not bigger’, which continues to propel the business forward.
“My focus has continued to lean into what sustainable fashion truly means,” Em says. “To live and breathe it, to learn it and understand it more. What fabrics are the best? How can I work better? Smarter? More authentically?
“I have built an artisan team, who work alongside me to constantly challenge the brand to be better in this space. The team grows with me and is just as passionate about keeping traditions alive and current by using traditional techniques to create our small batch runs.
“All of our team in Australia and within our manufacturing operation in India and Mexico are small, community-focused businesses, who share our business ethics.”
First and foremost among those ethics is the belief that ‘natural’ is almost always best.
Across its range of garments and homewares, Little Tienda uses natural fibres such as organic Indian cotton, hand spun and dyed Merino wool, linen and sustainably crafted shell buttons.
“We produce all of our pieces from materials grown, manufactured and produced in the country of production,” Em says. “We do not import materials, in order to keep costs and emissions low, and we focus solely on natural fibres.
“We like to walk as lightly as we can, while continuing to support the incredible humans that create the pieces.”
As you browse the Little Tienda range, it’s clear that longevity is valued in the design process.
“I’ve approached design with a focus on versatile and transeasonal shapes,” Em says. “Little Tienda celebrates a seasonless wardrobe, which can be added to and accessorised with ease.
“This results in pieces that are perfect for every occasion, whether you’re out and about or just staying home; dressing up or dressing down.
“Every release provides an intersecting interconnection that can be mixed and matched. We want the Little Tienda pieces to work hard throughout their lifetime and never go out of style.”
Reducing waste is always front of mind for Em.
“We create very minimal orders and try our best to encourage made-to-order options so that we can make exactly what is needed and no more,” she says.
“Our focus for the past three years has been to limit production, create collections from leftover fabrics and focus on crafting with fabrics that are grown with the environment in mind.”
Over 10 years in business, Little Tienda has grown a solid, loyal and authentic community of customers.
Em chooses to work with genuine customers and people she loves, rather than the traditional influencer approach.
“I love our customers,” she says. “They are intelligent, creative, bold and willing to take risks. We want to showcase and honour the authenticity of our community.
“Little Tienda is always searching to create something that is new, exciting and unexpected. We set ourselves apart as a sustainable brand that does not shy away from fun.
“As the world changes, creating pieces that are more gender neutral is also really important, and I would like to think my customers expect us to push the boundaries and do better in every way we can.”
Em adds that Little Tienda is constantly evolving, learning, listening, tweaking and growing.
“It’s an exciting place to be, and we hope to never stop changing,” she says. “It keeps it interesting for us and for our customers.”
Find out more and shop Little Tienda here.