Meet the Australian Lingerie Brand Connecting Self-Love and Love for Our Planet
Inspired by "a desire to solve the eternal search for comfortable, eco conscious basics that can still be effortlessly sexy and feminine", LÉ BUNS was founded by Keisha Dessaix in 2016. Since its conception, the independent Australian intimates and swim label has had a primary focus on creating pieces that are not only wearable, but also sustainable. Since launch, the brand has since become known for its sleek designs which are cleverly crafted from regenerative nylon and organic cotton. We’re huge advocates of sustainable fashion here at Who What Wear Australia and the fact of the matter is, that when it comes to undergarments and swimwear, sustainability is often a topic that’s overlooked. So, to see a brand like LÉ BUNS shaping an identity around the issue is inspiring to say the least.
While the brand itself is noteworthy enough, the latest campaign is what really blew us out of the water. Collaborating with Sydney-based artist, Jess Cochrane, the label has worked to create a series of images that showcase not only the collection but the ethos behind the brand as well. Combining Cochrane’s signature style with the LÉ BUNS everyday intimates, the campaign is a synergistic mix of body-positivity, creative expression, and environmental awareness rolled into one.
“It’s important because there’s been so much dishonesty around the concept of beauty for too long.” Cochrane says of the campaign— and we can’t help but see the parallel to the fashion industry and its unsustainable practices. To get a little more insight on the subject, we spoke with Keisha Dessaix, the brand’s founder, to find out more about how the brand is working to change the fashion industry and to get her advice on how we can all be a little more sustainable in our fashion choices. Keep scrolling to find out what she had to say in the full interview below.
Supplied by LÉ BUNS
Can you tell us a little bit about why you started the brand?
Before LÉ BUNS I spent years working in fashion, for the most part managing portfolios for luxury brands like Prada and Paul Smith. I always felt really inspired by the industry and often dreamt of going off and doing my own thing. While working in fashion, I became aware of the questionable practices that plague the industry. Just over a year and a half ago, I launched LÉ BUNS which ultimately stemmed from seeing an opportunity to make a difference in this space.
I didn’t want to be yet another fashion label out in the market—I wanted to find a way to make beautiful garments without compromising the environment or people involved in the process while also raising awareness and promoting ethical practices through the LÉ BUNS brand values.
What is something that most people don’t realise about their underwear and the impacts it has on the environment?
Most people may not realise that (sadly) less than one percent of all cotton grown is organic. The majority of mainstream, non-organic cotton underwear products available are a huge part of the problem, as the cotton industry is notorious for leaching dangerous toxins into the ecosystem. In fact, conventionally-grown cotton uses more insecticides than any other crop in the world. It is estimated that each year cotton producers are responsible for the use of as much as 25 percent of the world’s insecticides and more than 10 percent of the world’s pesticides. These toxins are harmful for farmers and workers, us as consumers, and entire wildlife ecosystems. Our intimates are made with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic cotton. Unlike conventional cotton, organic cotton eliminates the use of pesticides, insecticides, herbicides and genetically modified organisms that are currently being grossly emitted by the conventional cotton trade.
Supplied by LÉ BUNS
Do you think that more designers are becoming eco-friendly or does it need to come from a ground-up demand from consumers?
This is definitely a two-way street. The effects of excessive consumption on the planet are becoming alarmingly apparent: Consumers are clearly becoming increasingly mindful and aware of how they can support sustainable practice. As designers, we all have the opportunity to drive the demand for green manufacturing through our practice. My focus through LÉ BUNS is to continue to fill the gap for shoppers to find high-end products at an affordable price-point that won’t compromise the people and environment involved in its making.
What inspired you to work with Jess Cochrane for the latest campaign? How does her art express the values of the brand?
I felt common ground with Jess in the way that we are both on a journey to provoke thought around positive change within the community through our practice. Jess’s work invites the audience to question how we judge and consider women and beauty within our society, as well as promote female empowerment. Meanwhile, LÉ BUNS aims to inspire consideration around ethical practice in the community to promote positive change. Celebrating uniqueness and diversity comes naturally to our creativity given the nature of our designs, and Jess’s work speaks meaningfully to this.
Supplied by LÉ BUNS
Do you think there’s a correlation between inspiring self-love (like this campaign does) and love for our planet?
Generally I don’t think they are mutually exclusive, as people can have a disconnect between themselves and what’s around them. Of course, it is important to first practice self-love, as we can’t fully spread love if we are not whole within ourselves. For LÉ BUNS, there is an indefinite connection between the two. We believe that self-love should not be selfish and should be extended to the people, places and things around us which includes the beautiful planet we live in.
Do you think that there is a growing moral obligation for shoppers to be more mindful?
Absolutely, I believe as a community we are really questioning what impact our consumption is having on the planet more than ever before. It’s an empowering time, because as shoppers each of us can drive and demand positive change by simply supporting ethically focused brands and initiatives.
What’s one small step everyone can make to incite positive change in the sustainable fashion industry?
See your wardrobe as a long-term investment and value your purchases. Focus on quality pieces that are made well to last, feel and fit beautifully when you wear them. Thus you can avoid any unwanted clothes piles growing in the corner of your wardrobe!
Still want to know more about LÉ BUNS? Check out the brand's website for more info and to shop the full intimates collection.