We've been lucky enough to know Jess, the Founder of Tasi Travels, for a while so we took the opportunity to ask her a few questions about Tasi Travels, the journey she's been on and what she'd love to do if she had superpowers.
1) What prompted you to start Tasi Travels?
Tasi was inspired by a trip I took to Timor-Leste in late 2016. East Timor is such a beautiful place, but I'd found it difficult to pack for the climate. Timor is in the high 30 degrees and 90% humidity, but it's also quite conservative and you need to be covered up. Nothing I owned was right; the clothes either wrinkled or were too heavy or too low-cut, or just ugly! I off-handedly mentioned to the girls I was travelling with that I wished it was easier to find well-made, practical yet stylish travel clothing. And that was where the idea for Tasi Travels was born.. Tasi actually means "ocean" in the Timorese language, Tetun.
2) What makes Tasi Travels so unique?
Tasi is designed around minimalism, practicality and style. We don't believe you need to own a million items of clothing, and especially believe you don't need to travel with much. Our pieces are practical and versatile enough that you only need to travel with 5 or 6 pieces, no matter how long you're gone. Our fabric plays a big role in this, while also being wrinkle resistant and quick-dry (perfect for travel), Tencel is light, breathable and absorbent. We are always getting the feedback that customers have worn our shirts for days and weeks straight while hiking and adventuring and can't believe they haven't had to wash it! Again this comes down to designing pieces that are well-made and practical, less but better.
3) Why do you believe ethical sourcing is important?
When I first had the idea for Tasi, I knew I was only going to be able to go through it if I could ensure that all of my practices were as kind to people and the planet as possible. If I couldn't find a way to make Tasi sustainable and ethical in all of our processes, it just wasn't going to happen. That's just what I expect of myself. I believe as business owners and as individuals we have a responsibility to our planet and to one another.
4) What is your favourite piece from your collection?
It changes day to day, but lately I have been absolutely loving our Roamer Pants in white. They are so comfortable and easy to wear, but the cut and fabric are really beautiful also; I get compliments every time I wear them!
5) When you are starting a new business you have highs and lows. What was one of the highs that made you fist pump and smile...a lot?
There are so many little wins that make me smile everyday! A big one happened early on; when developing the idea for Tasi. I wanted to find a fabric that was practical for travel (light, dried quickly, wrinkle resistant) but it also had to be a sustainable fibre. I knew nothing about textiles at the time and didn't even know if such a fabric existed! I literally just started googling "sustainable fabrics" and ended up stumbling across Tencel, I could never have dreamt up a more perfect fabric. Tencel is regenerated from the wood cellulose of the eucalyptus tree and is produced in a closed loop system, meaning no waste is produced. It really was the turning point that showed me Tasi could and would become real.
6) If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Bringing kindness to the core of all of us. I think a lot of the deeper problems in our society (environmental issues, poverty, violence) could be solved if we all acted with more kindness and compassion. And wiping out single use plastics for good!
7) If you could invite two people to dinner who would you invite and why?
Emma Watson, she is such an amazing advocate for females, the environment and sustainable fashion, I would love to talk with her. And Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, he is a huge inspiration for me.
8) What do you love to do outside of Tasi Travels?
My life outside of Tasi pretty much revolves around the ocean. I live in a beautiful coastal town on the Sunshine Coast called Moffat Beach, so on days off I can normally be found surfing or hanging out with friends here. I also have a van and love to sneak away for a few days whenever I can.
9) What's next for Tasi Travels?
We are about to take the leap and move our production to a wonderful production house in Melbourne who are accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia. Up until this point we have produced all of our pieces in-house, however after 8 months we have outgrown our capacity here, which is exciting. 2018 also saw the launch of our new initiative, 'Travel With Purpose', trips designed for those looking for a more authentic travel experience. Our first trip is back to Timor-Leste in July, I am so excited! Part of these trips is positive impact, in Timor we will be continuing some of the marine debris work started on my first trip there in 2016.
10) Finally if you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
The ability to turn plastic into trees!
You can look at the gorgeous Tasi Travels range at Flora & Fauna.