Paulina Ciurzynska (left) and Dan Wilson (right) from LETE. Image supplied.
Paulina Ciurzynska and Dan Wilson founded sustainable activewear brand LETE in 2018, to reflect their active lifestyle and eco-conscious values. The duo wanted to create a lifestyle brand that would connect with other like-minded people, offering an environmentally friendly way to be active without harming our planet. LETE clothing is made from sustainably sourced and produced bamboo fibre, making for an excellent balance of form and function, performance and comfort.
We caught up with Paulina and Dan to find out more about their brand, what inspires them and what you would never catch them wearing!
Tell us about your latest collection?
Designed and tested in New Zealand, our premiere collection was designed to help you move with nature. With tones reflecting our beautiful earth, and simple, flattering cuts, we hope that you’ll feel so comfy in your LETE that you won’t ever want to take it off. We’re a brand that celebrates that sometimes, you don’t just want to wear your activewear to the gym. You can wear your LETE anywhere that works for you, and you’ll look cute in it, too!
All of our products are made from sustainable and ethically sourced bamboo and recycled polyester, which has been dyed with natural, plant-based dyes to keep your skin safe and happy. After doing our research, we chose bamboo for our garments because it’s environmentally-friendly (did you know that bamboo can grow up to three feet per day?!) and has a minimal impact on our planet. It’s created through a closed-loop process of manufacturing, meaning that no harmful substances escape into our waterways or atmosphere during the production process. As well as being silky-soft, bamboo has thermoregulating, hypoallergenic and antimicrobial properties, so it will help to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter, while also repelling bacteria and unwanted smells. Bamboo is also a biodegradable fabric, so we’re working towards contributing as little waste as possible to our precious earth. We’re also passionate about pursuing the most sustainable methods of manufacturing, and are working towards replacing all of our recycled polyester with a biodegradable alternative as soon as this becomes market-ready.
What made you become a designer?
Living on the beautiful coast of New Zealand, nature is a large part of our daily lives. But it was impossible to ignore the effects that climate change and human negligence is having on our earth – from shrinking coastlines, to plastics filling up our oceans and harming wildlife, to fast fashion creating an excess of waste that goes straight to landfill. So, we decided to create an activewear and lifestyle brand that would not only feel good, but do good. For us, just as important as the products in our collection is our LETE Connect & Protect Foundation, through which we raise funds to support local causes and help to protect rainforests. LETE is all about a dual focus on the health of our customers and our planet, and this is reflected both in our brand processes of production, and how we engage with the community. Our LETE Hub is full of healthy recipes, and every month you can catch our Sustainability Blog which offers practical tips on how you can live a more sustainable life.
Activewear by LETE.
What inspires you?
Protecting what is sacred: the health of humans and the planet. We want to connect with our customers on a deeper level than just selling them clothes; we want to meet like-minded people who want to take care of themselves and the world around them, and provide them with tools to do so. This is the foundation upon which LETE was built.
Describe your personal style and how it influences your designs?
We like our personal style to reflect the natural elements of this world: earthy tones, supportive, and nothing too complicated. Just back to basics, really. We carried this into LETE with our designs, which we want to feel like your second skin. We tested our products across a whole range of activities, so they’re not just the pants you get out for yoga – some customers have even told us that they wear our singlets to work every day under their corporate wear because they’re so soft and comfy!
What is your all-time favourite purchase?
Definitely our Allbirds.
What wardrobe item should everyone invest in?
Bamboo tights! We hear they are the comfiest tights you’ll ever own.
Do you have a style rule you always obey?
We like to focus on comfort, function, and simplicity, so that our clothes will last in our wardrobe for a long time. Trends are trends for a reason – because they go in and out of fashion quickly! So, when it comes to style rules, our main priority is making slow, sustainable fashion stylish.
Activewear by LETE.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Being able to contribute to saving 898 square metres of the Daintree Rainforest! One of our allied partners, HalfCut, works tirelessly to save rainforests from being cut down by buying back the land and ensuring its safe delivery back into the hands of its traditional custodians. We joined them for World HalfCut Day on August 31st and raised a bunch of money, and additionally, $2.50 from every LETE purchase goes directly towards buying back forest (even better, HalfCut matches every one of our donations, so this equates to $5 per purchase!). Joining this important conversation about conservation, and knowing that we are genuinely able to make a difference with LETE, means the world to us.
What can’t you live without?
Sustainable clothing. And our ragdoll cats – Socks and Stitch.
Finish this sentence – You would never catch me wearing…