Today on thedailypretty.com, I am chatting to Roberta Marchesini, co-founder of sustainable online fashion brand Tema Moda that Roberta created with her mum Emanuela. Tema Moda’s ready-to-wear collection is made in Italy. Passionate about fashion and the environment, designer Emanuela creates elegant, sustainable women’s clothing that’s made to last. The same care that goes into every design also extends to the production and sourcing of materials. This is a truly interesting and inspiring interview, highlighting the importance of choosing sustainable pieces that are classic and timeless when it comes to our wardrobes.
Hi Roberta, welcome and thank you for joining me today on thedailypretty.com. Let’s start with how Tema Moda started, the inspiration behind the brand, and how it came to be.
Tema Moda was inspired by my mother’s incredible ability to create and make exceptional dresses of elegance and stand out quality. I left Italy 17 years ago, and I still wear clothes that my mother created 18 or 19 years ago, as the quality is still good and the designs fashionable. Here in Australia, people always compliment me on my clothes and very often they ask me where I bought them! Mum came to Australia for the birth of my son, Massimo, and she fell in love with Australia. Her presence here reminded me of Italian class and elegance. Four months after her departure, I came up with the idea of creating Tema Moda to bring a piece of contemporary Italy to Australia while suppressed during the pandemic. I wish to globally share my mother’s dress making skills which she learned at age 14 while working in the fashion world. Mum agreed, and this is how Tema Moda was born. The brand’s name comes from our surnames, “Te” for Tellaroli and “Ma” for Marchesini, and “Moda” is Italian for fashion.
Once you had your brand concept ready to go, what were the next steps you took to launch?
The next step was to organise the marketing and the story behind the brand. Our brand concept was very simple: to bring authentic, elegant and sustainable Italian fashion to the world that was/is meant to be enjoyed every day. Tema Moda is for women who want to be comfortable in their own skin while supporting sustainability. Our Italian background and craftsmanship blend beautifully or harmoniously to create something special for the public, something that’s unique and exclusive. For the logo, we wanted to communicate a sensation of elegance, using gold for sophistication, along with our initials. We fell in love straight away with the logo that our Italian family-friend designer made, and we took it as a sign of being on the right path to our destiny.
Roberta, you created Team Moda with your beautiful Mum, Emanuela Tellaroli. What are your roles in the business, and how do you work together?
My mum is the manufacturer, designer and fashion buyer. I am the marketer, logistic organiser and see to customer service and ensuring a happy purchasing experience for our customers. Mum has 100% control over the design and production, as she knows what is trendy in Italy and what colours are fashionable in each season. And, she is the queen of quality and elegance. She struggles to use less expensive material alternatives; for her, if you invest in quality, you save in the long term, as pieces will last longer. She works with her employees who collaborate in designing, choosing fabrics, coming up with sustainable ideas (like purses), and has the perfect team. In her workshop, she has around 13 employees with very unique stitching skills. Meanwhile, I own all the marketing activities, website, social media, influencers, pricing, wholesales, PR, events, and marketing collateral. We definitely work very well together and always agree on things, which is strange for a mother and daughter, but it seems that we have similar tastes.
Let’s chat about your range! What’s included in the ready-to-wear collection?
Our new Summer ready-to-wear collection has maxi dresses made with beautiful, colourful Italian linen, shirt dresses made with linen and organic cottons, maxi skirts, tops, blouses, and pants. Most of our summer collection is made with sustainable material.
What are 3 key pieces that you love from the collection?
The favourites are the maxi skirts because the details and how it wears is amazing; it makes women look beautiful and is very easy to style. The skirts have hidden pockets, and they are incredibly comfortable.
The second one is the shirt dress — all are stunning. These are also unique pieces that make anyone look elegant and ready for any occasion — it’s something that you wear and won’t go unnoticed.
The third favourite are the Rosa tops, very detailed and different from any other tops. They have an open back with button snaps, a creative and unique piece.
Tema Moda is very passionate about elegant and sustainable fashion. Why is sustainability such an important part of the brand and your personal values?
Corporate sustainability and ethics are embedded in our brand mission and personal values for many reasons. We believe in respecting rights, equality, and sustainability. Our planet must be safeguarded, not only for us but for future generations. Sustainability is part of our daily life, and it affects everyday life — including the routine in the workplace. We are committed to acting for the environment to create a healthy or bright future for our family and friends, but also for all future generations.
Increasing awareness of the impact of sustainability in the fashion industry is so important and an ongoing mission! What are some of your sustainability practices as a fashion brand?
Tema Moda strives to conduct business in a sustainable way. We are constantly finding innovative solutions, such as our bags which are made with remnant fabrics. We do this so that there is no waste from our creations. Our corporate culture is oriented toward business sustainability and sustainable practices. Our products are sought after, starting with the search for sustainable materials, with reduced electricity and water consumption. We tend to find ecological Italian fabrics, produced with natural fibres through a protected supply chain, and aimed at minimizing waste, pollution, and the exploitation of workers. For us, it is important that our fabrics do not have toxic substances in production, which can be harmful to the environment and people. Our employees are paid adequately, and we provide good working conditions.
Talk me through your design process when creating pieces for your range and how sustainability is considered throughout this process?
The first step in the design process is the development of the design — research of the market, season, trends, colours, fabrics, sketches, datasheets, names of the collection. Then the job progresses to the pattern maker, where the samples are made, and we proceed with correcting the technical datasheets up to the development of the entire collection. Sustainability is considered from the beginning of the research to the final product and packaging, from the initial design phase to creating a model that can be used over time. We consider the material that will be used and the quantity that will be produced. Sustainability is in every step of the design tracked through or considered until the final process.
What is next for Tema Moda?
The future of Tema Moda is to continue to grow as a sustainable company and introduce new sustainability initiatives. We will search and collaborate with other sustainable brands and introduce new lines for kids and men. We would also love to work with small boutiques.
Where can we find you, shop the range, and learn more about the importance of sustainability and slow fashion?
Our fashion range and information on sustainability can be found at www.temamoda.com.au and join our Instagram community @tema_moda
Thank you for sharing your beautiful brand, your business journey and your amazing work championing sustainable and slow fashion. Be sure to check out the range for summer on the website and connect with the ladies on Instagram!