A brand of sustainable, inclusive, comfortable and sexy underwear. In other words, LATTE The Label.
We met the brand for an article featured in our column “The Green Side” and it was love at first sight: a capsule collection of basic, cool underwear that has bamboo fiber as its reference material to create breathable, soft and antibacterial fabrics.
Fascinated by this Made in Italy reality, we met Sonia Benassi and Giorgia Ferrais, the two founders, to talk about how and when the need to create LATTE The Label was born, the production process and the way in which this brand 100% represents their imagination.
To feel comfortable with ourselves, while going beyond prejudices, judgments and fears, to value ourselves, and to respect the planet. Wearing the right confidence, always.
When and how the awareness of wanting to create LATTE The Label was born in you? Which were the steps that characterized this path?
The idea for our project was born very spontaneously, almost randomly. We do not have a background in the fashion world, but at a certain point, we realized that there was no reality of underwear that was right for us, that combined the comfort we want every day with a contemporary and sexy spirit. We began to imagine this brand almost for fun, and we immediately came up with the name LATTE, then every piece that was added to our starting idea seemed to work, and so we said, “Let’s try, let’s do it”. It took about a year to find the right partners to support us to give life to our idea, but in the end, the result has filled us with pride and above all, it is being loved so much by those who try it.
How is the production process of your underwear line characterized?
We source bamboo fiber from a manufacturer specialized in sustainable fibers that rows the fabrics in Biella, after which we deliver them for packaging in an artisan workshop in Bergamo, which sews every single garment by hand. It was very important for us to find producers who are located close to us, to impact as little as possible in the transport phase of the goods. Finally, we manage the logistics part in Milan, relying on a delivery partner that is carbon neutral.
“We realized that there was no reality of underwear that was right for us, that combined the comfort we want every day with a contemporary and sexy spirit.”
Simple, cool, comfortable and sustainable: these are just some of the words to describe LATTE The Label. What are the core values for you, both as the founder of this brand and as a consumer?
What we look for from a product we buy is that it is durable and that we do not get tired of it, we no longer want the latest fashion but something to take with us over time.
For your garments, you use the bamboo fiber: where does the intuition to use such a “unique” and ethical material come from?
Given our name, the original idea was to use a fabric that contained a percentage of milk protein, but we decided not to continue on that path because we were not sure of the origin. So we looked for an alternative, and with the bamboo fiber, it was love at first sight (indeed, at first touch!). In fact, this fabric (OEKO-TEX and FSC certified) is perfect for being in direct contact with the skin for its many properties: soft and delicate, it prevents redness and irritation, and is naturally antibacterial. In addition to that, starting from the source, bamboo is a plant that grows very fast, and to do so, it needs very little water, has no natural pests and therefore does not require pesticides, and finally eliminates much more carbon dioxide than the average, transforming it into oxygen. In short, she is like Mary Poppins, “practically perfect from every point of view”.
“Soft and delicate, it prevents redness and irritation, and is naturally antibacterial.”
And, speaking of sustainability, what are the habits you pay attention to when you have to shop or in your lifestyle in general?
Sonia: the aspect to which I am trying to self-educate myself is to buy less and better, also because in Milan I have a small house and the space in the wardrobe and shoe rack is very little, an exercise that I recommend to everyone. It’s a bit like when you pack your suitcase and understand what are the things you like, and want to take with you at all costs, everything else, in the end, you can do without great tragedies. In everyday life, I do my best like everyone else: I do waste sorting, I eat little meat (which I don’t even like that much), and if I have to move, I try to do it on foot or by public transport.
Giorgia: I am learning more and more to have positive behaviors in this regard: even the small ones can make a difference. What I consider a fairly radical change was to no longer buy fast fashion for a few years, I prefer to have a few pieces in my closet but of high quality, and that lasts me over time. I no longer let myself go shopping on impulse, but I reflect if I am actually buying something that I need and that I will use on several occasions.
Is there a memory, a particular moment since you founded the brand you are fond of?
Having been born from so little, every first time is special; an unforgettable day was that of the launch, in which we were surrounded by love and sharing in a completely unexpected way. Then there was the first live event, the first publication in print, the first launch of a new product… These are small things, but for us, not at all obvious, they are all important goals that turn into a collection of good memories.
Another core value of your brand is inclusivity and feeling good in your body, always. What does it mean for you to feel comfortable in your skin?
Sonia: Difficult question! I have never felt particularly beautiful, especially when I was younger, feeling comfortable with myself is therefore not something that I have in me, but I am learning, little by little, with the passing of the years. A turning point was to understand that beauty is not only in adhering to standard canons but, above all, in the attitude you have.
Giorgia: For years, I chased the ideals of beauty that newspapers, television, and social media imposed on us, more than for others for myself, inside me, I thought that only in this way I would be happy. Then last summer I realized that it made no sense to deprive myself of pasta at dinner, a glass of wine, or a night out with friends to fit in a size that does not belong to me. I learned to listen to my body, eat what I want, and exercise for my inner well-being rather than for my external appearance. It’s not always easy, I’m still trying to find my balance. Surely it helps to surround yourself with people who do not judge and follow people on social media who share positive messages.
“Beauty is not only in adhering to standard canons but, above all, in the attitude you have.”
“I learned to listen to my body, eat what I want, and exercise for my inner well-being rather than for my external appearance.”
If you could choose a person from the past or present, which one would you like to involve as a member of your Latte Club?
Sonia: Rihanna, because they’ll never invent a cooler one than that again.
Giorgia: Kim Kardashian! Although she has not always been a positive model, I find that she is a very inspiring figure.
You are creative Girlbosses, what was the advice that you found most useful during your journey?
Sonia: do not let yourself be blocked by the search for perfection at all costs: take courage, jump out there and create, to improve there is always time to improve.
Giorgia: Don’t be in a hurry, everything has its time.
What do you think will be the future of fashion that, fortunately, and finally, is increasingly beginning to take into account values such as sustainability, inclusion and personal well-being?
What we hope is that how it is produced is regulated by real norms: fashion has become today one of the realities that create more pollution in the world, both of the frantic production of garments made to be put on the market at an impossible price (a finished bra can cost as much as we spend only on fabric) and for the amount of waste it generates, precisely because the clothes are used as disposable given their cost. There is a lack of education and the right awareness of how certain mechanisms work and what it means to buy a t-shirt for € 2. To quickly stop these truly unsustainable rhythms for our planet we would have to stop the wrong process upstream.
“To quickly stop these truly unsustainable rhythms for our planet we would have to stop the wrong process upstream.”
What was the last thing you discovered about yourself?
Sonia: I am not made for solo work, and to make the best I need to have other people around me.
Giorgia: that I can not have everything under control, I am slowly learning (with no little effort) to accept the fact that things do not always go as I want and at my own pace.
The book on your bedside table right now.
Sonia: “The Master and Margarita”, M. A. Bulgakov.
Giorgia: “The Tender Bar,” J. R. Moehringer.
What is there in the future of LATTE The Label, and yours?
Giorgia: Now, our future and that of the brand are inextricably linked (laughs). We expect a lot of good things, both in terms of product news and growth. We dream of an office/atelier in which to work and host our customers, fly abroad and make our products known to as many people as possible because, despite being born 4 months ago, the enthusiasm and positive feedback we are receiving are significant.
Sonia: We believe a lot in teamwork and creativity, the best thing about having your project is to be able to potentially do anything you want, anything that comes to mind can take shape in a few months. We also really like the idea of creating synergies with other realities, joining forces to create beautiful things.