How to make sustainability simple

In Part I of this interview, Celeste Tesoriero, founder of Sonzai Studios, opens up about her childhood in nature, career as a fashion designer and journey to becoming a Sustainability Consultant.

This interview was created for Berlin-based publication and podcast, Advance Copy. Advance Copy documents conversations with philosophical brands and individuals, sharing pragmatic ideas to inspire industry change.

Advance Copy: Hi Celeste welcome to Advance Copy! I wanted to start by asking you about your background and parts of your childhood that you think have perhaps influenced you to choose fashion. What you were like as a kid, were you creative?

Celeste Tesoriero: I relate my interests, my passion for sustainability and my love for the planet back to my mother. We grew up in the bush surrounded by nature and her love for nature was driven into me so I think the way that I saw the world was through her eyes. I’ve only realised that now as an adult looking back on this path of fashion design and sustainability and I think I can relate it to that childhood being in nature.

AC: How did this develop into you picking fashion? It feels counterintuitive, growing up in nature and being far away from the world of glossy magazines and luxury boutiques. What was that entryway for you?

Celeste: Maybe that distance from it created the allure in the first place because I wasn’t surrounded by fancy things. We grew up quite minimalist and we didn’t have much money so girls in glossy magazines were this other world that I didn’t know anything about. Possibly there was a part of me that wanted to be a part of that world. But I was always creative growing up- performing, singing, dancing and drawing. I had this zest and passion for creativity in every little aspect but I didn’t know which channel to drive it down or where I would end up.

I was studying for a Diploma in Entertainment Design where we did every sort of design from set design, prop design, product and graphic design, illustration and then fashion was just one of the modules within that. During the fashion course, I instantly fell in love. After studying for a year I was offered a job as a fashion designer for a brand that I loved growing up and from there I learnt on the job.