As many of us know, difficult circumstances can bring positive opportunities and changes. In the darkness of a cave, we can find a gem. Lunar Method is yet another example of that. Fuelled by a passion to give back, and conceived during the restrictive pandemic, Lunar Method emerged as an ethical luxury brand that once again proved that harming animals and the environment is not necessary for high-end fashion.
Karine and Zack moved to Mexico in 2020, right before the pandemic hit. The restrictions that came with it gave Karine time to think about what matters to her. Karine tells me: “When we first moved to Mexico, I was elated by the natural beauty and cultural vibrancy. But after only a few months, the pandemic hit. Once again we had to adjust ourselves to the new normal of pandemic life in Mexico. It was during this quiet time that slowly began to peel back the layers of living in a second-world country, I began to expose myself to things lesser known to American tourists that visit the country for a few days or weeks. Once restrictions lifted we began to travel by car all around the country. And I witnessed the toxic and extremely harmful effects of over-production in the textile industry paired with the destruction of single-use plastics. A few months after that, I started Lunar Method. Armed with a mission to give women more ethical options by creating simple and high-quality solutions in their wardrobes, I had no idea that my mission would take me to some of the poorest areas in Mexico and have conversations with artisans living in inhospitable
conditions. From there, I dove deeper into the world of ethical fashion. To be ethical is more than slapping a logo on our website or on our bags, it’s personal. I have skin in the game, because I have built deep bonds with our artisans, and I care deeply about them and the products we share with the world. We are cruelty-free because animals much like people deserve better, we SHOULD do better and don’t need to kill anything in the name of fashion. The environmental element is embedded in our DNA as a business, we cannot be ethical without thinking long-term about our materials and their long-lasting effect after we are gone. It’s our responsibility as a business to think long term, that’s my view of ethical".
To Karine, Lunar Method is the intersection of femininity, conscious living, and travel.
Lunar Method uniquely combines cactus leather and hand-made textiles crafted by local artisans in Mexico. The designs are inspired by Mexican art and by travel. My favorite piece is the Chiapas Collection Jewelry Organizer: not only is it beautiful and high-quality, but it is also highly practical- I loved its smart, thoughtful design. The beautiful, hand-woven artisanal interior is completely unique. The patterns are woven by a coalition of artisan women from Chiapas, Mexico that Lunar Method collaborates with on a monthly basis. Below, a video portrays this unique piece.
Lunar Method works to bring together Mexican artisanship, quality vegan leather, and silver. It advocates elevating luxury to ethical standards. When I asked Karine what does luxury mean to her, she answered:
"For me, luxury is anything you give value to. You value a nap in the middle of the
day, it’s a luxury to do that. I want to shift the idea of “luxury” away from the thing that belongs to an exclusive group of brands that are reserved for the rich and famous. No. I don’t accept that. Luxury is having the autonomy to choose what you value, not what 'Vogue' is telling you to value. Lunar Method creates ethical and artisanal products. We created an option for people who share our values to choose high-quality vegan products, empowering our customers not manipulating them. To be ethical is our core mission, and if you value high quality, autonomy, and ethical standards, as we do, you give value to our bags, and make it a luxury".
Karine attributes her success to the supportive women in her life. She shares:
"Growing up in a low-income immigrant neighborhood, it was the support of the amazing women in my life who encouraged me to get an education, graduate from UC Berkeley, and start my own business".
Regarding the creative and manufacturing process, Karine shares: "As a small business, I’m always in the weeds of the business, checking in with our artisans on a daily basis, creating new designs, pulling together photoshoots, makeup artists, models, and working with other small businesses. For one reason or another, I find myself always surrounded by the most passionate and wonderful women, young and old, who are also entrepreneurs in their own right. It’s been an honor to work with them, paying them fairly or exchanging one task for another to help each other out, and our friendships are what make this business run. Trusting and supporting the women around me has been the best gift for me to give back. Not because it’s charity, but because they are my colleagues, whom I deeply respect and couldn’t run this business without".
Giving back is in the heart of Lunar Method. Karine states: "It's my purpose and passion to give back to underserved communities, especially creating opportunities for young girls and women who, I believe, can change the world".
Article by Maggie Stilman.
Photographs provided by Lunar Method.