July 15, 2024


Discover The Difference

UBC Sauder School of Small business alumna weaves a sustainable upcoming via textiles

Entrepreneur Tanya Lee, managing associate of the Taiwan-based maker Tobimax Textiles and co-founder of Canadian brand name Leze the Label, says she honed her money organization techniques whilst researching at the UBC Sauder College of Company.


Entrepreneur Tanya Lee’s commitment to a nutritious earth was obvious when she reinvented both equally her fashion and textile strains into moral, sustainable companies.

“We do not contend on rates, we compete on good quality and consistency,” says Lee, who credits UBC Sauder University of Enterprise for providing her the organization acumen she desired to seek out out solutions to change squander into wearables.

Five yrs back, Lee gained a Grasp of Management diploma from the Robert H. Lee Graduate University at the UBC Sauder University of Enterprise, and two years ago, co-started Lezé the Label. The e-commerce boutique sells pyjama-inspired perform clothes for gals, manufactured out of sustainable fibres, these kinds of as recycled espresso grains and plastic bottles.

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“Before attending UBC Sauder, I had no plan how to seem at something from a business perspective,” she suggests.

Lee, 30, who also holds a B.A. in Sociology, claims that even finding out essential accounting was “huge.”

“Mastering fiscal acumen was a person of the lots of worthwhile issues I took away from my time in grad college.”

She suggests the UBC Sauder “tool kit” taught her to evaluate her tips based on specifics and figures to proficiently leverage her instincts and passions. “Even if I’m seriously married to an notion, but the figures do not function, I need to deepen my comprehending to make the right conclusions.”

Lee’s road to sustainable trend was paved in portion mainly because of her family’s legacy. Immediately after graduating in 2015, a task along with her father and uncle was waiting for her at Tobimax Textiles, a household company situated close to Taipei, Taiwan. As controlling lover, she reworked Tobimax into an moral textiles and garment production organization with functions about the world. In between 90 and 100 per cent of its manufacturing is in sustainable fabrics. The social business also has women in 80 for each cent of its management roles.

“Back then we did polyester,” she remembers. “That was what Taiwan was recognised for for the reason that plastic was truly robust.” Today’s fabrics contain textiles manufactured from beech trees, recycled polyester, espresso grinds, fishing nets and plastic bottles.

“I was drawn to sustainable textiles mainly because I grew up observing the fashion industry,” she suggests. “And on a private stage, I have so a lot of clothes I just really don’t use, and it just turns into waste. I was inspired by my curiosity to change squander into apparel.”

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“Tobimax furnished me with the network, resources and expertise to be inventive in the products that we use,” she says.

She co-founded Leze the Label in 2018 with friend Karen Lee, with the intention of building a resilient firm that uses 100 for every cent sustainable material solely, which includes yarns, materials, packaging and garment baggage.

Lee’s companies are examples of what authorities contact the circular overall economy – in which financial development takes place without having the use of finite methods, in distinction to the “take-and-make-waste” linear model.

Dave Hardisty, affiliate professor at UBC Sauder and chair of the business enterprise school’s Marketing and Behavioural Sciences Division, says “It’s not sustainable to hold making rubbish indefinitely and filling up our landfills and oceans. That just can’t go on for good.”

Tobimax manufactures textiles built from beech trees, recycled polyester, coffee grinds, fishing nets and plastic bottles.


Info from Figures Canada demonstrates that municipalities commit a collective $3.2-billion each year taking care of 34 million tons of squander made in the place. Canada ranks among the the worst offenders globally in waste era, according to the Convention Board of Canada, making much more rubbish for each capita than 16 other OECD nations.

Hardisty says that it is business owners like Lee whose enterprise types are offering the alternative by preventing waste to start with.

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“She’s having what was previously squander and turning it into a new item. Which is a thing that can last and be sustainable,” he says. “We need to have to transition to a round economic climate the place we are lessening squander [by] utilizing it as input, and we have to have more responsible business leaders like her to deal with this planetary crisis and the other pressing concerns of our time.”

Ethical providers like Tobimax assist the round overall economy that appears to be like past the “take-and-make-waste” linear model.


The organization professor teaches a new initially-yr BCom class that was released in September and includes many units on sustainability, creating the subject regular finding out for numerous of the school’s business packages. “It’s clever instruction for business enterprise leaders,” he says of the program curriculum. “For business enterprise to be thriving, we need to have to choose care of the world.” Enterprises that embrace sustainability techniques are, in truth, a lot more financially rewarding in the extended run, he adds.

The university also gives a course at both of those the undergraduate and graduate stage on how to produce individual creativity to convey innovation to daily life in an group, which can help equip students to come to be properly-rounded leaders.

He delivers a number of evidence details, together with better efficiency of resources. While it may well get some upfront expenditure, he clarifies, it saves funds above the extended-term by decreasing charges. Moral companies also do far better at attracting large-price workforce who are organized to take a lessen wage for non-financial added benefits, this sort of as happier and much more fulfilling function lives. This sales opportunities to less turnover and thousands and thousands in discounts via decreased human methods charges.

The Lezé the Label manner line makes use of sustainable products exclusively.


“The value of sustainability confirmed up for me in the school’s encouragement of creativity,” claims Lee. “There’s so a great deal squander all over the planet. We can use that waste to make additional issues. We really do not have to use uncooked resources.”

“The challenge can only be solved with innovation.”

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Promoting attribute made by World Information Studio. The Globe’s editorial division was not included.