Soul Salvation with Lois Tien

Weaving together the strands of self-care, sustainability and a love for fashion has shown Lois Tien a purposeful way forward in life and in business.
25 Jul 2023
Words by: Sharon Leece
You could argue that fashion is in Lois Tien’s genes. Brought up in the family business (her father Michael was the founder of clothing chain G2000), Tien learned the ropes from an early age. “I remember accompanying my dad to merchandising meetings as an early teen,” she recalls, “picking out designs I liked and sharing my comments with the design team.” When those designs went on to sell well, she remembers “an immense sense of satisfaction”.Going on to pursue a career in fashion was a natural progression but a decade into her career, Tien became disillusioned. “Watching seasons go by and countless items that are developed with such care and thoughtfulness get marked down and disposed of at the end of the season, I wanted things to change,” she says simply.
A woman in a navy shirt looking up with her hands behind her head
The home as a sanctuary, to nurture physical and mental wellbeing
“Self-care and sustainability have always been important values but I think this was amplified during the pandemic.”

The concept of sustainability in fashion was starting to gain traction with consumers and Lois saw it as “the perfect opportunity for me to pivot and aid in this green fashion movement”. Always mindful of the importance of self-care and especially sleep health (“something as simple as two extra hours of good sleep can take us miles in our daily functions,” she enthuses), Tien saw an opportunity to bring these strands together into one sustainable brand.

Launching SoL (pronounced ‘soul’) in 2020, her mission was simple: to promote self-care through quality loungewear, raise awareness around climate action and showcase products which are both sustainable and beautifully made. She calls the concept ‘SelfWear’, redefining dressing for yourself with a stronger emphasis on comfort and quality. “SelfWear is second-skin apparel that makes you feel the most natural, most comfortable and most like yourself,” she explains. Occupying the space between lingerie-inspired sleepwear and traditional pyjama brands, SelfWear is, as Tien puts it, “timeless, modern clothing for elevated home living”.

What differentiates SoL is its commitment to sustainability. “Everyone wants to contribute to keeping the planet a little greener and cleaner,” she says. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, but Tien believes that by making small, meaningful changes, it is possible to initiate transformation. “From the materials we source to how we make the design efficient to small production runs to packaging options, we consider how to do all of this in as green a way as possible. It’s not only a fun challenge, but it keeps us on our toes in doing the right thing.”

A woman in white top and bottom loungewear
Clothes to make you feel natural, comfortable, and most like yourself
Back of a woman in a sleeveless scoop back mint green loungewear
Channelling self-care, sleep health and sustainability

Launching a new business in 2020 could have been disastrous, but for Tien the timing was perfect. “Self-care and sustainability have always been important values but I think this was amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic. The home became even more of a sanctuary and people sought to create a safe and comfortable haven, nurturing their physical and mental wellbeing within four walls! I think these values will continue to be important as we navigate life post-pandemic and discover a new normal.”

As a busy working mother who wears many hats, Tien strongly believes in a mantra of self-care — it’s the bedrock on which we build our lives — but she also recognises that not everyone has the time or resources to indulge in spa days or weekend escapes. Instead, she advocates taking care of the little things every day. “A well-rested you is the best you,” she advises, “so delicious and cosy loungewear promotes the kind of rest and relaxation that women deserve.”

Q / A :

What inspires you and motivates you?

Making those I love happy, being a role model for my child and contributing to building a dynamic and healthy family.

How would you define conscious living?

Recycling. Cutting down on disposables. Using only what you need. Thinking before consuming. Letting one thing go before bringing one thing back. Being conscious about the quality and longevity of new items that come into your life.

What does self-care mean for you?

I’m a firm believer that we can only love others well if we love ourselves well. So self-care to me is as simple (but surprisingly challenging!) as putting yourself first, doing whatever it is that you need to do to be good.

An Asian woman in a white top and bottom loungewear sitting crossed legged on grass
Soul-soothing activities plus plenty of relaxing me-time work for Tien
“Wellness looks different for everyone... Just figure out what works for you and what fills your cup — and do a lot of that!"

What is your morning/evening wellness routine?

A workout and coffee in the morning — the morning workout is my “frog” for me (Eat The Frog theory, starting with a challenging task first thing in the morning) and that just gets my day rolling. In the evening, changing into pyjamas and curling up on the couch, watching the news or Netflix gives my body a break and is a way for me to mentally wind down.

What do you do to soothe your soul and find peace?

I would say I’m an introverted extrovert so soul-soothing activities are a mix! Depending on my mood, I love to be in good company but I also need me-time to recalibrate and recharge.

What’s an important piece of wellness advice you can give?

Wellness looks different for everyone. For some, it might be meditation; for others, it’s sharing a bottle of wine with friends, or doing absolutely nothing. Just figure out what works for you and what fills your cup — and do a lot of that!

An inspirational quote that resonates with you?

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn