Tessa Laws owns NewLawsLegal, a media law firm and Franklin Rae PR, a content PR agency specialising in television and media. Oh, and she’s also the Non Executive Chairman of Bagir Group, a men’s suiting company. ByOcular caught up with Tessa between breaths to pen down her thoughts on fashion, sustainability and charity work.
You hail from quite a different industry to most of our other ‘Behind the Lens’ interviewees. We’re dying to know, how do your ByOculars go down in the boardroom? ?
Everyone tells me how fabulous they are. I’m a bit of a sartorial extrovert and my ByOculars blend in well with all the different hats I wear.
With all the demands of work, do you ever sleep?
I wish I had more sleep! That would be nice. I also have three children, three step-children and my husband lives in Tel Aviv so you can add mother and extensive traveller to that list too.
Our sources tell us that you were Secretary of The Tequila Society at university. Is this how you know Caren?
Caren and I were at the same university although we didn’t meet until much later through Markus Lupfer. While on the topic of the Tequila Society, you might like to know that in 1984 we were the largest consumers of tequila outside Mexico City…Apparently LSE is very proud of that achievement - as am I, of course.
Over the years, you’ve been a real proponent of renewable energy. In terms of the fashion industry, how do you think we can encourage society to adopt more sustainable habits when consuming or do you think the two can’t go hand-in-hand?
I think there’s lots of opportunity for us to consume sustainably, although there needs to be a mindset shift; at the moment, I’m not sure how much we even try. It’s not just a question of buying less (although obviously that would be better for the environment), we also need to recycle more, whether that means taking our unwanted clothing to a charity shop or gifting it forward to family and friends.
You’ve also done a lot of work with charities that help displaced women find work. Why is this an issue close to your heart?
I founded Time4Women, which has since disbanded, and I was a trustee of Working Chance, a charity that helps ex-female prisoners find work. Getting a job post-prison as a man is incredibly difficult and as a woman is nigh on impossible so I got involved to help give these women a second chance at a ‘normal’ life. Besides the fact that successful rehabilitation prevents re-offence, I believe that once someone’s served a sentence, they should no longer be punished. I’m currently trying to work with refugees because we really need to address how appallingly they’re treated when they arrive here. I was widowed at forty with three small kids and was fortunate enough to have a great support network; my parents even moved from Liverpool to London to be near us. The thought of women in such predicaments without any help definitely motivates me, as I know that support can be a saving grace in a time of hardship.
My wardrobe is most definitely a hybrid between high street and luxury.
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Caren, Shaun or Nigel
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