Ethical Undies Month: Lara Intimates, Two Girls, One Goal
Pass Faith and Cindy in the street and you’d see two girls in their early-twenties about town, having fun. But this pair are no normal recent graduates. Cindy and Faith are on a mission to revolutionise the lingerie industry and bring lingerie craftsmanship back to Britain with reclaimed fabrics and eco-friendly practices.
After meeting in university, whilst studying lingerie and swimwear, the pair quickly became disillusioned with the retail industry and what it had to offer; both as a consumer and an employee. Faith returned to the UK after time working in Australia for a swimwear brand, full of ideas and the drive to make a change. Meanwhile, Cindy had been gaining experience in marketing but realised she just wasn’t passionate about the brands she was working for and what they stood for.
‘The conventional fashion supply chain has some very bad habits that often have a devastating impact on people and the planet. Increasingly educated customers want an ethical approach and we agree it’s time for change’ says Faith, ‘that’s why we founded Lara Intimates; to use our expertise to bring about this change.’
After two years of hard work the girls now have a burgeoning studio, with built in factory, in the heart of Soho. The brand will launch in September.
‘I think finding your perfect business partner is harder than finding a soulmate, but I’ve found mine’ says Cindy about Faith. Faith is the creative mind behind the beautiful designs you see in Lara’s first collection. Her and her assistant Alice make all of Lara’s sets in-house in the Soho factory from reclaimed fabrics that are sustainably dyed in the UK. The brand subscribes to triple bottom line’ framework, accounting for profit, people and the environment. Success for the girls is making these three elements coexist.
Hard to imagine a factory in the heart of London’s Soho but Faith and Cindy have made it happen. After visiting numerous UK factories, the pair realised that the only way to maintain full control over their supply chain, ensure they keep production waste to a minimum and to manufacture their collection at prices that are accessible to the mainstream market was to bring production in house. And so, the Lara Intimates factory was born.
Maintaining control over their supply chain is of the utmost importance to Cindy and Faith. Every year, millions of tonnes of fabrics are wasted in Chinese mills when they are unused or dyed the wrong colour. The girls use a UK supplier that sources luxury surplus fabrics from around the world. They call it reclaimed fabric; using materials that would have otherwise gone to landfill is the most sustainable option (for Lara!) because they don’t create anything new to produce their sets and they’re actually helping to save textile waste. Lara are also committed to only having small amounts of stock in place to ensure they are never left with surplus.
Where many sustainable underwear brands offer their collections in small, medium and large, the team at Lara believe that sustainability shouldn’t be confined to a certain size. They offer their collection in sizes 28A- 36E and have plans to expand this even further. Their soft bra collection even comes in half sizes so that you can find the perfect fit and support for your body. The girls have even devised and online sizing tool that directly recreates the experience that you would receive if you went into shop to be measured.
In a world where there are very few brands doing something that makes you want and feel proud to buy from them it’s a revelation to come across Lara Intimates. This is a brand that could revolutionise the lingerie industry and once again see ‘knicker factories’ being an integral part of the UK economy.
The girls at Lara Intimates are making sustainable lingerie affordable. They appear to have thought of everything and they leave us with no excuses not to make the conscious choice when it comes to stocking our knicker drawer!
Lara Intimates first collection launches in September, stay tuned. In the meantime, head over to their site to find out more.