Did you know that September is Organic Month? If you want to organic your September by buying organic clothing keep reading. Our brand of the month for September is AmaElla - the ethical lingerie brand who specialises in organic cotton. This week we were lucky enough to have a chat with one of the co-founders of AmaElla, Julie Kervadec.
We love AmaElla’s ethos! Tell me, what’s the story behind AmaElla?
Thank you very much, that is very kind. The story behind the creation of AmaElla started with Lara (co-founder of AmaElla) and myself searching for lingerie made from organic cotton. This is because it is the best material for the skin. We were searching for lingerie that was comfortable and beautiful all at once. Unfortunately, we couldn’t come across any we liked that combined those things! So we set out to create the perfect lingerie set. Our aim is to use only the softest and silkiest organic cotton to produce our products ethically.
We didn't just want to help women feel beautiful in cotton lingerie. We also wanted to supply women with good, ethical products that come from sources that take care of their employees and ensure good living standards.
What makes AmaElla stand out from your competitors?
Ethics, transparency and sustainability are at the core of our values and our motivators. We exclusively work with organic cotton, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Fairtrade certified. We also work with factories that comply with strict social criteria. Our manufacturer in Portugal is GOTS certified and our manufacturer in London is a not-for-profit enterprise. They focus on training employees and developing their skills in the fashion industry.
We certainly do make our lives harder by having such high standards! Yet we cannot see ourselves doing this any other way. No nasty chemicals, no end of the line and off-cut fabrics, no hidden materials. With AmaElla, what you see is what you get.
Why do you use organic cotton?
The reason we wanted to use cotton is that it is natural, breathable and fresh. We look only for organic certified cotton because of two main reasons.
Firstly, it is a non-allergenic material. It does not contain allergenic, carcinogenic or toxic residues.
Secondly, we believe that what we wear should be produced ethically and with care. Organic cotton has been produced and processed according to comprehensive standards that are verified by independent certification bodies.
What are the benefits of using organic cotton?
The benefits of organic cotton are endless! AmaElla recently posted a blog about this on our website, The Benefits of Organic Cotton. There are benefits for the farmers, the environment and of course for your skin.
As mentioned before, organic cotton farming has comprehensive standards and comply with a ‘decent work’ policy. Organic cotton farming requires significantly fewer chemicals in order to grow. This keeps the farmers and our environment safe.
(Shop the Organic Cotton Elegant Shorts on Little Women Now)
80% of land under organic cotton is rain-fed which means it uses less drinking water.
Lastly, as we mentioned a little bit in the previous question, organic cotton is non-allergenic. This means that people with allergies or with specific chemical sensitivity will greatly benefit from wearing organic cotton clothing compared to wearing other synthetic materials.
If you could change one thing about the fashion industry what would that be?
We would love to end the concept of “Fast Fashion”. I was previously a buyer in a fast fashion company and I experienced the downfalls of this model. Suppliers and factories are creating impossible prices and deadlines in order to get orders, and someone is paying the “true cost” at the end of the manufacturing line.
Positive change can happen if we all begin to think differently about our own consumption. We need to love our clothes more and to think about quality before quantity. Being curious about the materials and the manufacturing process will also contribute to a better fashion industry.
What’s your favourite quote?
“We vote with our wallet”.
As our friend David from Theprch.com explains, everyday citizens can have an impact on the planet and on society through their purchase. By investing into meaningful products, you support a new type of business that values people and the environment.
What do you wish other people knew about AmaElla?
We have put a great amount of effort behind our designs to make women feel comfortable and pretty. You can see this through our obsession with quality. We search for the best long-lasting quality materials and we follow a very diligent fitting process to deliver the best product we can.
(Shop the Organic Cotton Knickers Sweet on Little Women Now)
The aim is to create an all-around final product. Something beautiful, of great quality, minimum environmental impact and maximum social impact. This equation is translated into our products and the feedback we received from our clients verifies that. Many women even say that they feel as if they are wearing no bra with our soft triangle model! Nothing makes us prouder than that.
What do you do in your spare time?
Lara and I are both nature lovers. After living in big cities for few years - Lara in Madrid and myself in Paris – we value spending our spare time out of the city, surrounded by “green spaces”.
Lara attended courses at the London University of the Arts. She is now perfecting her sewing skills by up-cycling second-hand garments. Lara is aiming to create her own dress by the end of this year!
On my side, I like running and I discovered the benefits of yoga - amazing for the body and mind!
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
We both love the concept of “growth mindset”. Every day is a new opportunity to learn and discover new things. It is one of our biggest motivations.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?
The first thing that comes to mind is a survival kit! ?
And I am tempted to add a radio and a boat in order to get us off the island.
Being isolated can be peaceful, but it comes with some limits.
Tell me about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career?
The most significant accomplishment for both of us is when we saw our final prototypes. After so much research, sourcing process and endless fitting sessions, looking at AmaElla's first lingerie items felt truly rewarding. Then I would say receiving all the positive feedback and pictures from our customers congratulating us is probably our proudest moment.
Who is your role model and why?
We both love Emma Watson because she is the perfect “modern heroine”. She fights for her ideas tirelessly. Her fierce talks defending women's equal rights and her action towards a more sustainable fashion are outstanding.
What’s your spirit animal?
Dolphin is definitely our spirit animal! Joyful, fun and highly intelligent. The dolphin lives in harmony with his community.
Do you have any lingerie trend predictions for AW17?
We think that the main focus for AW17 lingerie trends will be on textures with new fabrics and trim embellishments. Velvet and noble yarns should be dominating.
Women are becoming more and more adventurous; they are not afraid to show their lingerie. We will continue to see the bondage trend, inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey.
(Shop the Storm Set on Little Women Now)
Women are also more conscious about their wellbeing. Women want to know what they put on their skin and feel comfortable. We also think that the wireless bras will become more and more fashionable.
Show us what you're doing for Organic Month by tagging us on social media using the hashtag #LittleWomenLingerie