A Conversation with Nudea Founder Priya Downes


Last week we sat down with Priya Downes, founder of Nudea, to learn more about her journey, her vision for her company and her commitment to sustainability.

Meet Priya Downes

Introducing Priya Downes,  the founder of Nudea, a B Corp certified underwear brand that is revolutionising the fashion industry. With a passion for sustainability and a wealth of experience working with luxury brands such as Burberry and Chanel, Priya is on a mission to change the way people think about underwear. But Priya’s background extends beyond the fashion industry. She also has an exceptional background working for the World Bank on poverty and environmental projects, and holds an MBA from INSEAD, making her a true advocate for sustainable fashion and female leadership.

If you’re interested in hearing from a sustainable fashion champion, read our exclusive interview with Priya to learn more about her mission to create positive change in the industry.

"The most sustainable thing we can all do is buy less and buy better"

- Priya Downes, Founder of Nudea Underwear.

Nudea's Commitment to Sustainability

All of this has influenced Nudea’s core values, which are rooted in sustainability. The brand’s ethos is centred around creating products that not only support people, but also the planet. Nudea's products are made from recycled or organic fabrics, and a lot of thought and care goes into the design and development to ensure that it is of high quality. Each piece supports the wearer, and withstands the test of time.

Sustainability and ethical practices are central to Nudea’s production process. Nudea is a B Corp certified company, and its supply chain is designed to minimise the environmental impact of its products by prioritising near-shoring and sourcing components within the same region of a factory. Nudea mindfully chooses factories that have good ethical practices and infrastructure to support them. All of Nudea’s suppliers adhere to the brand's high standards of ethical conduct and fair labour practices, and Priya personally visits the factories to ensure they are meeting the brand’s standards.  

B Corp Certified: Nudea's Efforts to Prioritise Sustainability

Nudea is one of the few B Corp certified lingerie brands in the world, a certification that offers a comprehensive evaluation of a business’s environmental and societal impact. In a world where greenwashing is common, Nudea's commitment to sustainability and ethical practices sets it apart from other lingerie brands. The brand's B Corp certification and transparency about its supply chain practices make it easy for consumers to trust that they are doing their  best to create products that are good for the environment and its people. The lingerie label ensures they are transparent and accountable as they strive to improve every aspect of its business and openly communicates with their consumers about its efforts to prioritise sustainability and ethical practices. 

Overcoming Challenges as a Female Founder

Priya has encountered numerous challenges in her entrepreneurial journey. One of the most prominent issues she has experienced firsthand is the significant funding gap that female founders face. Nevertheless, she encourages other female entrepreneurs to approach their vision with confidence and passion, which will help to secure the necessary funding. Priya remains optimistic about the future, as she sees a growing recognition for the need for greater diversity within the fashion industry. She highlights the importance of building a strong network and being open to learning from others as keys to success. 

Fashion Industry Urged to Take Responsibility For End-of-Life Product Disposal

The fashion industry needs to take more responsibility for end-of-life product disposal. Despite the growth of resale and rental markets, this has been driven by third-party companies and platforms. Brands themselves must take responsibility for the end-of-life process. Priya stressed that it is not just about the product, it’s also about all the derivatives that form it. The EU, particularly France and Germany, have legislation in place that encourages this responsibility, such as taxing brands based on the packaging they produce. Brands must also consider how consumers will dispose of their products, and offer repair services or resale platforms to encourage product longevity. Without taking more responsibility, the fashion industry will continue to produce more products that end up in landfills, which is not sustainable.

Priya's story serves as a powerful reminder of the potential that lies within each and every one of us. However, it's not just about individual changes, we also need to come together as a society to create a long-lasting impact. This includes encouraging more brands to adopt sustainable and ethical practices, promoting diversity and inclusion, and supporting initiatives that address social and environmental issues.