The Conscious Edit brand spotlight - NUDEA
Nudea is a B Corp certified underwear brand, with a mission to create supportive and functional underwear that looks great, feels great and is kinder to the planet. Nudea's founder and CEO, Priya Downes, answers below some questions on her brand's inspiration, advice on sustainable fashion and much more.
What inspired you to create a sustainable fashion brand?
I came from a background in luxury fashion, and I had so much love for the clothes I wore but was always disappointed in my underwear choices. I could never seem to find a comfortable bra that wasn’t frumpy. My underwear drawer was full of bras I never wore because they didn’t make me feel good. When I spoke to other women around me, I realised I wasn’t alone and that’s when I decided I wanted to change this idea that comfortable bras couldn’t be both supportive and stylish and create underwear choices with no compromise.
What are your favourite ways to incorporate sustainable and ethical practices in the day-to-day of the brand?
I love working with product and so one my favourite ways is constantly reviewing fabrics and components and challenging us to constantly make them better. Even the most basic of bras is made of 20 components and sourcing is complex – I like the challenge of seeing how we can source each one in better ways to constantly improve. We also love looking at ways we can encourage others to be more sustainable from setting up a bra recycling scheme to partnering with like-minded brands who are working hard to reduce their environmental impact.
What are your predictions for the future of sustainable fashion?
Buying second hand and reselling will become the norm. It’s been amazing to see the cultural shift to buying second hand and the explosion of companies offering easy ways to sell your wardrobe. I would love to see a future where buying second hand is the norm and new purchases are more of a “top-up” rather than the other way around.
Can you tell us something about your favourite item?
I am obsessed with our new Second Skin collection. It’s a range of basics in various shades of nude and black crafted from recycled microfibre and coming in easy-to-wear styles which are a staple for everyday. I just love how comfortable these pieces are and as they are designed to be invisible under clothing, they’re the perfect base for styling any outfit. The ideal underwear for getting back to business.
What inspires you to do good through your brand?
I used to work for the World Bank on climate projects and early on in my career I was working close to the best minds on the planet working on climate change. I saw how in one generation the world I know and the world my children will inherit could be very different. This has stayed with me and when I set up my own brand I knew I had to use it as way to bring about change. Seeing so many brands making changes for the better is both encouraging and inspiring but it’s only the beginning and so much more can be done.
What can customers expect from your brand in terms of quality, materials, involvement in current sustainability/ethical issues?
Underwear is not a category you can donate, resell or rent, so it’s important to start with quality materials and good design at the outset so the garment can last as long as possible. For example our bras come with 4 hook and eye fastenings instead of the standard 3, so that they last that much longer. We also offer a mesh bag with every purchase so that you can wash and care for your garments in a way that prolongs their life. We also encourage our customers to send their old bras back to us to be recycled so we can stop the thousands of bras ending up in landfill each year and help them find a bra that will fit them better for longer.
Finally, what’s your best advice for being more sustainable and responsible in everyday life?
Buy less and buy better. I am going through my own journey of buying so much less than I did even a year ago. Re-using, re-wearing and re-loving what you already have is the best way to be more sustainable. And if you do need to buy - then make it something that will last a long time.
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