AmaElla, a new ethical lingerie brand offering stylish, organic cotton designs, produced according to strong ethical principles, is to be launched via a crowd-funding campaign this month. The two best friends behind this social venture aim to raise £10,000 to enable their first production run. Investors will be offered benefits additional to the feel good, look good, do good factors they’ll experience by being first to take delivery of such elegant, ethical lingerie …
AmaElla, a new ethical lingerie brand combining the softest certified organic cotton with simple, sensuous, vintage designs to help women feel, look and do good, is about to become a dream come true for Cambridge-based social entrepreneurs Lara San Gil and Julie Kervadec.
Lara and Julie met whilst studying for a Masters in International Marketing and Communication in Madrid. Collaborating on a L’Oréal brainstorming competition, and making it through as finalists, it became clear they shared a common purpose of a social nature, a common frustration, of an undergarment nature and a complimentary skill-set, of an entrepreneurial nature.
“As consumers, we’re both very mindful of health, ethical and style concerns. We got talking about our frustration at being unable to find organic cotton lingerie that looked elegant. Whilst there are brands offering stylish non-synthetic clothing, none seemed to be developing stylish non-synthetic lingerie, the layer we wear closest to our skin,” observes Julie.
“The issue is that synthetic materials, commonly used in lingerie, hold moisture close to the skin, increasing the likeliness of infection. More than 75% of women experience a yeast infection in their lifetime, with 1 in 20 having recurrent thrush. To avoid these problems, dermatologists and skincare experts recommend cotton to guarantee good skin perspiration and breathability, yet the organic cotton lingerie on the market lacked appeal to style conscious consumers,” Lara explains further.
Their chance conversation became the basis of a strong friendship and business idea. AmaElla (a wordplay meaning ‘she loves’, or ‘love her’ in Spanish) was accepted into Cambridge Social Ventures’ incubator programme, part of the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School, in January 2016. The two have since worked tirelessly to develop their business plan and first product range. They chose a crowd-funding campaign, rather than turning to more traditional methods of finance, to fund their venture, because it fits their business model and values.
“Upeffect it is a crowd-funding platform for conscious consumers. It’s a great fit with our target audience. The way Upeffect supports social business, from the beginning to the end of the campaign, matches exactly our needs. We’re so excited about launching and seeing how much interest there is for our ethical brand,” advises Lara.
Looking to raise £10,000 for its first production run, AmaElla is offering a range of rewards to investors, including pre-ordering at discounted prices to ensure they receive their lingerie ahead of retailers. Perhaps the biggest reward though, is the knowledge that their investment is enabling a new brand of ethical lingerie that offers health conscious, style savvy, ethical consumers garments that are:
• Organic, carbon neutral and free from hazardous chemicals
• Manufactured in Europe by suppliers who comply with strict social criteria, including: no outsourcing; no child labour; no forced labour; strong health & safety policy and some evidence of activities that increase the wellbeing of local communities
• Driving awareness and engagement in the ethical fashion movement
As well as crowd-funders, Lara and Julie are looking for brand ambassadors to help spread the word about ethical fashion. They invite readers to follow, like and share their campaign on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. After all, as they state on their web site: your fashion choices today have the power to drive change tomorrow…