French and Spanish business partners, Julie + Lara met whilst doing their masters and they both had a dream. A dream to start something together in Fashion, with a social and environmental impact.
Studying and being immersed in the world of fashion, they identified a gap in the lingerie section of the market. “We realised that the recommendation was to wear cotton, but we wanted to explore having a range of cotton lingerie, that was also organic and beautiful too” said co-founder Julie. “Most of the time cotton has a pretty simple and dowdy approach, so we realised we could do something and went ahead with their idea at the beginning of January 2016” and that’s when Amaella was born.
Non-organic cotton is a huge contributor to environmental issues. Conventional cotton is responsible for over 25% of insecticides used worldwide. These toxins enter our eco systems and food chain. Whereas organic cotton is grown in a way that lessens the impact on our environment, helping to replenish soil activity and use less water.
Deciding to opt for organic when it comes to lingerie however, isn’t just an environmental impact that you are making a positive mark on, its your health too. The other up sides, is that it’s excellent for tender skin and often found to be softer than conventional cotton. Since organic cotton does not involve chemicals and pesticides, it causes fewer allergies and irritations too, which is always something we’d want for our sensitive nether regions.
With hormonal health issues on the rise and breast cancer in women being the most common cancer, if there is any place to start overhauling your wardrobe to that of a more sustainable closet, it surely might make sense to start with your underwear drawer?
With sustainability at the heart, the pair started Amaella to provide better options when it came to sustainable and ethical fashion. “From our professional experience – we were quite disgusted about the fashion industry. We experienced first hand the bad practises of fast fashion” Julie told us. “Larger suppliers would often leave smaller businesses unpaid for many months, which made it impossible for start-ups trying to make a positive impact in the organic sector, to sustain their business models”.
The pair self funded the beginning of Amaella’s journey and then went on to crowd-fund their business, which enabled them to start selling online, raise awareness of the brand and to start producing more options for their customers.
Another really special element to the brand though, is that some of their items are made from a factory in North London, which operates as a not for profit enterprise for social impact. The factory specialises in helping women get back into employment, who want to build career in fashion.
We spent some time chatting with Julie + Lara to find out a little bit more about their values, beliefs and approach to their conscious business and lifestyle practices;
Lara; Is your life a story or destiny, or one of fate?
“I don’t believe in the idea of destiny. Our life is in our hands. We can’t control what happens to us but we can control how we react to it, that is what matters. I also believe everything at some extent happens for a reason. Although sometimes it’s hard to see, overtime we usually end up understanding and accepting our reality.”
Julie; What are the things which stand between you and pure happiness?
“This is a question I often ask myself! I have to say that meditation helped me to resolve some of those “things”, but I’m still working on the most important one: being able to live in the present moment! It is not an easy one, but I do believe that pure happiness is accessible only when you stop thinking about the past and worrying about the future. It only happens when you are truly in the “here and now”.”
Lara; If you could create a movement, what would it be?
“Anti-moaning and anti-negativity movement. I know it is probably unrealistic but I would love to dramatically reduce moaning and negativity in society. Keep it to the strict minimum. Imagine how much powerful human beings could be if they were raised in a culture that foster optimism and positivity.”
Julie; Nature or nurture?
“Both are very important and interdependent. After years living in Paris, I realised how important nature was to me. I was trying to escape the city every weekend and I feel so much better since I live in a smaller city, surrounded by green spaces. I feel nurtured by nature.”
Lara; Without using your name or society attributes, tell me who you are?
“A dreamer and a learner. Someone who just wants to be happy and make the most of this life. Being alive is a gift we receive every day and we ought to make the most of it.”
Julie; If you could have just one wish, for one person – who would it be for and what would it be?
“For my mother. I wish there would be an instant remedy to all diseases on this earth.”
Lara; If you could send a text to the entire world, what would it say?
“You are a miracle of life and deserve all good things in this world. Love and be kind with yourself and with everybody else.”