At Lara, we subscribe to the triple bottom line framework - accounting for profit, people and the planet. Success, to us, is making these three elements co-exist.
Did you know that large brands and factories send millions of tonnes of unused textiles to landfill every year? We believe the most sustainable fabric choice is using material that already exists. We work with a UK supplier that buys surplus luxury lingerie fabrics from around the world and brings them back to a warehouse in England. These textiles are always in perfect, unused condition that would have otherwise gone to landfill. Occasionally, our supplier will receive an awkward colour, think neon green, and have the fabric dyed black by a British dyehouse. We’re really proud that all Lara garments are made from beautiful fabrics that reduce environmental impact and textile waste.
Bras often have 15 pieces or more. Fabric, elastics, hooks and eyes, gold rings, slides and straps. Getting every component to match perfectly and be sourced responsibly is one of our biggest challenges at Lara. Our hooks and eyes and gold hardware comes from the same luxury surplus supplier as our fabrics. Elastics, strapping, underbands and bindings are made and dyed by a responsible British manufacturer. They keep very little stock of their elastics to reduce stock waste. When we need hot pink, for example, they dye everything in one large batch to our exact colour specifications. This helps us maintain a perfect colour match on all our garments while also building a relationship with a supplier close to home.
On average, 10% of fabric in the fashion industry ends up wasted on the cutting room floor. You might have seen us cutting out fabric in the Lara studio on Instagram. If you have, you know we cut lots of bras and briefs out at the same time and pack pattern pieces together so there’s little space in between. That’s a nerdy way of saying we waste very little fabric. Anything that is wasted, is saved to be shredded and used as stuffing in a new garment. We expect it will be a year or more before we have enough shredded material to release this new garment - stay tuned!
When our founders started Lara Intimates, they couldn’t find a responsible lingerie factory in England at a price they liked. So they decided to start their own. Today, every Lara garment is made in-house, in our Soho studio. In-house manufacturing means we have total control and transparency about every step from design to delivery. We control how our makers are treated, save all fabric cuttings to reduce textile waste and control manufacturing quantities to cut down on stock waste. You can read more about our factory here.