Style Spotlight: Nico
I've had lots of questions about where to find ethical and sustainable basics, and didn't have the answer, so set off on the challenge of finding a company that did different underwear options and choices, without compromising on transparency and ethics. We HAVE to understand though that where we spend our dollar does impact business - so as a consumer we can choose to do this thoughtfully. An $8 t-shirt is cheap for you, but has almost always guaranteed worker exploitation. Though we might like to think of fashion as a unique thing, what we purchase and wear impacts more than just our day to day outfits and how much we have in our bank account. Whether it's food, fashion or furniture, we need to start shifting away from the mentality of cheap but short-lived product, and investing in something that will last SO much longer.
NICO has really nailed this - beautiful pieces and accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia. Umm YES!!!!! NICO is committed to upholding and cultivating ethical and sustainable transparency in the fashion industry; a truly admirable feat in a market that is driven by cheaper but unsustainable and unethically made products.
So NICO works with Australian garment makers as well as fair trade production partners in India and Bangladesh, to produce some gorgeous clothing and "promote a positive, viable alternative to the unfair and short-sighted practices that fast fashion has necessitated". So. Much. Yes!!! Every single piece has been made thoughtfully, has POSITIVELY impacted the people that have made it and has not cost the Earth to produce either. Now the question is what pieces are you going to choose...
My Top Picks
Basic Socks. This lovely three pack comes with black, white and grey. The beauty behind these are that they are made from recycled cotton; their fairtrade garment workshop in Bangladesh recycle textile waste to create yarn that is usable and functional. And don't worry - they are a signatory of the ACCORD on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh! (You can find all this and more of their accreditations on the NICO website).
Full Cup Wirefree Bra. I'm normally one to avoid anything without wire because I never find it supportive enough. But then I tried and tested these; WOW. Soooo comfortable. It's made from this really cool fabric, Lenzing Modal, which is a sustainable and natural material, and ethically made in India. Now while I certainly wouldn't go running in one of these, it's great for the times when I want the feeling of wearing nothing but I am wearing something, ya know? I've got my eye on the underwire to try for that little bit extra support, but in the meantime the grey is my favourite. The white is really lovely, but is definitely more sheer (#freethenip and all that).
Mid-Rise Brief. I've always laughed at the idea of high-waisted underwear from that scene in Bridget Jones, but also kind of wanted a pair that didn't rub uncomfortably, scratch or feel too tight. Enter Nico. Again with the goods. These are so soft AND how cool - made from sustainable forestry plantations!
Thong. Another piece of underwear I am typically hesitant about because they just never seem that comfy!? But because this is made from a soft Modal blend (did I mention from sustainable forestry plantations!?!?), it's actually really comfortable.
It can be easy for all of us to get caught in the dilemma of the fact that we need clothing, we need easy access and sometimes it costs time, energy and money to make ethical choices. But being the change you wish to see in the world is something I always come back to. We can all make small changes towards a better future, and awareness is the first step along the way.
Do you know of any other awesome ethical underwear brands? Let me know in the comments! x
A massive thank you to the photo wizard that is Emma Holland (http://www.emmahollandcreative.com/).