10 YEARS OF SUSTAINABLE FASHION
‘Look good while doing good’, the tagline of Danish lingerie, swimwear and loungewear brand Underprotection, seems unrealistic in our current market. Ethical clothes have a reputation for being dull or difficult to care for. However, ten years on, Underprotection is making it their mission to change your mind.
Sunniva Uggerby and Stephan Rosenkilde started their journey ten years ago, determined to make sustainable underwear which can be as enviable as traditional fashion. Born in Copenhagen, the brand has worked hard to put ethics at the centre of their brand and, hopefully, the industry. Now stocked in 15 countries and over 120 stores, the brand has been certified by the Fair Wear Foundation in 2013 and seen recommendations from the likes of Vogue (“a brand to watch”) in 2016. The team understands that ethics is not cut-and-dry and needs constant effort and improvement to effect real change in the sector.
Putting workers first is a tenet of Under-protection. The production companies in New Delhi, India, have been a priority from the beginning – their small manufacturing company, Eco Wear, is run by a woman who is at the heart of the fight for worker rights in India. As demand increased, operations expanded to Europe, with suppliers who share their passion for fair labour and hold ethics certifications (BSCI, Sedex, GOTS). Despite their move away from Eco Wear, Underprotection still invests in the factory to make them as eco-friendly as possible.
Responsibly sourced materials are the backbone of a sustainable apparel brand. The products need to look good, feel good and do good for everyone at every step of the supply chain. A range of fabrics are used in their items which are eco-friendly and cruelty-free. Recycled polyester, banana fibre, recycled Italian lace and organic cotton make up some of the roster of Under protection’s fabric sources. Though some of their materials use waste animal products, there’s animal-free options which are labelled on their site; you’ll also find how to care for these products to increase their longevity and reduce microplastic pollution.
Packaging is given the same treatment as the rest of their supply chain; cardboard boxes which are made from recycled materials and are FSC certified mean you can rest easy when unboxing. Their postal bags are also recycled, and the polybags are biodegradable. On top of all this, the brand works hard at reducing waste at all levels, from factory to shipment.
“Our goal is always to improve in everything we do,” reads their website, and it’s clear that this isn’t some fad to the team. Their Spring/Summer 2020 collection is sexy, comfortable and trendy and comes in styles flattering to every body type. Celebrating people, from the production team to the buyer, and our home, planet Earth, makes Underprotection a company to be reckoned with. Looking good while being kind to the environment has never been so easy.