Needless to say, the lingerie industry has been evolving continuosly in the last century, particularly the last decade. From constricting corsets to minimal thongs, women have seen a lot of lingerie ideas that have come and gone (I mean, corsets were once great but how glad are we for not having to waltz around in them all day?) Women have always had a body love/hate relationship and lingerie has always meant to make them feel more structured or ‘well put together’ as supposed to providing them with comfort. Personally, I feel like I have always had a love hate relationship with lingerie. It’s always granny panties for when you’re on your period and need comfort or sexier date night lingerie. No in-betweens.
But in my current pursuit of getting on to the bandwagon of healthy and sustainable, I found that most eco- friendly underwear is limited to organic cotton, which is great but not the luxury I was after. Silk, on the other hand was always reserved for those special occasions despite my love for the smooth butter like texture and feel of it on my skin. I only came across the non- organic kind or synthetic.
Last week, I was beyond thrilled to come across KENT Woman, a brand that ticks most of those boxes- day to day comfort, silk, a comfortable body positive fit YET sexy. It’s the world’s first certified organic silk underwear and loungewear brand- bonus, seeing how much I also like to support smaller brands. The beauty of texture, fit and comfort of this brand led me to further curiosity as to why and how this brand was set up, so I got talking to Stacy Anderson to find out more.
I was also inspired to learn more about Stacy, her commitment to sustainability and converting that passion into a fulfilling career ultimately leading her to KENT Woman. Stacy is a pro at sustainability and held positions at environmentally and socially-minded luxury fashion brands in the UK, Europe and the US. More recently, she advised sustainably-driven companies on brand strategy, communications architecture and thought leadership strategies including Timberland, TOMS, and Virgin Hotels.
What inspired you to create KENT Woman?
KENT Woman was originally born out of my MA thesis while I was studying at London College of Fashion. Part of my project also entailed developing a capsule range of graffiti print organic silk lingerie. At the time in London (2007/2008), it felt like the epicentre for sustainable fashion. That, coupled with a personal frustration for a lack of natural, organic and beautifully designed options for women inspired me to launch KENT. After moving from London to Toronto, I still carried with me the idea for KENT. Then moving to Los Angeles a few years later, I met the right people, found the right factory and began putting more and more time into making the KENT concept a reality. After many prototypes, fittings and samples, we landed on a core set of organic silk underwear, soft bras and loungewear that I fell in love with. A chance encounter (and aesthetic match made in heaven) with the founder of The Dreslyn, Brooke, at an event in Los Angeles eventually led to us launching exclusively with the retailer in late 2016.
How did you find a gap in the market, given the huge variety in this product category?
The gap KENT fills in the intimate wear industry is beautiful, comfortable and healthy (certified organic) underwear and sleep / loungewear that complements rather than competes with the female form. We’ve taken it one step further with the launch of our latest product this summer – The Annual Brief – the world’s first annual organic cotton underwear subscription program. It’s everyday organic underwear on autopilot. We’re also closing the loop on waste with our Recycle Club. We found these gaps through personal experience, talking to hundreds of women about what they want (and didn’t want) and being in the industry for three years.
What makes KENT Woman different from the rest?
We’re committed to making beautiful ‘against the body’ products that women love to wear everyday made from some of the world’s healthiest, softest and highest quality organic materials. We want to be every woman’s go-to everyday organic underwear. That’s why we also created our Quick Fit Quiz to help women find the style and size that fits them best, taking into account their figure shape as much as their dress size.
Why is organic better than regular?
At its core, organic is healthier for your body and the planet. For your body, our organic materials are anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic, ultra-breathable, moisture wicking and naturally temperature regulating. And with our Annual Brief, we’re using 100% organic pima cotton – that’s zero synthetics (think spandex or elastane) – against your most private parts, which is proven to help prevent bacterial and yeast infections. For the planet, organic materials means they are free from pesticides, toxins and petrochemicals.
Why sleep and intimate wear?
Women’s sleep and intimate wear was once a looked over market, where restrictive design, hyper-sexualized imagery and synthetic materials ruled. At the center of these three tensions I saw an opportunity. And I am so thrilled to see more and more brands adopt natural and sustainable materials as an option for these products and across the apparel industry overall.
A favorite quote?
‘Fear makes the wolf look bigger’ – R.R.Hood