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Pansy Designer Laura Schoorl Is Paving The Way With Non-Toxic Lingerie

by: Rosie Dalton | 1 year ago | Features

Image: Pansy founder Laura Schoorl. Image source.

Pansy is a California-based lingerie label with a big heart. Focussed on simple, sustainable bras, undies and basics, the brand was formed a few years ago by Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry and is, today, one of our go-tos for lingerie with ethical values. Boasting a firm focus on inclusivity and diversity, the brand has garnered an impressive following on Instagram, which serves to invite the viewer into the world of Pansy’s earth-loving underwear.

Today, Laura runs Pansy, full-time, in between juggling other design work and raising her baby. The brand's sustainable bras and knickers are sewn nearby to her home, in a San Leandro based factory. The organic cotton is grown in Texas and milled in North Carolina and the underwear is then dyed using fiber-reactive dyes in a factory in Novato, California. “Everything we make can be thrown on your compost pile and become part of the earth again,” she explains. So we asked Laura to share her take on why we need to detoxify our underwear drawers.

Rosie Dalton: Can you tell me about why you decided to start Pansy?
Laura Schoorl: At the time we started it, there wasn't any well-made organic cotton underwear. I like thrifting clothes or trading clothes with friends and underwear was the one thing I didn’t feel comfortable buying used. Pansy was born out of a need for good undies that were both comfy and made well. My friend Rachel and I were on a road trip to Santa Barbara to visit her family and we were talking about everything we wanted to make. We were both making sandals and had been dreaming of good comfy undies. I've always been obsessed with organic agriculture and I dreamed of USA-grown organic cotton, so that’s how we started.

Rosie: What is it that makes these undies so special, especially in an era where fashion is moving so fast? 
Laura: Everything about Pansy is special. It is so basic and made in the most ethical and sustainable way – it is made with so much love. 

Rosie: Can you tell us a little bit about your design process, from concept to creation? 
Laura: I make the things that I want to wear. If there is something I need and can't find made in a way that meets my standards, then I start designing it. That is why we don't come out with that many new Pansy styles; I like to do everything slowly and purposefully. After I have an idea, I work with Allison to make the pattern. We get it sampled at our factory, then take it back to the studio to try it on and see how it fits. This helps us learn whether we need to make any adjustments.

Image: Laura Schoorl at home in California. Image source.

Rosie: Why do you believe that sustainable lingerie is better lingerie? 
: We live on a planet of finite resources and can't continue to pollute our environment and poison our communities. Not only does it affect the people who grow and process textiles and the communities that surround them, but all of that toxicity is also in the clothing you put on your body. Pansy is non-toxic and can be composted back into the soil. Most women can feel the difference on their skin!

Rosie: What care tips do you have for people looking to maximise the longevity of their sustainable underwear?
Laura: Always hang dry. I usually hang on all my door handles and it's dry by the next morning. Hand washing is also a good practice but, if low on time, I will machine wash cold on a delicate cycle. High heat isn't good for natural elastic. It’s also best to rotate bras regularly, so you allow the elastic to rest after being worn. 

Image: Laura Schoorl with her baby. Image source.

You can shop our full range of Pansy over here.

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