Nico Designer Lis Harvey On Lingerie With Ethical Values

by: Courtney Sanders | 7 months ago | Features

Image: Nico designer Lis Harvey.

We wear underwear everyday, and we wear it directly against our biggest organ, our skin. Out of all the clothing we buy, then, it’s important to make sure our underwear is free from nasty chemicals. Enter Brisbane lingerie label, Nico. Here, founder and designer Lis Harvey shares her passion for lingerie with ethical values.

Courtney Sanders: Can you tell us a little bit about your Nico journey?
Lis Harvey:
 Nico has been going for about 7 years now. It really started out of a desire to fill the gap between the over-the-top lacy, sexy kind of underwear and the really boring everyday stuff. I felt like there really was room for a brand of underwear and basics made from beautiful materials with really nice cuts.

Image: Jess wears the Full Cup Bra and High Waisted Brief.

Courtney: Nico has had a strong ethical ethos from the beginning. Why is this important to you? 
Lis: I actually didn't start Nico with the intention of being an ethical brand. But as the ball got rolling and I started to set up our supply chain, I realised that I wasn't comfortable doing business any other way. It was my personal ethics that shaped the way Nico developed and continues to grow. Life's too short to live with the guilt of an unethical business.

Courtney: Can you walk us through the different kind of sustainable fibres, why you've chosen to use each, and why they're preferable to non-sustainable fibres?
Lis: We mostly work with Modal, which is custom knitted in Melbourne using certified Lenzing fibres. Lenzing is an awesome company with some cutting edge technology, which they use to create lovely fabrics with an environmental focus. 

Image: Jess wears the Triangle Bra.

Lis: Modal starts as Beechwood trees, which Lenzing sources from sustainable forestry plantations. The wood goes through a closed loop process to be turned into fibre, which all happens at the same site. I love working with Lenzing fibres because they are of a really high quality and it's easy to trace the entire supply chain from raw material through to finished fabrics.

Courtney: What do you think are the major ethical problems in the fashion industry at the moment? 
Lis: The greatest issue in my mind is the general lack of transparency, and the fact that this is the norm. To be open about supply chains and to be able to answer questions about where things come from should be the standard. 

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