Undone: the Online Resource for Ethical and Organic Underwear

By Staff | Women
Posted Aug 8, 2016

Consumers get what I put in my mouth, that organic apple, has a direct impact on my health. But they haven’t got to the point yet what I put on my body impacts me too — LaRhea Pepper, Organic Farmer Pioneer/Advocate

This quote opens the ‘Underwear’ chapter in the Magnifeco book and we love it because it reminds us that our skin is our largest organ and the clothing we put next to it matters. However, finding ethical and organic base layers isn’t easy. But luckily, Anatoli Papirovski and Lindsay Reeve (partners in love and business) have changed that by launching Undone: an online shop for high quality underwear that’s not in a lingerie niche. Shares Reeve,

It’s rare to find everything you need in one place, and often underwear and basics (a simple but well-made tee, a cotton brief) are sold as more of afterthought. We wanted to fix that!

The name ‘Undone’ serves as an expression of the brand’s philosophy. It’s about a mood or a feeling  of being slightly messy or imperfect, the opposite of anything too fussy or ‘done up.’ It’s not just the thinking behind the clothes, but it also influences the entire aesthetic of the brand: Papirovski and Reeve don’t retouch their models. We caught up with Reeve for a few questions.

What does ethical/sustainable mean to you and the brand?

As a retailer, part of what we offer is a careful edit of styles and a commitment to carrying labels that produce responsibly (which means minimizing environmental damage, producing to a very high standard of quality, and maintaining safe and fair labor practices). I also think that the ethics of fashion extend to the design process. Good design should be thoughtful and meaningful, and it should last for more than just one season. A lot of what we carry at Undone is seasonless – not necessarily timeless, but seasonless – which allows for a more personal, less wasteful approach to buying clothing. Sustainability is so complex, encompassing everything from the way the material is grown, the dyeing process, the workshops where garments are sewn, the shipping, and even the marketing. As a retailer we thoroughly research the labels we carry, but we also try to market the clothing in ways that don’t encourage wasteful buying.

What has been the most rewarding since you launched?

Definitely connecting with new people! Every so often we’ll get emails from customers who tell us how much they love the shop, and it always totally makes my week. I love being able to connect customers with things they need and love. We’ve also met a lot of people with similar sensibilities through social media – it’s such a great way to meet interesting and creative people. I feel like it’s more common now to meet up IRL with people you find on Instagram.

What should people know about your products?

We source from a variety of labels, but everything has been chosen very carefully, so you know you’re getting a product that’s beautifully and ethically made. When looking at new collections I always pay special attention to fabric, especially for the underwear – we carry a lot of organic cotton and silk, and some really soft blends as well. Everything starts with fabrics and yarns, and they’re as important to consider as a garment’s shape. The challenge is conveying texture visually online, which we try to do by creating a mood (for instance in our journal editorials).

What’s the best seller(s) and why?

We’re still very new (we officially launched in late 2015), but so far one of the consistent best-sellers has been the Cut-out Bra from The Nude Label. It’s a simple, beautiful piece that fits a wide range of body types, and I think it’s really approachable for people who are used to wearing more traditional lingerie and want to try something less structured.

What do you think the biggest issue in fashion is at the moment?

Right now it seems like people are willing to play with more natural aesthetics in fashion. That means showing a range of bodies in their individuality – things like scars, marks, and fat are interesting and beautiful. We’re so used to seeing the same thin-but-rounded bodies (boniness photoshopped out) over and over, but things are beginning to change. Undone is heading into its third season and we have a lot further to go in terms of diversity, but we’re committed to being thoughtful about the ways women’s and men’s bodies appear in our imagery. It makes sense for us since we’re all about products that show the natural shape of the body instead of hiding it.

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Undone is based in Toronto and ships almost everywhere in the world (check out the site for free shipping options). They have recently launched menswear collections and are expanding womens ready-to-wear options this fall. Visit and shop here.

 

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