Welcome to Ethically Kate!

Ethically Made Underwear For Every Size And Every Day

Ethically Made Underwear For Every Size And Every Day

In February 2016, I ordered my first bundle of ethical underwear…

Over 3 years on: I wear these leggings at least twice a week during winter (I’ve sewn up just one little hole), the underwear is still in rotation, and the high knee socks continue to knock my outfits out of the park. Azura Bay was one of my very first ethical fashion purchases, and it’s an absolute pleasure to be sharing about my latest Azura Bay underwear set, and formally partnering with them to help you make the best ethically made underwear decisions for every size and every day!

Chai (pup) & I rolling about in ethical underwear.

Chai (pup) & I rolling about in ethical underwear.

Azura Bay is a curated collection of cute, comfy, and conscious lingerie, swim, and loungewear brands. Founder, Ashley, works tirelessly to find brands who fit her ethically made ethos, and brings them into one easy online platform. You’ll find socks, swimwear, tights, leggings, bodysuits, jewellery, cards, and activewear too. The styles range from simple basics to lacy, sexy lingerie. Azura Bay are the type of brand you can recommend to your friends who adore Victoria Secret, and they won’t be scared off by having to compromise on style. No compromise needed!

Azura Bay currently use 100% recycled boxes, poly mailers, and white tissue paper, as well as biodegradable shipping tape that are all made in the United States by EcoEnclose. Azura Bay are always on the mission to better their offering and reduce their footprint on the planet… they’re making the switch to compostable mailers this month!

I’ve worn Azura Bay on my wedding day, into the ocean (I often go for a spontaneous dip), hiking, and everywhere in between. After using their amazing systems for my bridal shower gift registry, my underwear draw is probably 70% Azura Bay!- yip, I’m one a lucky gal.

The latest piece I’ve added: the Black Lima Recycled Lace Bralette & Undies…

Black Lima Recycled Lace Longline Bralette

  • Ethically made by Underprotection in Bulgaria

  • Made of recycled polyester lace

  • No underwire

  • Removable padding

  • Multiple hook & eye closures to adjust fit

  • Small band/larger cup sizing to fit 30A - 40E

  • Oeko-Tex certified

My thoughts: The bra was intimidating at first, as it literally has 6 eye and hooks, with three different lengths to choose from. Surprisingly, it’s far easier to do up than I thought! The bra (I wear size S) fits me really well. I’m always skeptical when buying bras without much shape or an underwire. I’m quite flat chested, so they can often gape and look like I’m wearing a bra far too big for me. Not this one!

Perhaps you’ve already felt this before too… but wearing a bra this beautiful under your everyday clothes, is very empowering. There’s something about doing it up in the morning that makes me feel like: yeah, I can conquer today (because I look FABULOUS under my clothes, and no one knows it).

When you’re choosing your size, I’d recommend reading the description which details the sizes of all the models (who are a variety of shapes and sizes). It’s excellent to have this extra sizing insight, and this reduces your chances of getting the wrong size and having to exchange.

Black Lima Recycled Lace Undies

  • Ethically made by Underprotection in Bulgaria

  • Made of recycled polyester lace

  • Oeko-Tex certified

  • Star like leaf pattern

  • Size XS to XL

My thoughts: Oosh that leaf pattern!! The pattern isn’t only super sexy, but it means I don’t have underwear lines on my butt when I wear tights. I wear tights A LOT! I wear size S in the underwear, as I have a wee butt- which is great and true to my usual sizing. The lace is absolutely gorgeous.

After 3 years of online chats, formal & informal collaborations, and generally hanging around this ethical fashion space together, I’ve come to called Ashley (founder) a great friend. She’s one of those people who puts her ALL into what she does, but realises it’s important to spend time with friends, family, and enjoy a spot of figure skating too!

I asked Ashley a few questions so you know the ins and outs of Azura Bay- a wee exclusive BTS peak.

Why lingerie? Why did you start Azura Bay?

I discovered the pitfalls of fast fashion when I was in university, and volunteering at a fair trade store called Ten Thousand Villages. It all kind of hit me at once. The realisation when reading the artisan's stories, that business in general perhaps has a darker side

Why else would a dedicated "Fair trade" trend need to exist? Shouldn't all trade be fair?!

I was studying commerce and really wanted to get into fashion- I thought it would be fun and creative. Once I started learning about how terrible the status quo was in the fashion world, I figured I could wedge myself in and provide women with a better way to shop!

How did I end up in lingerie? To be completely honest, I wanted to have a swim store. I am totally a mermaid at heart, despite being a figure skater and living in the prairies in the centre of Canada, I've always been obsessed with the ocean. So, given that swimming has a very short season here, I thought I would do what many swim brands do and pair up with lingerie- which for ethical and eco options was also super hard to find at the time. The funny part is that I love helping women feel good about what they wear under their clothes, and in order to do this even better, I've moved away from swim to focus on lingerie.

What's your favourite 'business task' in the running of daily Azura Bay business?

That's a tough one, but I love finding new styles and brands that can help women discover what they need to be comfortable. I love photoshoot days, because the women I work with are a ton of fun. I like being creative, and I love engaging with all the wonderful people I've met through this business every day on Instagram.

How do you go about choosing brands to stock in Azura Bay?

My absolute #1 requirement is that it is ethically produced.

I think that should be the bare minimum in any business. Especially since fashion is produced 80%+ by women, I want to support everyone from the start of the supply chain, to the people wearing my items. Secondly, I think comfort, fit, and style are next most important, (we all have that fav t-shirt bra that we rock under everything, right?!). I believe a classic garment that is loved and well-worn is more sustainable than buying something new every month, and struggling to get the right fit. This is also why a few of my pieces are made with synthetic fabrics; no one has yet figured out how to get a smooth cup t-shirt bra made with eco fabrics. At least I can offer someone a really great, ethically made cup bra first, and hopefully soon I will be able to replace it with an eco option! Finally, the majority of my curated pieces are made with a wide range of eco fabrics. I want to leave as little impact on the Earth as possible - plus they are super soft and healthy to wear!

If someone were to describe Azura Bay in 3 words, what would they be?

Cute, Comfy, Conscious.

What portion of proceeds do you donate to the organisations you support, and why did you choose those particular companies?

Instead of 1% for the planet, I chose to offer my customers the choice of where the 1% goes:

  • Supporting environmental protection via The Nature Conservancy of Canada

  • Supporting wildlife conservation via the World Wildlife Foundation of Canada

  • Supporting women + girls rights/health/education around the world via Plan International's Because I am A Girl Organisation

When someone goes through check out, they are given the option of which of the three their order will donate to. There's no way to be a product based business that doesn't create a footprint, so I'm passionate about giving back in every way that I can.

If you’re on the hunt for ethically made underwear, shop Azura Bay here.

Use code ETHICALLYKATE for 10% off- I hope this helps!

As a rule, I only work with brands I love, use, and can whole heartedly back. I send the brand a large list of questions to answer first, and trial the product properly before saying yes to anything. This is a sponsored blog (I can't pay my electricity bill with free products), but 100% my own words, photos, and opinion.

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