In a world where we’ve become accustomed to living “on demand” (watching movies whenever we want on Netflix, and having UberEats delivered right to our doorstep), the thought of slowing down can sometimes sound hard and a little overwhelming.
But slowing down is exactly what the slow fashion movement is all about. Prioritising quality over speed, the movement invites consumers to invest in high-quality, long-lasting clothes (and intimates) that have been thoughtfully designed and ethically produced.
Chances are, like us, you’ve found yourself wondering how you can make the right choice (and still look and feel cute too).
Lucky for us (and for you) NICO founder Lis Harvey has done the heavy lifting with sustainability being “embedded [in the brand] from the start”.
Never an afterthought, Lis says “sustainability is at the forefront of the decision-making process when designing – from which fabrics we use (largely GOTS certified organic cotton and Lenzing tencel modal), to how we dye (we do a lot of natural, plant dyeing)”. GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and Lenzing both being globally recognised sustainability accreditations.
But NICO’s approach to slow fashion is so much more than just sustainable fibres.
Lis commitment to slow fashion has been in play since the brand launched back in 2012 and extends to both their manufacturing and their relationships with people too.
In 2017, NICO shifted their production to India, and whilst the brand continued to grow and evolve, the focus on sustainability and commitment to transparency has remained.
The on-ground Production Manager, Rajesh, was able to grow his business with NICO. Having worked previously at an external accredited factory, in March 2021, Rajesh was able to open his own factory, purchasing machinery and hiring a small but talented team who now exclusively produce NICO garments. All of the NICO products you know are lovingly created by this talented team of artisans.
This same consideration for sustainability is matched in consideration for design too.
With a background in Photography, the move into crafting a new brand founded on sustainability was a pretty big jump, but it began with a “craving for a project that had more creative control, and where [Lis] could create a concept from scratch.” and a believe that if you are going to create something new to “make sure you are offering something that is needed in the world”.
It was that driving force that ultimately birthed the brand; “NICO plugged a gap in the market for intimates that were comfort focussed and made with luxe, natural fibres.” Being able to capture the concept from inception (the product) to campaign (the imagery) was the perfect way for Lis to blend this creative outlet with her passion for photography.
“NICO plugged a gap in the market for intimates that were comfort focussed and made with luxe, natural fibres.”
Lis’ inspiration came from trawling the lingerie floors of Department Stores and “always being interested in the ‘teen’ style bras as they has the cutest prints and cuts without all the padding and excessive trims.” It was those minimalistic designs that left Lis wondering why the comfy bras were always labelled ‘teen’ style. And Lis is so right – us, adults, are craving comfort too!
“I remember wondering why that kind of style was reserved just for ’teens’.”
Whether it is the incredibly slinky feel of Lenzing Modal tencel in The Basics range, or the super soft GOTS certified organic cotton in The Organics range we are always impressed by how luxe NICO feels on the body. But it is the minimalist aesthetic that makes these bras and undies perfect for anyone’s top drawer which Lis attributes to “a focus on comfort, simplicity and only the best materials.”
With an expert eye for all things function meets form, we couldn’t go past asking Lis what the top pick from NICO would be and to our pleasure it’s the ultimate in comfort; “the NICO Full Cup Wirefree is definitely a crowd favourite, it just offers that really perfect balance of comfort and support.” Wireless? Support? Comfort? Hear, hear!
Time to slow down?