Meet Lara Miller, one of the brains behind the beauty that is AmaElla Ethical Lingerie.
It was Lara’s studies at Cambridge that awakened a hunger for entrepreneurship, and a drive to create a company with ethics and sustainability at the forefront of its practices. It was this, along with Lara’s knowledge of the impact of water pollution brought about from a sabbatical in Madagascar, her educational visits to cotton plantations, and her good friend (and now business partner) Julie, that laid the foundations on which AmaElla Ethical Lingerie was built.
Find out more about how Lara and AmaElla aligned below:
What made you start Ama Ella?
AmaElla was founded with a vision of creating a fashion company with ethical and sustainable values at its core.
Volunteering in Marine Conservation in Madagascar had made Lara realise the importance and impact of water pollution, for which textiles have a big responsibility. She then studied in Cambridge and this really stimulated her entrepreneurial appetite.
In 2016 AmaElla was born, a brand new organic cotton and ethical lingerie brand. We are now proud to be running a social enterprise with the mission of encouraging ethical practices in the fashion industry by making our clothes using sustainable and ethical sources.
Do you have a morning routine? If so what is it you do to set yourself up for the day ahead?
Usually being woken by my children! I always try to begin the day with a positive attitude feeling grateful for everything I have.
What’s the biggest barrier you’ve found to succeeding as a socially conscious business?
Being resilient, things usually don’t go as planned 1st time. Also, sometimes it’s not easy to effectively communicate ethical and sustainable attributes of our lingerie.
Within the ethical fashion community, there’s a big question that we ask which is ‘who made my clothes?’. In the scope of Ama Ella, who made your lingerie? Can you tell us a bit about them?
We work with an ethical fashion manufacturer in Portugal who trains and employs local women. By doing this, they ensure the rich textile heritage of the community is preserved. We love to share information about our makers and we encourage people to ask questions freely, we’re always more than happy to answer them.
Why did you pick the fabrics/materials that you have chosen to work with?
We love cotton, it’s the best fabric for your skin, especially for those delicate areas, breathable and fresh. Unfortunately cotton is highly polluting so we find organic cotton the best alternative. We have chosen the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) because it is recognized as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles (clothing, home textiles, and personal care products) made from certified organically produced raw materials. It includes strict environmental criteria and also social criteria for operations along the entire textile supply chain.
Best piece of advice you have ever received?
Always celebrate your achievements, small and big. Focus on how far you’ve come rather than how much longer you have left to your objective.
What’s next for you and AmaElla?
More inclusive lingerie – we have just launched products with disability campaigner Samanta Bullock; a higher focus zero waste designs; as well as a more sustainable supply chain.
One book everyone should read? Why?
Slow Fashion: Aesthetics meets Ethics by Safia Minney. It answers questions about the global effects of fast fashion from the perspectives of farmers, eco-models, photographers, shop and brand owners, and other protagonists of the fashion world. It also guides you to lead a more ethical, healthy and sustainable lifestyle which is practical to everyday life.
One documentary everyone should watch? Why?
Stacey Dooley Investigates – Fashion’s Dirty Secrets. It explores the shocking impact our insatiable appetite for cheap clothing is having around the globe. There have been recent claims that the fashion industry is one of the top five most-polluting industries in the world, alongside the oil industry.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
Saffia Minney, Lucy Siege and Emma Watson.