Fashion director Shelly Vella in the green room with Stripe & Stare

Each week I celebrate a brand committed to implementing practices that won’t cost the earth whilst still delivering beautiful, timeless pieces. This week I talk ‘smalls’ with Katie Lopes co-founder and creative & sustainability director of the gorgeous knicker and loungewear brand, Stripe & Stare.

It all began with ex-fashion buyer Katie’s hunt for the perfect pair of knickers, which turned into six years of research and development into finding the best possible shape, fit and ethical fabrication. She struck gold in 2017 and Stripe & Stare was born.

When I first learnt that just a teeny 3% of the lingerie market is sustainably made it really struck a chord. This is something we wear EVERY DAY and good foundations for every outfit not only need to feel comfortable, but they need to be a healthy fit for our skin. There are so many unnatural fibres and chemicals in the clothes we wear that when you consider what you wear intimately, it really makes sense to turn to fabrics that are as natural as possible. Yes, of course, there is cotton, but as we now know, cotton is one of the biggest polluters in the fashion industry, so alternatives are key. Stripe & Stare products are made with wood pulp from sustainable tree farms which are both incredibly soft and delicious to wear – it’s also 95% biodegradable. Aside from the mood-boosting colours, great designs, fun weekly packs and cool collaborations these are knickers that once you wear…you simply won’t look back.

Hot Pink Bra & Knicker Set, £35, Stripe & Stare

Three words that sum up Stripe and Stare:

Comfort. Sustainability. Female-led.

What does sustainability mean to you?

Knowing that we are only human and doing our best is enough. Learn and educate ourselves.  Small things will add up to a big difference. At S&S we are by no means perfect, noone is. But we are open about this and always working to learn and improve.

Lemonade Bra & Knicker Set, £35, Stripe & Stare

What eco-conscious processes do you have in place?

We are always striving to do better, be better.

We work with Lenzing, an Austrian fibre producer who are world leaders in the making of sustainable and biodegradable fabrics. They are at the heart of everything we do and use wood fibres sourced from unprotected forests, always regenerated and all the raw materials are re-used, including water.

The reason our knickers exist is because only a small percentage of the underwear market is sustainably sourced – given this is a product we wear every day and cannot buy second hand, it’s a serious oversight. We are very focused on biodegradability – our range is currently 95% biodegradable, and we are working to get to 100%.

Copacabana Sweatshirt, £75, Stripe & Stare

Lime Knicker, £15, Stripe & Stare

What have your highlights been this year?

This is easy!  Definitely the collaborations we have done with LoveShackFancy and Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place.  There is nothing better than female-led businesses working together to do things a little better and the way the customer responds to this clear and very genuine messaging is totally staggering.

Embrace It All T-Shirt, £45, Stripe & Stare

Self Love 8 Box, £80, Stripe & Stare

What is your bestselling piece?

It has always been our four-knicker pack – we hear from customers literally every day that our knickers are their favourites and they have had to chuck out all the rest.  When you’re having a bad day with some operational problem that comes with running a business, knowing you are doing a good job, making the world a little better for women makes any pain worth it.

Kaleidoscope Knicker, £15, Stripe & Stare

Hot Pink Bra & Knicker Set, £35, Stripe & Stare

Mocha Bra & Knicker Set, £35, Stripe & Stare

Shop Shelly’s picks:

I hold my hand up to being a Stripe & Stare knicker devotee but I also love the loungewear. Unparalleled softness and the type of easy to wear basics you’ll slip into every evening and be hard pushed to prise yourself out of.

Black Lounge Pant, £60 // Black T-Shirt Bra, £25, Stripe & Stare

Grey Marl Ribbed Dress, £110, Stripe & Stare

Grey Marl Rib Vest, £40, Stripe & Stare

Neon Orange Knicker, £15, Stripe & Stare

READ MORE: Win a year’s subscription of Stripe & Stare knickers