In Bloom London – Emily Huc

After graduating, I spent a year in the jungle of Costa Rica working for a small cooperative of indigenous farmers. There, I witnessed the striking contrast between the monotonous conventional banana plantations which stretched for kilometres and the dense forest within which generations of farmers had lived in harmony with their natural environment.

Unlike large corporations, small farmers managed to cultivate banana and cocoa whilst preserving the rain forest. They used no chemicals or pesticides, allowing the native flora and fauna to develop and play their natural pest control role. Despite their positive farming methods, the small producers struggled to compete with their giant neighbours for market access until they became organic and fair-trade certified. There is no doubt that those certifications, the added value recognized by the costumers saved their way of life and the forest in which they live.

This experience convinced me that there was a more enlightened way of producing goods than mainstream economy suggested and subsequently led me to spend 7 great years working in international development. But the creative bug got into my blood when I was a child and I desperately wanted to create a project of my own. Always on the lookout for exciting ethical products, I became an unconditional fan of sustainable fashion. There was an area though where I couldn’t find what I was looking for: sustainable lingerie and especially structured bras. I started dreaming of finding delicate, comfortable and feminine undergarments in organic cotton. After all, it seemed so logical to pay specific attention to the clothes which are closest to your skin. When the idea became too daunting I enrolled in several courses at the London College of Fashion. There, my vision became clearer; lingerie pieces conceived as a veil of softness against women’s skin, a celebration of femininity and an invitation for women to fulfil their own dreams: In bloom London was born!

If the idea came pretty easily, the execution threw me into the harsh realities of fashion production. I quickly realised that building an effective and sustainable supply chain would be difficult, especially for a product as complex as corsetry – did you know that there are up to 20 different pieces in a bra! The real challenge was the same as for all new fashion labels: to build a supply chain with the same quality, expertise and reactivity as established brands but even more complex as I was looking for higher standards of environmental and social performance as well as greater transparency. It was also a challenge to find environmentally sound fabrics with the same technical specificities and looks as the fabrics women are used to seeing in contemporary underwear. I chose organic cotton as the main fabric for its hypoallergenic attributes and softness. I also found an amazing interlock, Lyocell which has a beautiful transparency and is ideal for supporting environmental innovation in fabric.

Developing the final product range took 6 long months of designing; choosing accessories, fabrics & trimmings; pattern making, fittings and sample development. Thankfully this journey enabled me to carefully select high quality providers with the highest possible levels of certification (all fabrics and trimming are certified Oeko Tex 100 which is the highest safety standard for textiles, the cotton is certified organic by GOTS and all providers are based in Europe). I also found an amazing family run factory in the North of France with an exceptional expertise in corsetry. Knowing that there are only a handful of factories left in France with the ability to make structured lingerie makes working with that manufacturer even more meaningful.

 After a year of hard work, I finally took delivery of In Bloom’s first collection in September.  It’s now available on our website  and in our Notting Hill Boutique (8 Portobello Green, 281 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TZ). We hope that you will love the collection as much as we do and look forward to seeing you in our boutique for a chat about sustainable lifestyles, a lingerie fitting or both!

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