Browsing through Ecouterre today I found out about British lingerie-maker Ayten Gasson capsule collection of cruelty-free underwear. Stitched in one of England’s last remaining underwear factories, these vintage-inspired knickers comprise Ahimsa or “peace” silk (the production of which leaves the silk worm/moth unharmed. See my page for more information). Heralded as the first designer to use peace silk in lingerie, Designer Ayten Mustafa is proud of the progression of their products to be increasingly "eco-freindly":
“Research into eco-silks was a natural progression into making the label a 100 percent ethical brand ... Mixing peace silks with vintage cotton laces, all produced in the U.K., was the ideal design pieces to me—something I would be proud to design, make, and put my name too (sic).” (Source: Ecouterre).
Ayten Gasson's website identifies these products as under the "Eco Lingerie" banner, highlighting the use of vegan peace silk as a major innovation for silk lovers who are also concerned with their environmental ethics. Continuing their to use Organic and Peace Silk the Eco Lingerie collections, they are also researching organic dyes and natural printing methods which they hope to introduce over the next couple of seasons.
When asked why she chose to design lingerie, Ayten describes how she worked in a well-known high street lingerie chain while studying for her degree. She would see the lovely designs in the shop that were made out of cheap fabrics and imported, synthetic laces. Growing up knowing the history behind the UK textile industry and high quality fabrics, she thought it was a shame that these companies were not supporting the UK fashion and manufacturing trade. This fuelled her passion for lingerie design and for supporting other UK manufacturing businesses.