The two Cambridge Social Venture entrepreneurs behind the brand aim to raise £10,000 to enable their first production run and have taken every step possible to ensure their creations feel good, look good and do good.
AmaElla,, a new ethical lingerie brand combining the softest certified organic cotton with simple, sensuous, vintage designs to help women feel, look and do good, is about to become a dream come true for Cambridge-based social entrepreneurs Lara San Gil and Julie Kervadec (pictured).
Lara (a Cambridge MBA graduate with marketing experience in consumer goods and e-commerce) and Julie (who has extensive experience in managing fashion collections, sourcing and product development) met whilst studying for a Masters in International Marketing and Communication in Madrid. Collaborating on a L'Oréal brainstorming competition, and making it through as finalists, it became clear they shared a common purpose of a social nature, a common frustration, of an undergarment nature and a complimentary skill-set, of an entrepreneurial nature.
“As consumers, we’re both very mindful of health, ethical and style concerns. We got talking about our frustration at being unable to find organic cotton lingerie that looked elegant. Whilst there are brands offering stylish non-synthetic clothing, none seemed to be developing stylish non-synthetic lingerie, the layer we wear closest to our skin,” observes Julie.
“The issue is that synthetic materials, commonly used in lingerie, hold moisture close to the skin, increasing the likeliness of infection. More than 75% of women experience a yeast infection in their lifetime, with 1 in 20 having recurrent thrush (1).To avoid these problems, dermatologists and skincare experts recommend cotton to guarantee good skin perspiration and breathability, yet the organic cotton lingerie on the market lacked appeal to style conscious consumers,” Lara explains further.
Their chance conversation became the basis of a strong friendship and business idea. AmaElla (a wordplay meaning ‘she loves’, or ‘love her’ in Spanish) was accepted into Cambridge Social Ventures’ incubator programme in January 2016. The two have since worked tirelessly to develop their business plan and first product range. They chose a crowd-funding campaign, rather than turning to more traditional methods of finance, to fund their venture, because it fits their business model and values.
“Upeffect it is a crowd-funding platform for conscious consumers. It’s a great fit with our target audience. The way Upeffect supports social business, from the beginning to the end of the campaign, matches exactly our needs. We’re so excited about launching and seeing how much interest there is for our ethical brand,” advises Lara.
Looking to raise £10,000 for its first production run, AmaElla is offering a range of rewards to investors, including pre-ordering to ensure they receive their lingerie in time for Mother’s Day. Perhaps the biggest reward though, is the knowledge that their investment is enabling a new brand of ethical lingerie that offers health conscious, style savvy, ethical consumers garments that are:
- Organic, carbon neutral and free from hazardous chemicals (2).
- Manufactured in Europe by suppliers who comply with strict social criteria, including: no outsourcing; no child labour; no forced labour; strong health & safety policy and some evidence of activities that increase the wellbeing of local communities
- Driving awareness and engagement in the ‘ethical fashion’ movement
To find out more and to fund AmaElla’s crowd-funding campaign, visit:
AmaElla designs and produces beautiful lingerie made from organic cotton, and ethically manufactured. AmaElla's wider vision is of a more sustainable and responsible fashion industry.
The Cambridge Social Ventures (CSV), part of the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), supports a whole range of businesses that have positive social and environmental impacts.
The CSV work in diverse fields such as health, transport, housing, ageing and education. They range from local to global in scale, and include technology start-ups, public sector, community organisations, university spinouts and everything in between.
CSV programmes are designed for people who will drive their businesses forward to create real, scalable, lasting social or environmental change. It runs Social Venture Weekends to give emerging social entrepreneurs two-and-a-half days of world-class training, and its incubator programme supports selected ventures with 12 months of ongoing regular business advice and coaching, free shared workspace, if required, and support to access loan finance.
(1) Achkar, J.M., Fries, B.C. (2010). Candida. Infections of the Genitourinary Tract. Clinical Microbiology Reviews; 23(2): 253-273
(2) AmaElla only uses GOTS certified organic cotton and OEKO-TEX Standard materials. Products carrying the GOTS symbol are manufactured from organic fibres, which have met strict environmental and social standards during processing and have been certified by an independent, third party along the whole supply chain. OEKO-TEX Standard materials do not contain harmful chemicals or dyes.
T: 07870 154453
Address: AmaElla, Future Business Centre, King’s Hedges Road, Cambridge, CB4 2HY.