[6 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday all! We have absolutely been loving the heat in London this week and hope you all got to enjoy it too! These last days of summer have us wanting to strip off again. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite the right time to go bikini shopping, but it has got us thinking about lingerie.
After all, lingerie and sleepwear is something that we can enjoy all year long regardless of temperature and, one of the real joys of the at-home office… business on top and chilling on the bottom. In light of our latest lingerie obsession, this week we got the opportunity to speak to Hattie Tennant who is the co-founder of Fruity Booty Underwear.
Fruity Booty Underwear is the female-led lingerie and intimates brand that prioritises sustainability and celebrates normality. Not only that, but their stuff is absolutely gorgeous! We had the pleasure of chatting to Hattie about the day-to-day workings of the business, how Fruity Booty Underwear began and what’s coming soon. So grab your coffee, get into something comfy and keep reading for that Friday feeling...
Welcome to CAROLINA GMX, we’re thrilled to have you! Can you start by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel it has influenced you today?
I grew up in a house where fashion was very present. My mum loved curating her wardrobe and shared that passion with me growing up.
Snap! How did you get started in the fashion industry?
I did internships in lots of different areas of the fashion industry from a young age. I worked for Mario Testino and nearly decided not to go to university and to continue straight into work. Luckily, I did go to university, as that is where I met Minna!
"We wanted to change what society considered “sexy” in the underwear industry."
I completely understand. When you discover your passion early on it is tempting to dive straight in, but having a degree is such a valuable thing! When did you decide to start up Fruity Booty Underwear and why? Was the timing important?
Minna and I decided to start up Fruity Booty Underwear four years ago when we finished studying. It was at that time that some very big brands were starting to face backlash for their narrow beauty ideals. We wanted to change what society considered “sexy” in the underwear industry. We created our own label to shift the focus to celebrating the individuality of women and to produce a more creative and approachable shopping experience.
I love Fruity Booty’s ideals! How does sustainability factor into Fruity Booty Underwear?
Creating consciously and being as sustainable as we can are core values of Fruity Booty Underwear. We try to primarily source deadstock fabrics that would otherwise go to waste. We also manufacture locally in England or in our amazing factory nearby in Portugal. All of our packaging is recyclable and we are looking into using recyclable fabrics in the near future too.
Your commitment to sustainability is really inspiring! Do you think people are more conscious of the materials and fabrics in their clothes nowadays? If so, why do you reckon that is?
Yes for sure! People are much more aware of their effect on the environment in all aspects of their lives. We get a lot of customers asking us questions about our fabrics and process, which we love. I think people are trying to buy better, buy less, and they are investing in good quality clothes.
That is a great thing to hear. What were your biggest challenges in starting up Fruity Booty Underwear?
For us, it was definitely the production side; finding the right manufacturer, building a relationship and standing our ground as a small business to make sure we weren’t ripped off and always put to the bottom of the pile.
That must have been really tricky at the start. What do you think makes Fruity Booty Underwear stand out?
We get a lot of comments on our imagery and our unfiltered aesthetic. I think people are so used to heavily airbrushed imagery when it comes to lingerie and our more natural approach makes us stand out.
Absolutely! I love that about your images. Normalising things like rolls of fat and stretch-marks is a really positive thing for a fashion brand. What is your favourite thing about your job?
It would have to be talking to our customers and getting that first-hand feedback.
And which piece would you say is your favourite that you’ve ever created?
It changes a lot, but right now I’m obsessed with our Tiger Brown Set. The tiger print fabric and demi-cup bra have a real '80s Hollywood glamour feel to them.
Oh, I love that set too! It’s so sexy and cool. What has been your biggest ‘pinch-me’ moment?
Jorja Smith wearing our blue gingham top and knickers in her music video for ‘The One’.
That’s so exciting! I’m going to search for that music video after this… What inspires you?
Honestly, everything inspires us. I would say recently that a big source of inspiration has been swimwear shapes from the ’80s and old French movies.
"We are all constantly experimenting with new designs and shapes, which I love."
I’m so nostalgic for anything ‘80s so I think I’m going to love whatever pieces Fruity Booty Underwear brings out next. Could you describe what an average day looks like for you?
Everyday is so different! I feel like we never have an average day. When we are not doing a photoshoot, packaging up orders, or overseeing production in our East London factory, I am based in our studio in London Fields. We have a team meeting most mornings to run through the day and then everyone gets on with their own thing. We now have Flora, our in-house seamstress, so most days we are creating something new. We are all constantly experimenting with new designs and shapes, which I love. We also have the amazing Siena who assists on all things creative, so there is always some sort of content creation going on somewhere in the office. It’s not a bad place to be...
Sounds super cool! Would you say that you have a work/life balance?
Some weeks I would say yes and some... not so much. I am lucky enough to love my job, so if it does work its way into other elements of my life and pockets of free time I am not too mad about it.
What words do you live by?
“Everything happens for a reason.”
I love that saying because it helps to know that the hard times are steering you towards something better. What’s next for Fruity Booty Underwear?
We’ve stopped planning too far ahead as everything is changing so quickly at the moment. We are researching into the future landscape and strategising as best we can.
What we do know is that we want to do more collaborations, work with sustainable fabric suppliers to experiment with using recyclable materials, expand our sizing offering and start doing events abroad (Covid-19 permitting, of course!).
Like what you read? Head to the Fruity Booty Underwear website to shop now!
Alternatively, if you fancy checking out some of our previous interviews, you can find them here. Want more from CAROLINAGMX? Check this out: Finding The Right Shampoo & Tools For A Sensitive Scalp