Azura Bay || Making Eco-Friendly Lingerie Accessible

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If you’re a veteran reader of this little space, you’re no stranger to Azura Bay. I’ve shared about this wonderful brand countless times, and they’re lodged for good on my Lingerie List and on my main List of ethical retailers. But, aside from the fact that they offer ethically made lingerie, you may not know much about the Canadian undergarment powerhouse.

Today’s post, I hope, will change that.

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Azura Bay puts a unique spin on the tried and true concept of “sustainable marketplaces” (or, one stop shops carrying ethical goods). Everyone needs undergarments so Azura Bay truly fills a gap in everyone’s closet with their undergarments, swimwear, and most recently, a collection of basic tees.

I’m excited to be able to share about Azura Bay using Ashley’s (the brand’s curator and founder) own words to give you all a peek into the mission and future of one of my favorite (and in my opinion, most necessary) brands ever. Azura Bay empowers women on all ends of the supply chain, carries an inclusive range of sizing, and works to be truly as sustainable as possible.

How do you decide which brands to carry?

It's been pretty incredible to see the amount of growth in the ethical + eco clothing space the past few years since I launched and that's been reflected in the increased options for ethical + eco lingerie as well! I aim to bring women the very best selection in one easy-to-shop collection; so I'm very picky about what I stock in the store.  

The number one criteria a brand has to meet for me to carry them in the store is that they have ethical production; whether it's certified fair trade or locally produced and upholding local labour laws (I'll ask for as much transparency as possible on this including finding out what wages they are paying, their HR practices and if I can, visiting their facilities - I just visited Mayana Geneviere in Toronto and met her team, which was amazing!). It's so important to me to empower all the women in the supply chain as well as the women wearing the pieces I sell. 

Next, I try to stock as many styles in eco-fabrics as possible, but in order to get the fit and style many women are looking for (like smooth cups or lightly padded t-shirt bras), I'll stock something that's meeting those needs as long as it's ethically made. Fit and style are extremely important to me, as I believe classic, comfortable items that you love and wear often are the best starting point for a sustainable wardrobe! 

How does Azura Bay give back?

I wanted to give back to my community both here in Canada and globally beyond the ethical and eco initiatives with my products and packaging; so instead of 1% for the planet, I allow you to choose one of three organizations at checkout that I donate 1% of sales back to; World Wildlife Foundation, Nature Conservancy of Canada (did you know I live in the same province that many of Canada's polar bears call home!? I've seen firsthand the effects of climate change and this organization does a ton of amazing work to protect important habitats), and Because I am a Girl. This way you can contribute to the cause closest to your heart.

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What about packaging?

I currently use a combination of 100% recycled boxes and 100% recycled/recyclable polymailers from EcoEnclose, plus 100% recycled tissue paper and recycled paper postcards. The zero waste movement has been doing so well at inspiring packaging companies to be more creative; and soon I'll be able to replace my stickers, shipping labels, and tape with recycled/recyclable versions as well! I'm striving to reduce waste as much as I can along every step of the shipping process, and will be introducing compostable mailers later this year (I have a back stock of my original packaging, so it might as well be used first!). Additionally, I've been able to get several of my suppliers to reduce plastic usage by combining all pieces into 1 protective plastic bag instead of individually wrapped or even just wrapping them in tissue instead. 

What’s next for Azura Bay?

I'm so excited that so far this year I was able to launch a few pieces that have more inclusive sizing (my bralettes now run from 30A - 40H in certain styles plus more sizing in the nursing bralettes, including special sizing for smaller bands with larger cups like 32H!), and I'm working on expanding that this year with more styles and more colours. I hope to one day launch my own line so that I can better respond to the needs of my customers, but for now I'm focusing on bringing more options in the styles that my customers love. I'm so excited to have more basic styles in organic fabrics and new colours later this year. 

Additionally, I'm temporarily shifting my focus away from swim in order to provide better selection for bras, underwear, active/loungewear so I may do a mini-capsule collection in the future but for now my entire collection is on sale! Finally, I'm working on showing more behind the scenes content including meeting the makers and touring their facilities in my emails and Instagram feed, and helping my home city of Winnipeg launch it's first proper Fashion Revolution week!


Azura Bay carries a beautiful selection of some of my favorite brands — some I’ve purchased on my own, others I’ve heard about through Ashley. Brands like Naja, Organic Basics, WAMA Underwear, and White Rabbit NYC are all brands I’ve tried and love and, of course, ones that Azura Bay carries along with many others.

You can use the code LIV15 for 15% off any order from Azura Bay and be sure to shop the incredible swimwear sale while you can!


*This post is part of a longterm collaboration with Azura Bay. All opinions, photographs, and stories are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make SL&Co. possible!*

Where to Find Ethically Made Maternity/Nursing Bras

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Nursing bras and I have a love/hate relationship.

After breastfeeding two kids for a nearly combined 4 years of my life and, of course, adding a third baby soon to my boob journey, I’ve tried just about everything. There was the phase with my first when I stubbornly refused to buy nursing bras, because ew and because I was 20 and barely had time to discover normal lingerie before being thrust into a world of ultra supportive, ultra covering, ultra “mom-ish” undergarments. There was the phase with my second where just I gave up and bought cheap nursing bras at Target that wore out from literal days and days (and nights and nights) of wear at a time.

I’m not sure what “phase” I’ll go through with baby #3 yet, but I’m hoping it’s the “finds a few really high quality, ethically made nursing bras that also work post-nursing and never looks back” phase.

If you’ve breastfed a baby before, you’ll know that breastfeeding in typical underwire bras just doesn’t work (sorry, 20-year-old me). And most bralettes and sports bras are, simply put, unprepared for the amount of leaking, spraying, spiting up, and mess making that takes place in their vicinity. So, buying at least a few nursing bras will really, really, really make your life a lot easier.

But.

Finding ethically made ones is like finding a mythical creature that most people assume doesn’t exist.

I’m hoping this post will convince you otherwise.


What to look for:

A few notes before we dive into the bras I’ve found thus far about nursing bras in general:

  • In my opinion, maternity bras that are incompatible with breastfeeding (if you plan to breastfeed, of course) are pointless. When you shop, look for ones that will fit you during pregnancy (much easier to swing) that are also breastfeeding friendly.

  • You’re going to spend A LOT of time in these bras, so don’t be afraid to shop around, spend a little more, and keep looking/exchanging till you find the perfect fit.

  • I recommend getting mostly “comfy bras” and maybe 1 or 2 “big girl bras” with underwire for when you want to feel more like a human and less like a farm animal. I love breastfeeding, but I never said it was glamorous.


The Ethics of Lingerie:

Like with all ethical shopping, there are certain things people will prioritize when shopping. Aside from fit and compatibility with breastfeeding, the qualifications I’m hoping to meet for my nursing bras are:

  • Made from a sustainable (ideally organic) material

  • Made in responsible, traceable, ethical conditions

  • Fits a wide ranges of body types (so I can more honestly recommend them to you all!)

  • Is a practical bra that transitions well from pregnancy to postpartum and beyond.


My picks, this time around:


First up: Aside from the obvious conclusion that it’s really hard for me to take a photo without touching my hair, my next conclusion is about this sexy (yes, take heart, 20 year old me, I finally found a sexy nursing bra) bra from Azura Bay.

Azura Bay is a Canada-based lingerie shop collecting the best of sustainable and ethically made bras and undies from around the world in one convenient place. I’m wearing their Nikki Black Lace Nursing Bralette from Mayana Geneviere. The bra is great for pregnancy (soft, elastic waistband) but is actually designed for breastfeeding with pull-away nursing access.

The shop also has another beautiful and similar nursing bra, the Alexander Black Lace Nursing Bralette, that’s essentially the same bra without the longer lace trim.

I haven’t gotten any other nursing bras yet, but the following list are a few on my radar that I’m planning to add to my repertoire in the coming months:

  • 24/7 Bra by Boob Design: ($55)

    • This bra is made to be worn all day and night and has medium support, which is ideal for comfort. Really, I can’t recommend Boob more highly - I’ll be sharing more about them in the coming months, but if you’re pregnant or nursing, it’s a great resource.

  • Padded Daily Bra by Majamas ($39)

    • I’ve worked with Majamas before and, although they don’t have many bra styles to choose from, their mission is admirable and they’re empowering moms all over the world through their products.

  • None So Pretty Lace Nursing Bra by Mothers En Vogue ($36)

    • This is a Singapore-based brand that I learned about via Eco Warrior Princess. They’re transparent about their production and strive to use natural fibers but what most excited me was that their bras look like NORMAL bras.

  • Marvella Classic Nursing Bra by Kindred Bravely ($49.99)

    • Although not marketed as an ethical brand, I did some digging and spoke to their Customer Care team who informed me that KB only works with supplier and factories who meet strict ethical requirements (they visit their factories often and even told me their largest factories comet to visit their team headquarters as well). There is obviously room for improvement, but I would prefer to shop from a brand who knows where their clothes are made instead of a bigger “box store”. They utilize organic cotton in several of their products as well.

  • Jane’s Bra Top by Blue Canoe ($49)

    • Similar to the 24/7 Bra from Boob, this bra is meant to be comfortable and is made with organic cotton.

Shopping for sustainable lingerie in general is difficult, but finding options that are nursing friendly AND ethically made is almost impossible. I've rounded up a few of the best sustainably made nursing bras on the market - save for later or buy your favorite now!

Have you found any other places selling sustainably made nursing bra? Let me know and I’ll add them to this little list!


*This post was sponsored by Azura Bay as part of a long term partnership - all opinions and photos are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this world a better place*