AmaElla graduated from Cambridge Social Ventures in January 2017.
AmaElla designs and produces beautiful lingerie made from organic materials, such as cotton and bamboo, and ethically manufactured. AmaElla’s wider vision is of a more sustainable and responsible fashion industry.
Lara San Gill and Julie Kervadec met whilst studying for a masters in International Marketing and Communication in Madrid. Collaborating on a L’Oreal brainstorming competition, and making it through as finalists with their ideas, they realised that they shared a common purpose of a social nature and were well suited to working together.
“We wanted to work together to create a social venture that responded to the growing demand for less abusive practices and a more sustainable and socially responsible fashion industry. Our idea is AmaElla, a range of beautiful lingerie made from organic natural fibres and manufactured ethically. AmaElla is a wordplay that means ‘she loves’ or ‘love her’ in Spanish, which shows the caring aspect of the brand,” explains Lara.
“Our mission is to deliver ethical and sustainable products that make women look their best and feel confident. We do this by creating beautiful stylish garments, ethically manufactured and made from organic fibres. We believe that organic clothing can be beautiful, exciting and a fulfilling experience for customers at the same time as influencing the fashion industry to move towards a more ethical and sustainable model,” advises Julie.
Together, with guidance from an expert team of advisors, Lara and Julie are preparing to launch their range of elegant ethical, organic everyday wear lingerie and nightwear, targeting adult women who are concerned about health, wellbeing and the environment.
“Lingerie is a robust consumer market because it benefits from a continuous demand generated by the need to replace old items with new ones. This market has shown steady growth during the economic downturn and is expected to continue growing strongly in the next five years. Seen as affordable luxury, the lingerie high-end of the market continues to grow,” explains Julie.
“Whilst a number of brands have been coming to the marketplace with an ethical proposition that sometimes includes organic materials, most of these are characterised by a plain and basic style and cater for either a very young and sporty woman or for a segment with specific needs such as post-surgical. AmaElla is a unique proposition in a growing marketplace with evidence of demand,” concludes Lara.
Lara San Gil is a Cambridge MBA with seven years’ experience working within the fast-moving consumer goods and digital marketing sectors. Lara has experience in managing brands, market research and launching new products. In her last role as marketing manager for Match.com, Lara worked intensively in communication and PR campaigns. Lara has recently completed a short course at the London College of Fashion to better understand the lingerie and swimwear industry and processes.
Julie Kervadec has more than six years’ experience in the textile industry, including as senior product manager for Carrefour, where she was in charge of the collection construction, development and purchase of women’s wear. She has also worked for MIM, a French fast fashion brand targeting young women. Frequently travelling to China, Turkey, Bangladesh and India, Julie is experienced at negotiating with suppliers, fulfilling products’ technical specifications and managing the launch of collections to the market.
With an advisory team including Petra Green, experienced lingerie designer, professor at the London College of Fashion and entrepreneur, and Eddie Gavriilidis, award winning fashion designer, AmaElla’s founding members are perfectly positioned to launch this new ethical brand into the market.
Julie and Lara are looking forward to identifying the key social impact performance indicators with Cambridge Social Ventures. There are likely to include environmental, social and engagement metrics:
- Providing carbon neutral and organic choices for environmentally conscious consumers
- Creating employment and opportunities for an ethical workplace
- Driving awareness of and engagement in the ‘ethical fashion’ movement
In the short term the aim is to launch the range and build a presence among independent multibrand lingerie stores, as well as a direct sales route to market, with partnerships with wellness centres and spa providers too. Longer term the range will be sold via an online store. AmaElla aims to offer a different way of producing and consuming lingerie.