Kye Intimates makes underwear for mind, body and soul
Kye Intimates – the LA-based sustainable underwear label – has a skintight social and environmental conscience
‘Growing up on the West Coast in Los Angeles, you witness a lot of the impact that humans have had on the environment, from wildfires and droughts caused by climate change,’ says Bonita Kye. ‘It’s really shaped the incentive behind my brand and every decision we make.’ In 2018, Kye launched the sustainability-minded and trend-subverting women’s underwear label Kye Intimates, a response in part to the environmentally damaging methods she witnessed working in the fashion sector, in operational and merchandising roles. She was also perturbed by idealised body expectations perpetuated within the industry.
‘These are pieces for women to buy for themselves and not for a partner,’ Kye explains. Minimalist styles, including wire-free balconette bras and high waisted briefs, scoop neck bralettes and thongs, are formed from surplus or natural fabrics, including gauzy mesh and bamboo. Small batch runs are made in a family-run local factory, that operates using solar power. ‘Each piece stands on its own as an essential and is never trend-driven,’ Kye adds. ‘We work with deadstock fabrics to minimise contributing to the over-production of textiles.’ You can read more about the importance of upcycling in our comprehensive guide to sustainable fashion. The label also uses pared-back, recycled packaging.
The titles of Kye Intimates’ designs playfully allude to minimalist and modernist pioneers, name checking Donald Judd, Mies Van der Rohe and Richard Neutra. ‘The names are a homage to these philosophes,’ Kye explains.
Kye Intimates also champions the charity I Support The Girls, one which sources bras, underwear and hygiene products for women and girls experiencing homelessness and poverty. ‘We’ve been donating samples to them,’ Kye says. ‘Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for these items has increased dramatically.’ In celebration of Earth Day, (22 April 2021), the brand is also launching the Live Lightly Initiative, inviting customers to buy shipping labels through Kye Intimates’ website, and donate their own gently worn bras. §