PETITS SECRETS LINGERIE: Turning Waste into Beauty
As a man, I feel unqualified to write about the intricacies of lingerie.
What might be pleasing on the eye, often ignores the substance, the craft and design skills which have gone into such under garments. If that wasn’t difficult enough, imagine making designing and creating lingerie from upcycled, previously used fabrics or materials. This is almost the equivalent of a lingerie based alchemy – how is it possible to turn waste fabrics and old clothing into such beautifully delicate and intricate pieces of lingerie? This is the craftsman or seamstress pushed to the limit, working with a range of materials, some sought, some gifted and in need of reworking. This is exactly what Celine Bakshi does.
Petits secrets by CB is the lingerie brand created by Celine in 2011. Céline spent 4 years at the London College of Fashion, studying the art of footwear design. She has now set her sights on conquering the lingerie industry but with a good cause and important message. She says that the difference between Petits secrets and other lingerie brands is that each piece is made from upcycled fabrics, which means everything made is a one-off and totally unique. It also means that the items made this way are environmentally friendly. Celine says ,
“Every girl (and guy) loves lingerie. With Petits secrets by CB, you can enjoy beautiful, handmade garments and know that you have done a little bit to help the environment.”
Upcycling is amazing. I like the creativity associated with upcycling, and in particular the idea of turning old clothes into… new clothes. The Trashion scene (covered in a previous article on JessicaFoundIt), is able to create the most astonishing clothing and one-off designs. The importance of the upcycling and trashion scene, the that the recycled, repurposed and reconstituted makes us take a serious look at what we consume and what we waste. This collection reminds us that out of waste something beautiful can emerge.
Lingerie Market: Style over Substance?
The lingerie market at the turn of 21st century is driven by the motor of modern technologies and fabrics that help in the design of innovative products such as laser-cut, seamless bras and moulded T-shirt bras. Designers are said to be putting greater emphasis on rich-looking fabrics, laces, embroideries and brighter, more daring colours. Increasingly, since the mid-1990s, women have had more choice in ethically produced lingerie. This has given way to a wide range of small, medium and larger producers. Fig-leaves, the world’s largest online seller of lingerie, followed many smaller producers and launched a ‘Green leaves’ brand – their dedicated department for green products in 2008 marketed it as ‘guilt free shopping’. Perhaps this is rather opportunistic or just business following trends. Petits Secrets however, go a step further. Not only are you treated to the ‘guilt free product’, you have the opportunity to engage in true upcycling.
The lingerie market is undoubtedly a busy and tough market to be in, but perhaps one ready to engage with newer demands. In 2010 the UK lingerie market was worth an estimated £2.93bn. KeyNote, the retail analysts, forecast that the UK lingerie market will see continual growth, with sales predicted to reach £3.51bn in 2015, as more innovations and new and exciting retailers attempt to satisfy consumers. this growth is not without its problems as the industry facea range of challenges.
Not only was the market place becoming more crowded, but the massive surge in online purchasing changed the traditional methods of buying underwear which was supposed to be professionally fitted. More important though is the rise in the cost of cotton, which has had a dramatic effect on the worldwide clothing industry. The global shortage of cotton is forcing retailers using the textile to increase prices or reduce their margins in the forthcoming years. Factor in the need to be greener, fairer and a preference for smaller, the lingerie industry seems a good place for Petits secrets to be.
What is missing are the new entrants to the market, offering something different, ethical and sustainable. There is little, if anything, in terms of upcycled lingerie. As ecostilletto.com suggest ‘Somehow the words “upcycled” and “lingerie” don’t seem easily linked, considering the former refers to reusing something and the latter to your…nether regions’.
Maybe a change is on the way and a little thinking outside the box is required. As Celine says,
“It looks like after many years of being oblivious to the damage us humans have caused to our planet, we are all beginning to notice and physically see the effects of what we have caused. We can all do our bit to help change things for the better and it doesn’t necessarily have to be done in a boring way. Through buying from Petits secrets, you can be safe in the knowledge that you have bought something that could have just as easily ended up as land fill. According to a report, UK consumers have around £30bn worth of clothes which theyhave not worn for a year, and a third of all clothing ends up in landfill. So, if you happen to have a pile of clothes that you no longer want, send them to Petits secrets and see them transformed into a brand new item of lingerie. Surely that beats clogging up the planet with more waste?”
Every collection is designed and lovingly handmade in London, England. The fabrics used to make our collections come from unwanted items of clothing. If you have any clothes you no longer need…. Petits secrets are happy to transform any of your clothes into pieces of lingerie specifically designed for you. Giving your old clothes a new lease of life! What a beautiful business.