Loving NICO with Lis Harvey

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Ethical undies might not be the first thing that come to mind when you think of conscious fashion, but Queensland designer Lis Harvey is putting sustainable smalls on the map.

NICO Underwear was launched in January 2012 and has gone on to win international fashion awards and become Australia’s very first ethically accredited underwear line. The lively label aims to fill a gap in the market by creating fashion forward lingerie that isn’t as basic as Bonds, but doesn’t have the ‘va va voom’ of Victoria’s Secret.

Their pieces are quirky, cute and most importantly, conscious of the environment. I caught up with the lovely Lis, to chat about NICO’s current collection, ‘The New Imagery.’

Congratulations on the new collection! Can you tell us a bit about the story behind it?

Thank you! The new collection is all about luxe fabrics, contrasting textures, striking lines and stand-out shapes. I really wanted to approach designing from a new perspective and subvert some of the ways we would normally do things.

The collection was heavily influenced by the De Stilj movement which happened back in the 20’s & 30’s, where a group of artists were asking similar questions and looking for a new way to express themselves. They talked a lot about the idea of finding ‘The New Imagery’ which is where the name of the collection comes from. We explored using asymmetrical shapes and the relationship between opposing elements and textures to create a collection that is conceptual but still remains true to what NICO is all about – unique, stylish lingerie that is comfortable enough to wear everyday!

ThePoetTeeMidnightBlue$90

Do you have any favourites or ‘must have’ pieces?

I have been living in the Poet Tee (above) at the moment, particularly the midnight blue version. It’s great with a some dark denim for an almost ‘all in black’ look that’s still fairly casual. Perfect in winter as well as the double layered jersey at the top keeps me nice and toasty.

NICO is so committed to ethical practice and ‘no waste.’ Why is it such an important part of your brand?

The simple answer is that I couldn’t do business any other way. These are the ethics that I live by personally and there is no way I would compromise that for the sake of a profit margin. Exploitation of human lives and destruction of the environment are rife in this industry but I refuse to take part in it. It’s so encouraging to see a growing audience of consumers who are asking for change and holding brands accountable for their actions.

What’s next from you guys? Any new collections in the works…what’s inspiring you at the moment?

Lots of big things on the horizon (as always!). We have started working on a range of basic pieces which we hope to release later in the year. It’s going to be all about great fabrics, simple cuts and affordable pieces that everyone needs for the everyday. Stay tuned!

You can purchase items from ‘The New Imagery’ collection on the NICO website.

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