Ethical 366: Not the Ace of Cups

After much anticipation a lightweight, eco wrapped parcel landed into my hands, just days after I placed my custom order with Luva Huva. As I carefully took my kitchen scissors and snipped through the recycled plastic to find a carefully folded tissue paper cartouche beneath, my anticipation grew.
I unwrapped the neatly wrapping and peeled it back to discover beautiful chantilly lace and soft blue bamboo jersey, carefully stitched together with simple, but elegant charm. As I handled it the lingerie I could see the attention to detail conferred on them by the careful construction of these delicate fabrics – this was a stunning bra and knicker set no doubt – and I began to feel I had my money’s worth in the set, even at £69.00 plus postage of £3.95, the most I have personally spent on lingerie.

However the spell was broken when I actually went to try on. The knickers looked great as the simple but unusual design accentuated the curve of my hips in the best way. But, as I put the bra on, I realised some fundamental problems with it. The combination of the size of the straps and the pretty but diddy findings on it meant there wasn’t really sufficient support for my breasts. This bra, The Seaflower bra, doesn’t have a rigid back and lacks underwiring also poses a problem for large breasts as it appears they are both very necessary engineering requirements for bigger chests. The combination of the support issues and the pressure the whole design put on my boobs in odd and unexpected places meant it lacked something significant in the wearing. I had already ruled out many of the other bralet designs on the website as I recognised the risks inherent in something that lightweight and had hoped that this style, which appeared more “cuppy” than “crop-toppy” would suffice. However it was a punt that went somewhat awry.

So I put my disappointment to Luva Huva and that day received a response.

Joanna from Luva Huva wrote: “I am so sorry to hear about the disappointments you have experienced with your Seaflower bra and am afraid to say that you have pin pointed an issue that is quite frustrating for us. We have always wanted to create lovey products with a truly ethical ethos – which for us does mean doing our best not to exclude any body type or shopper. 

“However, as a very small business this can sometimes be a huge challenge for us. If we choose to continue to source products produced in an environmentally conscious way and to concentrate our budget on local and ethical small scale production we are often somewhat restricted in other areas. More heavily structured bra styles suitable for larger bust sizes are unfortunately more complicated and time consuming to put together and also use a larger number of very specialised components. Sadly this means that we just cannot offer a made to measure and ethical structured bar at the price point that is realistic for our customers. Walking the tightrope between our commitment to ethical fashion, affordability for our customers and beautiful, wearable products is something we are always fine tuning.”

Joanna added: “Luva Huva has grown from the simplest of origins – we originally sold just a few styles at a market stall – and do we continue to try and extend our lingerie styles and work towards a more completely inclusive product range. You have in fact identified a couple of structural ideas that out designers have been discussing lately! We will be looking at ideas around some firmer strap materials for future collections as well as bra styles that incorporate non-stretch materials to provide more support.”

The company advise me that there were two bras that they generally recommend for larger cup sizes – a question I perhaps ought to have asked prior to purchase – and for your information are the Agatha and Black Moon bras.

I have to say, I would recommend Luva Huva bras to you, on the proviso you have a small bust. The sets are stunning and worth the money. However as a lady of significant assets I could not wholeheartedly recommend taking the same risk I did. We may have to look elsewhere…

* Should I write off the budget spend on this Luva Huva bra and have an Ethical 366 do-over to bring you the alternatives in ethical over-the-shoulder-boulder-holders – or should I keep this gamble purchase as part of the Ethical 366 budget and suffer the consequences? Let me know in the comments section!


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