It’s finally time for another look at interesting Bay Area companies. Next up: lingerie company Naja. Founded by Catalina Girald, who seems like an adventurous free spirit mixed with a shrewd businesswoman, the company’s byline is Underwear for Hope. This might seem a bit grandiose at first, until you really look at what the company is doing. Each time you buy a bra from their company it comes with a lingerie wash bag. Each lingerie bag is sewn by women in impoverished communities. It doesn’t stop there. The Naja team trained these women in order to give them valuable skills to support their families. Often they are single mothers, and their employment lets their daughters finally attend school. The stories of some of the participants are on the website, and they are quite moving.
Women empowering women – this is the real idea behind this lingerie brand, and I think it’s lovely. A portion of all the proceeds goes to continually fund their entrepreneurial sewing school, which then produces skilled labor to continue their Underwear for Hope campaign. I think it’s a great system, with a real social conscience behind it.
On top of the great moral compass, Naja has an awesome aesthetic. I haven’t personally bought any of their lingerie yet, but after stalking them online for quite some time, I can say with confidence that I will. Interesting details abound, including inspirational quotes in their undies, contrast/patterned lining inside bra cups, and hilariously motifs for their panties. I personally always enjoy humor in my own design, and in what I wear, so finding the rare company that shares this makes me incredibly happy. Materials also matter to them; another huge mark in my book. They currently use a beautiful pima cotton for their panties, and I think we all know that cotton panties really are the best for everyday use. :)
This brand, though it’s getting lots of great press (USA Today and The Lingerie Addict come to mind), is still just starting out. Many of their styles are pre-order currently. Also, the sizes do not yet cover everyone. However, I would really encourage anyone who would like to be part of this socially conscious brand to try them out anyway. Get a few panties, and maybe one of their bras. I think you will be happily surprised at the results. Alternatively, you could also be a part of their Indiegogo campaign.
Just for fun, I’ve added some photos below to get you in the mood to shop! I apologize, because I do not yet own any of their pieces, I had to just lift pictures from their websites and other social media campaigns of theirs.