They’re bringing sexy back: independent brands that are sustainably celebrating and redefining sexual liberation
One takeaway from the pandemic is that it has undeniably allowed us the time to experiment and to become much more comfortable in our identity. Pre-pandemic and at the height of the #MeToo movement, we saw the fashion industry react in a way that showed caution and a more conservative approach to runways, collections and campaigns that went against the traditional grain of objectification and over-sexualisation, particularly of women.
Post-pandemic, the perception of empowerment seems to have shifted with sexy making a powerful comeback as a choice and something to make the individual feel powerful as opposed to oppressed. Pop-culture and red carpet looks drove this image of embracing sexuality to empower, with the likes of celebrities such as Rihanna and Kim Kardashian walking in sheer looks in powerful stances.
Following this shift in perception and the lockdown boom in small independent makers - post-pandemic fashion gave birth to more sustainable brands supporting the message of sexual empowerment. I now give you the holy trinity: 3 small brands that will support your conscious buying habits, feed into sustainability and allow you to take control of your sexuality.
1.) GOO by becca
Recent graduate and Manchester-based knitwear designer Becca specializes in raw and distressed designs, often featuring busy textures and colours that encourage experimentation and embrace imperfection. With a background in styling, pairing her pieces with clashing layers and bold colours shows how her pieces can truly push individuality. The sheer nature of the knit allows each piece to be dressed up or down and can most definitely be sexy. Head over to Becca's Depop and you will find a range of mesh, knit and a spectrum of styles that can cater to everyone.
The imperfections and irregularities in the stitching and formations of the garments enforce the idea that we as individuals should embrace this one-of-a-kind mentality within ourselves and not just a piece of clothing - an important ethos in a current fashion climate that is beginning to redefine flaws and champion them as appealing and something to flaunt.
2. ) Rhi dancey
"Fashion can be so serious and competitive... I want it to be fun and sexy."
Rhi Dancey, a Berlin-based designer whose brand was born out of lockdown, describes her pieces as 'sexy and sustainable'. Her form-fitting and visually bold garments feature arrays of seductive printed and collaged fabrics from mesh to vintage lace and in a bid to remain fashion-conscious uses end-of-line and deadstock fabrics within her practice. If you were looking for a way for the brand to sound even more appealing, Rhi Dancey also offers full customization to ensure all shapes and sizes can feel themselves in her pieces. As well as embracing sexuality, Dancey has used her brand to bring together and empower other creatives as well as the individual wearing the garment:
"Collaboration is key, we aim to work with artists and creatives from different backgrounds, levels and disciplines across the world. an ongoing project to share and create mindfully."
Supporting a designer such as Rhi Dancey will not only make you feel sexy but will support a pool of creatives and further feed into the sustainable practice of supporting small brands that push conscious creativity and body positivity.
Shop Rhi Dancey Here.
3.) Fruity booty underwear
As we have moved away from the lockdown comforts of loungewear sets, lingerie has seen a strong comeback through 2022-2023 with designers such as Acne Studios and Molly Goddard integrating it into their runways, embracing it in a way that feels to celebrate sexuality. Layering has once again placed itself firmly at the top of trend lists with bras and corsets being fitted over tanks and tops and lingerie being integrated into casual wear as individuals take power in integrating more intimate garments into the everyday.
Fruity Booty Underwear is a London label that was set up by Hattie Tennant and Minna Bunting in 2017 that has established a strong online presence with over 81.7k Instagram followers. In a past interview back in 2020 Tennant and Bunting explain:
"Our aim was to redefine what was considered sexy and the imagery the industry was projecting on women. To us, what was being sold as ‘sexy’ was narrow and unrelatable. We created our own label to shift the focus to celebrating individuality"
If you want to feel celebrated for being wholly yourself Fruity Booty is the brand for you; their social media feed preaches inclusivity with an array of customer images that show authentic perceptions of the body and a spectrum of shapes and sizes. Featuring an array of patterns and textures ranging from delicate laces to bold checkerboards to striking animal prints there truly is something for everyone and once again the brand pushes sustainable practice. In an interview for Forbes Magazine, They make their stance on designing ethically clear:
"The majority of our designs are created from surplus fabrics that would otherwise be put into landfill."
Shop Fruit Booty Here.
Happy shopping! A friendly reminder that In the current climate that sees small brands struggling, it is now more important than ever to shop in supportive and sustainable ways - there's nothing sexier (besides these garments) than sustainability.