GIVEAWAY: Win a Swegmark Organic Cotton Bra of Your Choice

 

Organic cotton padded underwire bra
Alicia Padded Underwire Bra

It’s true!  Win your favorite Fair Trade, Organic Cotton Bra from Swegmark of Sweden. Since we brought this collection in last year, these bras have become our customers favorites.  There are now 10 styles to choose from including 8 of Swegmark’s signature full-coverage, wire free, organic bras plus an organic cotton sports bra and now a lightly padded, underwire bra.

 

All of these organic bras have wide, adjustable comfort straps and 3-position hook-and-eye back closures for the perfect fit.  They are well-constructed with wide underbust bands for great support and coverage.  Sizes range from 34B – 46DDD.  Not all bras come in all sizes, but the winner will have the option of choosing any of our in-stock options.  We have Swegmark bras in white, nude, pink, blue, grey and black.

If you don’t get your perfect size on the first go, you can even send it back and we’ll do an exchange for you.  Once you’ve tried this brand of comfort, stylish, sustainable bras, we don’t think you’ll ever choose anything else.   So go ahead and enter below. The winner will be announced Monday, November 27.

 

organic cotton fair trade no wire bra
Wellness Dots Bra
Fair Trade Organic Cotton Bra
Faithful Full Coverage Bra

 

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Last Chance Item: Xylem Organic Cotton Sports Bra

Organic Cotton Sports Bra
The Xylem Sports Bra in Organic Cotton is being discontinued.

Over the years we’ve had a number of natural fiber sports bras.  I wrote about running my first half marathon in the Bamboo Sports Bra (shown below) back in 2011.  I still use that bra in my workouts today.  However, the Xylem Sports Bra (shown left) is the first organic cotton sports bra we’ve had that has enough support to stand completely on its own.  There’s no need to double up with a shelf-bra tank or anything else.  The fabric is thick and supportive, and at 92% Organic Cotton with just 8% spandex, it’s high on the eco-friendly scale.  It has sold so well that many customers have found a size or color sold out at least once.

So you can imagine my dismay when Xylem told me they had decided to discontinue this style.  What(!)  Turns out they are experimenting with a bamboo version that they’d like to try out. We’ve also got a recycled sports bra coming this summer for those who prefer the more traditional polyester in their sportswear, but still want something eco-friendly.  But if you prefer organic cotton to other fabrics, and you really want support, the Xylem Sports Bra is the one.  We just got in the last 53 pieces yesterday.  (While that might sound like a lot, it averages to a little over a dozen per size.)  If this is a favorite for you, get them while they’re still available.

Bamboo sports Bra
The Bamboo Sports Bra has been a staple in our store for 8 years.

For those of you who have been wanting a sports bra for larger breast sizes, have no fear… we’ve been working with Swegmark of Sweden and hope to have an option for you near the end of summer.

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Stock up on Green Tree Organic Panties Before Year End

Organic Cotton Panties
Green Tree Organic’s Trista Cami and Eat Organic Panty

Green Tree Organic Clothing has been in business for 2 years now and we’ve put out a total of 8 designs.  Our goal was to offer inexpensive organic cotton panties and intimates that are made in the USA.  If you followed along with us that first year, you’ll know the process was much more trying than I had ever imagined.  Fortunately, our process is now fairly stable and our small line is doing quite well.

 

Unfortunately, rising prices of everything from fabric to elastic to sewing has kept us from expanding into more colors, more designs and men’s items. We have been reluctant to raise prices because we really wanted to offer an economical, Made in the USA option. If you look at the PACT model, they started off sewing exclusively in the USA.  Prices continued to rise until most of their panties were in the high $20 to low $30 range.  Eventually, they gave up on manufacturing in the USA and started manufacturing in India.  It brought their costs way down and their panty prices are now all under $15. On the flip side, Blue Canoe has continued to manufacture in the USA and their price is now $34 for a single panty (though we sell Blue Canoe panties at a small discount everyday for $30 each).

Organic Cotton Boy Short
PACT’s Boy Short

 

So what’s a small business to do?  Here’s our plan.

•   We will continue to manufacture in the USA and keep as much of our processes local.

•   We will be raising prices in January both to reflect our higher cost and to offer wholesale so we can get USA-made panties in brick and mortar stores.

•   We will expand the line of PACT underwear that we carry to offer a less expensive organic cotton panty alternative for those who really want organic and just can’t afford the Made in USA prices.

 

Green Tree Organic panty prices will go up between $3 – $5 each starting in the new year.  This is early warning for you to stock up now.  There are a few sizes/colors currently sold out, but our seamstress is working on them and we should have everything back in stock before Christmas with at least a couple of weeks left at the old pricing.

What are your thoughts on this?  Manufacturing in the USA has certainly been in the news a lot lately.  Is price more important than local jobs?

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Why don’t your organic bras and panties ever seem to go on sale?

We just completed an overhaul of our FAQ.  In addition to updating previous answers with new products, links and more detailed information, we’ve also added some new questions that we’ve received quite a lot recently.  The question that’s come up most often is Why don’t bras and panties ever seem to go on sale?”  So, here’s why.

We have a very hard time keeping bras and panties in stock. Bra and panty manufacturers seem to go out of business on us every few months. Because of that, we end up taking bigger risks with intimates, buying and stocking more than we normally would on other items and then having to warehouse them.

We put twice as much time and effort into getting the bras and panties in and keeping them stocked than anything else in the store. In addition, most Europeans are used to paying a lot more for bras than we are here in the US. So an $80 or $90 bra is common as is a $30 or $40 pair of underwear. (We’ve tried a few of those, but they just don’t really sell here). So to keep prices reasonable everyday, we take a smaller profit on bras and panties. This is even true of the panties we manufacture in-house. We wanted to keep the price range to $12-$14 per pair regardless of the cost of production.

Please take a look at some of the other US companies selling organic cotton panties – like Blue Canoe or PACT. You’ll find we’re the only company that has a very large selection of organic panties for less than $20 each. And the few brands we carry that are more readily available in the USA are offered at 10% off every single day. (For example, all of our Blue Canoe products are at least 10% off every day without a sale.)

If you’ve made it this far, we can tell you that our Anniversary is in July. We premiered our webstore July 22, 2005. Each July we do a one-week sale that includes every single item in the store – including bras, panties and clearance items – as a celebration of our anniversary. So this is the one time of year to stock up and save. 

Be sure you are signed up for our newsletter so you don’t miss the announcement.  It’s mailed only once per month, so it’s not an overwhelming amount of e-mail.

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Another Beautiful, Organic Cotton Bra Exclusive to FaeriesDance.com

I’m so excited to introduce the exclusive, limited edition:

In addition to working with Love Nature in Italy on our exclusive distribution arrangement, we’ve also been working with Occidente in France.  Occidente’s line is a bit more whimsical.  They have fun, fresh lingerie more suited to special occasions rather than everyday basics.

We fell in love with the outline of this underwire bra with tie straps, and had them design one for us with the lovely butterfly fabric (GOTS certified, of course) from our favorite Forest Faery Dress.  (And what better item to wear it with?)

The only downside is that it is a limited edition.  So once they’re gone… well, you know.

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FaeriesDance.com to be the Exclusive Distributor for Love Nature Organic Bras and Panties

In February we announced that Love Nature was rethinking their line and might discontinue production.  Months later, with a lot of negotiation, I’m extremely excited to announce that FaeriesDance.com will be exclusively selling a limited selection of Love Nature favorites.

Our agreement spans 5 organic cotton bras and 4 panties.  We’ll be getting the largest quantity of the all-time favorite Alba line including:

Two pieces from the Princess Line:

One bra from the Fairy Tale Collection:

And a matching bra and panty set:

 

We specifically tried to focus on bras that had features unique to Love Nature.  That’s why 4 of the 5 are their signature organic cotton padded bras with polyester-free, cotton padding.  The Alba No Wire bra, our best-selling bra of all time, rounded out the fifth (shown left).

Love Nature is a subsidiary of the Italian lingerie brand Lormar.  While Lormar has decided not to move forward with Love Nature, they still have access to the production facilities.  The most difficult issue we faced was ensuring that Lormar could still source all of the incredible eco-fabrics that were used in the Love Nature line.  So their production team had to check each style for availability of the fabrics, the cotton paddings and the trims.  That, combined with the high quantities required to produce each style, forced us to stick with just a few designs.

For a small business like ours, the quantities are staggering.  We’re literally getting thousands of bras and hundreds of panties.  Even at our most ambitious growth predictions, we should have stock the next 3 years.  However, this agreement was a one-time only offer from Lormar.  So we don’t expect to be able to restock again once these are gone.

That said, there are a couple of minor negatives.

  • We expect a small price increase due to the high Euro to Dollar rate at the moment and the cost of warehousing all this stock for an extended period.
  • No more cute, embroidered linen drawstring bags.
  • The upfront cost of this endeavor is delaying phase 3 of our in-house manufacturing project.  This means we won’t be producing men’s underwear for a while longer.  Good news, though – we’ve found an excellent alternative for the guys (but that’s a post for another day).
  • Sadly, the other 60+ Love Nature organic lingerie items – including all of those lovely PJs and nighties – are still discontinued.  Don’t wait to get the one you’ve been coveting.

We hope you’ll appreciate our efforts.  The most common complaint we hear is when a favorite staple – be it bras, underwear or socks – becomes unavailable.  Of course, we also hope this will bolster our business for the next few years while we scour the planet for more eco-undies.

We expect these items to be available for sale in October, 2014.

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The First Green Tree Organic Cotton Panties are in!

Green Tree Organic Bikini Panty

We’re so excited to share our new Organic Bikini Panty and Organic Hi Cut Panty.  Both styles are available in five colors from x-small to x-large.

Way back in August of last year I made the decision to have Faerie’s Dance start its own line of organic intimates and loungewear in order to keep consist stock of our highest turnover items.  It took a couple of months to get an ambitious plan in place, but lack of experience and a little bad luck had us riddled with obstacles and delays.  Finally, almost a year after the initial idea was formulated, we have our first 2 styles on sale.  For me, it’s a momentous occasion. 

These two designs are first for one simple reason – we were able to iron out the fit details and get them stylish and comfortable with just 2 rounds of prototyping.  Some of the other styles have been more problematic.  The two printed designs from the original plan are now in their fourth prototype sewing.  But the point is to put out a style that will be comfortable and fun to wear.  So producing something that doesn’t have exactly the right fit isn’t an option.

We’re also still learning some surprising lessons.  For example, some of the colors “behave” differently than others in sewing.  We’ve even found that stretched fabric (it’s stretched a little when it’s rolled into bolts) will “ease” after cutting and sewing.  So you have to adjust the machine tension a little from the first couple of sewing days to the last.  While most of these little details have now been worked out, you will find that there’s a 1/2″ size difference from some colors to others in the same size.  And while that is apparently considered “normal” in sewing, we’re working with our producer to really hit a consistent size, stretch and tension every time so that you as a customer will know exactly what you’re getting.  If you like these panties, we want you to be able to buy them again 3 years from now and get the exact same fit.

At this point, our original Phase 1 and Phase 2 plans have been combined.  We’re currently in varying phases of production on 10 additional pieces including panties with covered elastic, a few sleeker styles, some lace panty versions, a cami with bra, leggings, and a bralette.  Our goal is to put out 2 additional styles approximately every 6-8 weeks.

Once we round out this dozen, hopefully in early 2015, we’ll have professional model photos taken of the entire line.  I apologize that it’s taken so long and am at the same time immensely grateful for all of you who’ve been watching this journey and stuck with us.  We’re offering these first two styles for $1 off for a very short time as a Thank You.  (Oh and quick hint: our 9 year anniversary is coming up soon, so watch for something extra special in the July newsletter.)

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Pants to Poverty Organic Underwear Line is Back (And Literally Better Than Ever)!

If you’ve followed us for any length of time, you’ll know that we almost never put intimates on sale.  So this a fantastic opportunity to stock up and score a win for organic, fair trade underwear.
 
organic panty sale
Why are we doing it?  Well, for the last few months, Pants to Poverty, one of our all-time favorite organic panty manufacturers, hasn’t been responding to my inquiries.  Combined with the fact that most of their UK-based website items were on clearance, I figured they’d gone the way of Perfectly Imperfect, Ciel and Love Nature and were out of business.
 
Then last week, I got a call from Ben Ramsden himself, Pants to Poverty’s founder.  They’ve been in India working directly with their farmers and developing a new “3-dimensional accounting model.”  This 3D accounting model tracks the profit and loss of the business not just in financial terms, but also in social and environmental terms.  We’d already spotlighted Pants to Poverty in our Fair-Trade Fashion Round Up as a leader in the Fair Trade Fashion movement.  Now this revolutionary accounting idea has propelled them to nomination for 2014’s Global Leadership Award in Sustainable Apparel, which is a pretty BIG deal for a small company.
 
In order to implement this new 3D accounting model, they’re streamlining their offerings quite a bit.  They’ve come out with a series of their most popular styles in 4 consistent colors across both their men’s and women’s line.  They’ve also up-sized the women’s panties, stating that customer feedback has suggested they were sized too small compared with conventional brands.
 
I’m truly thrilled to bring in these new undies.  Along with the organic panties we’re currently manufacturing, our customers will soon have a wider selection and awesome choices of styles and colors.
 
To facilitate going hog wild on this new order, we need a little working capital.  Hence putting the entire (now mostly discontinued) current line of Pants to Poverty Undies on sale for the next 3 weeks – from Earth Day to World Fair Trade day, you can get 15% off everything we have left.  Just use coupon code Pants at checkout.
 

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Last Chance Item: Is Love Nature Organic Lingerie Gone?

I’ve been talking so much about the Love Nature Announcement, that I apparently forgot to announce it formally myself.  So… here’s it is.  In October I was told, “I am very sad to inform you that the production of LOVE NATURE has been blocked at the moment. We are reorganizing the concept of this line so we are taking some time how to proceed.”

 
We were able to get in one last order/restock in November and literally purchased every last organic bra they had.  Since then, I’ve e-mailed several different people a few times, but have yet to hear back on whether they will continue the line or simply let it go.  We have also been trying to determine if they would do a large production run just for FaeriesDance.com.  So far that seems unlikely, though I haven’t given up entirely. 
 
If you’re just hearing about this and you have an absolute favorite Love Nature item, don’t wait too long to get it.  We have some sizes and colors in abundance while others are already sold out.  For example, we have 27 Alba Padded Underwire Bras size 34B in Celestial Blue, but 0 in Almond.
 
We really hope to have this beloved line back in 2015.  We’ll see.
 
 
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The Elusive Organic No Wire Padded Bra – Why They’re So Hard To Find

Our most frequently asked for item is an organic or natural fiber bra without underwire that has padding.  We’ve had a few close designs, but that perfect bra has eluded us.  So what exactly is the issue with getting this holy grail of bras?

We have been lucky thus far to carry the most eco-friendly padded bras in the world.  Love Nature, (the Italian company that recently went on [possibly permanent] hiatus), has been making organic cotton padded bras with an interior cotton batt for the padding.  Conventional bras use either polyester or nylon for the interior padding, both of which are petroleum-based fabrics.  The biggest difference in performance is that polyester can be molded to keep its shape and can be made in a variety of thicknesses.  The cotton batting is designed similar to a quilt and can only keep its shape under certain thicknesses (on the lighter side of padding) and with the help of the underwire to support it.  Love Nature only made underwire padded bras because their eco-padding required the firmness of the underwire to essentially hold it in place. 

The lesson is that you can have eco-padding and underwire or conventional padding and no wire. At this point, it doesn’t seem you can have both. 

In 2011, Blue Canoe came out with their Adjustable Soft Bra and Soft Cup Cross Over Bra.  Both of these bras have removable nylon pads that sit in organic cotton “pockets” and don’t touch the skin.  These are both pull-on style bras, and in truth, we didn’t think they would do that well.  But Blue Canoe is a trusted brand, so we tried them out… and they are flying out the door.  There are just so many women who want an organic no wire, padded bra that they’re finding conventional padding and no wire the better option.

That said, allow us to introduce two fantastic no wire, padded bras with fully adjustable straps and 3-position back closures.  At the top of this page, you’ll see the Body No Wire Padded Bra and here to the right is the Calais Lace No Wire Padded Bra.  Both are made from a unique eco-fabric of white pine tree trimmings and dyed with OEKO-TEX 100 certified dyes.  They do unfortunately have polyester padding, though it does not touch the skin.

On a side note, we’ve quietly had a no wire, padded bra with adjustable straps and 3-position back close all along.  The Pine Tree Padded Bra has been around since 2009.  However, the $80 price tag put it on a very slow sales track.  Another issue with this particular bra is that the criss-cross straps in the back make it a bit awkward to put on.  It has to first be pulled on over the head before you can secure the back hooks.

The Pine Tree Padded Bra was originally made end-to-end in France.  As the company grew, they realized that despite having an awesome fabric their pricing was holding them back.  A few years ago they re-branded as Do You Green and started having the garments sewn in Tunisia while keeping their unique fabric production local to where the pine tree trimmings are collected in France. 

We took a look at them then, but were holding out hope that they would get a Fair Trade certification.  We’ve just touched based again, and are happy to report they’ve gone one step further.  Do You Green now has a dedicated factory in Tunisia that allows them to set their own high standards for employees, working conditions and the quality of their garments.  It also allows them to offer their unique Pine Tree fabric garments at much more reasonable prices.

Getting back on topic, we’re unaware of any company in the world who has developed an eco-padded, no wire bra. We’re still looking, though.  And if you ever see one, please let us know.

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