18 Aug 2021

Sustainable Underwear with Nativ Basics

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Sandy Ronalds is the founder and owner of Nativ Basics a range of sustainable eco friendly intimates.

Sandy's intention with Nativ is to offer women more choice with a range of ultimate comfort underwear while still making the best possible choice for the planet.

In this interview Sandy shares with us about having respect at all levels of the supply chain, the importance of establishing and maintaining a connection with her customers and doing things with purpose.

Q1: Hi Sandy, welcome to the Woman Of Series! Can you tell us what it is you create?
Thanks for having me.

In very brief summary, my brand Nativ Basics creates sustainable eco friendly intimates for women that strive to offer the highest possible level of comfort.
By comfort, I am not just referring to the physical touch of our materials on your skin, but the experience of comfort by offering our customers the assurance that they are making the best possible choice for the planet.

Q2: When did you start Nativ Basics? What inspired you to go down this path?
I first had the idea about two years ago, but it became a serious venture about a year ago.
The company officially launched October 31st 2019 (which is my daughter’s birthday).

I really wanted a way to do better. Coming from a background in the business world, I’ve seen the amount of waste that goes into the everyday products we buy.

Becoming a mum and raising my daughter made me want to do whatever I can to make a difference to our world and her future, to set a good example and show her that she can be part of the solution I also wanted to bring more choice to women who feel the same way about our planet and our future.

As I have learnt from this journey, becoming sustainable is not always easy. But that has given me more determination to continue to get better – to find more like-minded partners in the supply chain and deliver everyday products with as little carbon footprint as possible.

Q3: Talk us through your creative process. How do you reach your signature style?
Initially the creative process was purely about asking questions. I simply couldn’t understand why physical comfort had to be a trade-off with sustainable choices. I put some serious research into a variety of products using combinations of recycled and sustainable-sourced materials, with focus also put on the best-practice methods for minimisation of carbon, waste and water footprint. This eventually led me to the types of materials and corresponding cuts of garments that have become the key part of my signature style.

As I evolve into new ideas and new product development, my creative process always starts with: “how can I make this better for the planet and for women”? If I can’t, it stops right there. If I can, I spend some time reflecting on the idea. From there I usually create a mood board, and then it progresses from there to designing the garment, its specs and its benefits. From there sampling starts, through to revisions until I am in love with it!

Q4: What’s important to you when selecting the materials you choose to use in your designs?
So this is super important to me. It really is part of the foundation of the brand itself. There are so many different things I look out for when selecting materials, but I will try to narrow it down and share the most important points:
1. Is it a natural fibre?
2. Is it sustainable and what is its life cycle?
3. Are corrosive chemicals used in the dissolution process?
4. Are the workers who farm and create the yarn treated fairly?
5. Is it going to be comfortable for women to wear daily?
6. How does the production of the materials water and carbon consumption compare to
comparative examples?
7. Most importantly is it safe and certified by OKEO TEX 100?

Q5: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your business so far?

Respect at all levels of the supply chain. I have personally met with and routinely keep contact with the suppliers of our products.

During recent times of international turmoil, the relationship I have with my suppliers has been one of genuine concern and offers of support.

I always ensure that the values of Nativ Basics align with those of all of the local wholesale purchasers and influencers that represent the brand. I ensure mutually beneficially outcomes during all promotions and special offerings.

Finally, and most importantly, I make a sincere effort to establish and maintain a connection to the customers. I use social media as a tool to share ideas, receive feedback and provide encouragement to the Women of Nativ Basics, who are all on a similar path to a better future.

Q6: What (and who) is involved in the process of bringing your products to life?

The Women of Nativ Basics. The people who love the products and the purpose of the brand.

I am constantly receiving encouraging feedback and requests for new products. I treat this input with the value and respect it deserves and do what ever I can to find a way to deliver.

It is hard, and my process for product development is unashamedly slow and rigorous. But when the stars align and a concept is born that meets the high standards of Nativ Basics, it’s a beautiful and collaborative event.

Q7: What is your big hope and dream for your work?
To build a successful sustainable long-term company which continues to grow, innovate and inspire others to do better. I also want to continue to give to those less fortunate and give back to the community.

Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?

1. Never giving up
2. Capacity for hard work
3. Compassion for others

Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?

I am really inspired daily, by all women. We are all unique and wonderful in our own way. I don't like comparing one to the next. Being inspired by women drives me to make garments that they enjoy wearing.

Plus, Beyoncé.

Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?

Do things with purpose.

Figure out what you want to do by asking yourself why you want to do it. Then remind yourself of this every time it gets difficult.

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