“Ethically made” and “sustainably sourced” are important terms when it comes to being a consumer. We want one (or both!) to apply to our furniture, our food, and our clothing, but what about our undergarments?? Think about it. If you’re committed to being a smart shopper, then why wouldn’t you want your intimates to be responsibly made as well? Enter White Rabbit — a minimal, modern lingerie brand that includes comfortable, bamboo intimates for everyday life. It was launched by Mariana Hernandez in 2015. It’s beautiful AND comfortable, affordable AND ethical. Everything you could hope for as a consumer! We’re chatting with Mariana to learn more about the brand:
What sparked the idea for White Rabbit?
As a young professional looking to upgrade my underwear collection, I was frustrated by the lack of options to buy good quality, reliable and cute everyday underwear. On one hand, there was Victoria’s Secret – a brand that I can no longer relate to and whose products have decreased in quality over the past couple of years, and on the other hand there were higher end brands too expensive for day-to-day use. I also noticed that while we care deeply about where the food we consume and the products we use come from, no one was paying attention to how our underwear is made. I set out to change this and launched White Rabbit – a line of modern everyday intimates, ethically-made using high-quality sustainable materials.
Where did you start?
Coming from a Bioengineering & Management Consulting background, I had quite a bit of learning to do about the lingerie industry. I spent a lot of time trying on hundreds of bras and underwear, figuring out what I liked and didn’t, what I could do better and talking to experts. I also talked to many friends, family and co-workers to understand their concerns with underwear. We learned early on, that having a good product was key to having a successful business, so we focused our efforts in perfecting our first collection – finding the perfect materials and fit. We wanted to ensure that once women tried our products, they would come back for more.
We’re curious — why did you choose bamboo?
I wanted to use a very soft, luxe-feel, natural material for our first collection, something that would stand-up to the busy day of today’s modern women. Browsing through materials, I came across a bamboo rayon sample that I fell in love with. It was perfect – uber-soft, breathable and more sustainable to grow than cotton.
Could you tell us a bit about the manufacturing process?
All White Rabbit products are made in Mexico, by a family-owned operation, of French heritage and with more than 100 years of experience making lingerie. They employ mostly a female workforce, offer good working conditions (like paid time-off and social security) and pay fair wages. Their attention to detail and commitment to delivering a high-quality, meticulously crafted garment is unparalleled. When we started designing our first collection and looked at samples from high-end labels, we were impressed by how they would point small defects that would not pass their standards – seams which weren’t flat, wrinkling in the fabric, etc. We knew we wanted them as our manufacturing partners.
You offer something called a comfort trial. Could you tell us about that?
We feel very confident about the quality of our products and wanted to relay that confidence to women interested in trying White Rabbit. We completely understand it can be scary to try new intimates without being able to see or feel the product first. This is why we created the Comfort Trial Program which basically works as a 30-day guarantee. For underwear, we offer customers the ability to really put one pair to the test – wearing it to work, the gym, washing, etc. If they don’t love it, they can send us an email and get a full refund within 30 days of their order. For bras, we send customers a couple different sizes to help them find the perfect fit, and include a pre-paid return label for easy returns. The Comfort Trial has been hugely successful – once women try our products, they are restocking their underwear drawers with White Rabbit.
What has been the most fulfilling part of White Rabbit so far?
Definitely the most fulfilling aspect of working on White Rabbit has been seeing our customers’ responses to our products. It such a special, humbling feeling to receive a hand-written note, a card or an unprompted email from a customer saying how much they loved our underwear and how it solved a problem in their life. No matter what else is happening at the moment, receiving a love note from a customer reminds us of why we are doing this and helps us push forward.