Author: Bridget Thorpe
Reading Time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds
We created the hybrid sports bra so you could go anywhere with confidence. As your style arrives, here are 5 stories about what into making your hybrid sports bra special.
01 | Certified Italian Textiles
Our very first fabric was neon green and purple. It was terrible haha! From there, we tested a variety of other textiles. We ran a small batch of styles with a very cool fabric that used technology called Chitosante. It used upcycled shrimp and crab shells to fight odors. Although it worked very well, we wanted to dig deeper on the recyclability of the fibers and find something a bit smoother.
We were overjoyed to find ECONYL® regenerated nylon. It's made in Italy just kilometers outside of Milan. The world's fashion capital! We were so grateful we could both afford it and source it in smaller quantities.
ECONYL® regenerated nylon is made from recovered from fishing nets and other waste. It's infinitely recyclable, OEKO-TEX certified, and has 90% less impact.
We continue to explore additional textile solutions. Biodegradability is surfacing more in the apparel world, yet we're still researching the true impact of biodegradable fabric. More to come...
02 | USA Manufacturing
This one was a biggie for us! We have another blog on the whole story here. The short version is it took us 5 years to find a quality USA manufacturing partner. Today, we work with an incredible factory in Baltimore, Maryland. Put simply, we love 'em to pieces!
The factory was established in 1976, pays above Maryland minimum wage, and some sewers have been there more than 25 years. They utilize modern fabric cutters that minimize waste and have collaborated with Nike, Victoria's Secret, Under Armour, and countless more. Visiting the team is always a highlight!
03 | Trusted Design
This brand started out with zero apparel experience. However, when we connected with an incredible woman, everything changed. She has developed both swimwear and activewear for Coach Swim, Lululemon, Adidas, and many more. Her work has been featured in Sports Illustrated, Harper's Bazaar, and countless other leading publications.
It's been a dream collaboration since 2016 as our businesses have grown in tandem. Know that years of experience and expertise with the world's best brands are behind your new hybrid sports bra.
04 | Performance for 100+ Washes
Our prototypes have gone through the ringer in hot yoga studios, workout classes, and surf sessions. An incredible community of women tested them, washed them, and wore them day-in and day-out for years.
Our favorite piece of feedback has been on the elastic band. We didn't expect it! Sourced from a minority-owned business in the USA, it retains it's elasticity after years of wear and washing. Given that up to 80% of sports bra support comes from the elastic band, this feedback has been a huge win.
Our goal is to create durable styles that last and outlive trends. Thanks to our community of testers and supply chain partners, we're proud to stand-by 100+ washes. We can't wait to hear your feedback, too!
05 | Carbon Neutral
Finally, carbon neutral. This was the part I was actually good at! While I was building SOL VAE, I worked as a sustainability communications advisor with Fortune 500 companies around the world. So, tracking our carbon footprint and calculating our Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions has always felt automatic.
Given we're a very small brand, we use tools from the WBCSD and work with advisors at Native Energy to help clarify our data. We are deeply excited to expand this practice with more sophisticated tools as we grow.
We could go on for pages, but these top 5 highlights and stories share a good chunk of what makes your hybrid sports bra special.