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Red hot and green! This eco-conscious lingerie is sexy and virtuous at the same time

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Their britches are made of beeches!

An environmentally conscious design duo is saving the planet, one pair of underwear at a time, with a line of hand-crafted and eco-friendly unmentionables.

Recent grads Daisy Hartmann and Elizabeth NeSmith’s eponymous lingerie company, daisy & elizabeth, released its first complete undergarment line, which combines a high fashion concept and a green philosophy — and this naughty nightwear practices what it preaches. All daisy & elizabeth bras and panties are made from sustainable materials such as organically grown beech and eucalyptus trees and corn fiber, and the team makes sure to source locally and buy domestically in order to avoid wasting fuel and resources.

Everything made by daisy & elizabeth — right down to the lace decorations, bows and floral embellishments on a pair of undies — is created from sustainable or recycled materials. Even synthetic fabrics are recycled from another company’s castoffs.

“Things that are actually intimates, that are that close to your body, you want to know that they are natural and feel good, and weren’t slaved over in China or cost two cents a yard somewhere,” Hartmann said. “We’re not tree huggers, but our generation can do a lot, and we like to know where our material came from.”

The 22-year-old entrepreneurs, who work out of a studio space in Bushwick, launched their brand in February, and unveiled their first full 21-piece lingerie line, including vintage-inspired swimsuits, panties, garter belts and bras that utilize bright colors and varied textures, at a show curated by online fashion marketing platform Nolcha during Fashion Week in September.

“You know it’s a great collection when people are clapping and excited, and coming up to the designers after the show,” said Nolcha President Arthur Mandel. “Everyone wanted to know who they were, and learn more about them.”

Hartmann and NeSmith met while studying intimates design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. After four years of working and interning in the industry, and witnessing high-fashion companies toss out perfectly usable scraps, leftover materials and slightly imperfect pieces, Hartmann and Nesmith decided to launch their own line — and do things a little differently.

“If something was slightly wrong, no one would try to manipulate it. They would just throw it away,” NeSmith said.

But being green comes at a price, and it ain’t cheap: each daisy & elizabeth piece can run from $40 to $100. The way Hartmann and Nesmith see it, even hippies want to look good, and for those who place attractiveness above environmental consciousnessness, it’s an added bonus that these garments are green.

“People our age might not spend $60 on an efficient light bulb,” NeSmith said. “But we think they’ll splurge on something sexy.”

For info, visit www.daisyandelizabeth.com.

Posted 12:00 am, October 28, 2011
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