Earth and Elle

ABOUT THE BRAND

Bras and undies that give comforts like floral tea and honey—made for the most sacred places of our bodies. Because what we wear underneath is for our (own) gaze. What we wear underneath should complement our always evolving, open-ended being-ness.

We choose a comfortable, soft, earthy blend of hemp and organic cotton for our bras and undies while making them available in an array of colours and neutral tones that we know you'll love. They are made by sewing technicians who we trust, at a factory in Richmond BC, Canada.

Earth— of the natural world.
Elle— of beauty and expression.

Earth and Elle is the brain-child of Rachelle, who designs all of our garments (with the help of our beautiful customers) from her home-based atelier. We are based a few hours north of Vancouver BC, nestled in a rural landscape. We love to grow gardens abundant with herbs, flowers, veggies, and dye plants from spring to fall while conjuring up new designs for Earth and Elle during the winter.

MEET THE TEAM

Rachelle Love, owner and designer of Earth & Elle

Out of sheer curiosity and infatuation with natural, alternative ways of living in 2010, I began adapting my wardrobe to a more environmentally considerate one among changing other aspects of my lifestyle. Wearing clothing made from eucalyptus, organic cotton, hemp, and recycled plastic bottles, I was one of a few wearing such fabrics in the small city of Kelowna. Soon, I was inspired to learn to sew and experiment with natural dyes.

The aim was to create an earth friendly wardrobe with my own hands, and if I needed to buy something, it had to be ethically made with natural fabrics, ideally organic. Eventually, others saw value in what I did. I think because what I was doing surfaced ideas that hadn't been thought about for a while, due to the rise of fast fashion, such as customizing and repairing pre-loved garments. At the time, I had already been making and selling sacred stone jewelry and my dreams began to shift towards owning a clothing brand that honoured the earth. Before I knew it, I was commissioning leggings, bandeaus, and even crazy customized work. Seeing that I could sell the clothing I made was proof of concept for me, so I studied business through Community Futures and eventually signed up for online fashion marketing courses.

There have been times of doubt through it all. In school, we are told to pick a safe career that costs hundreds and thousands of dollars, and then move on to having a comfortable life. I scarcely attempted to comply to that rhetoric. It was proven too quickly that my soul couldn't live that way. Sure, in the end, my way has its own hard set of challenges. But I'd prefer it this way to any other option.

Nine years went by selling the things I made among studying the business side of fashion. Within those years, I learned how to tie the ropes of fashion, art, and entrepreneurship into a nice tight knot. Eventually, Earth and Elle emerged and with it, a distinct voice that I help shape in the world of ethical, organic clothing.

Today my business is a platform to share the creative vibe in me which inevitably flows. I send it into this brand and my designs with the desire to serve comfort and muse through comfortable, organic, locally manufactured bras + undies and handmade clothing. Mixing in art into everyday garments remains a passion of mine. Occasionally, you'll see the use of natural dyes, eco-printing, and drawing within handmade collections. In all honesty —I'm an artist. The real reason that I started this business was to allow myself to be free in that. There is always so much more taking root. It just takes time, as nature does.

MATERIAL SOURCING

Plants are a great gift to us... providing food, dye, medicine, shelter and clothing, thanks to collective knowledge passed down all ancestral lines since the dawn of humanity. With you and the environment in mind, Earth and Elle chooses the best non-toxic, natural, organic fabrics to clothe your body.

HEMP
Cannabis sativa

Kind Qualities:

  • Does not require chemicals and pesticides to grow or process
  • A hemp crop leaves the soil healthy for any other crop to produce well
  • It is fast growing and can produce up to 250% more fibre than cotton on the same amount of land
  • Durable and outlasting fibres
  • Is said to suck up carbon faster than trees!

More Facts and History Notes:

  • The working conditions are ethical in China's industrial hemp industry, where the majority of the globes’ hemp fibre is produced. Watch a video about China's hemp industry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2DdE97UCrQ "China appears to have the longest continuous history of Hemp cultivation (over 6000 years). France has cultivated Hemp for at least 700 years to the present day, Spain and Chile similarly. Russia was a major grower/ supplier for hundreds of years.” Source: https://www.mit.edu/~thistle/v13/2/history.html
  • Hemp seeds and hemp oil are well known as nutritious food, while cbd oil/smoke/ointments derived from hemp are known for medicine, then there is hempcrete for building, hemp plastic… hemp for textiles and paper.
  • Hemp is a seriously versatile, sustainable useful plant for humanity. 
  • The first remnant of hemp cloth was found by archaeologists all the way back to 8,000 BC in ancient Mesopotamia (current day Iran and Iraq) making it likely the oldest plant cultivated for textiles. Hemp had a huge influence on society up until the war on drugs in our current century, but it's making a come back with modern innovations and legalization in certain countries across the globe.

ORGANIC COTTON
Gossypium hirsutum

  • Kind Qualities:
  • GMO seeds are NOT allowed in organic cotton farming
  • Weeds are removed by hand and hoeing
  • Uses natural predators for pest control
  • Plants are defoliated with the seasonal freeze
  • Soil fertility and biological diversity is maintained
  • There are minimal chemicals used to process and dye organic cotton fabric
  • Less water is required to produce organic cotton

More Facts and History Notes:

  • Workers on organic cotton farms and processing factories are generally treated and paid with better social responsibility than of conventional cotton.
  • Shreds of cotton bolls and cloth were found in a Mexican cave by scientists, dating back 7,000 years. There, cotton grows wild.
  • Cotton shreds have also been found in the Indus Valley of India, Pakistan, dating back to 3000 BC. It is believed that the first cultivation of cotton began in India, later spreading to Mesopotamia, Egypt and Nubia.
  • In the 1st century, Arab traders introduced cotton to Europe, in Spain and Italy.

Hemp stretch
Composition: 53% hemp, 44% organic cotton, 3% spandex
Origin: China

MANUFACTURING

At Eco Fashion Week Vancouver 2017, we had the privilege of listening to a talk by the president of our fabric supplier, Paul King. In addition to supplying excellent natural fabrics, he visits each and every fabric mill he purchases from, ensuring workers at the mills are paid fairly and work in an ethical environment. Perhaps coming as a surprise, he even mentioned that working conditions at the mills he visits in China are superior to some in the US. Of course, we'd love to see for ourselves once we have the means.