Naja: Lingerie that Enables Women to Help Other Women
Given our new national context, it’s more important than ever to celebrate the smart, strong, and diverse women of today. A fairly new woman-owned company, Naja, seeks to do this through lingerie made by and for women.
Naja was founded in 2013 by two Latinas: Catalina Girald and Gina Rodriguez (yes, the actress!). They aspire to enable women to help other women. In doing so, Naja has an eye towards sustainability.
For the Makers
The lingerie is primarily made by single mothers or female heads of households in Medellin, Colombia (Girald's hometown). Naja actually owns the manufacturing facility, which is rare for a startup. The women are paid above market wages and enjoy healthcare benefits. Naja also gives school meals, books, and uniforms to their children.
Want to know more about the makers? No problem. Naja features their story in a "Meet the Maker” bio for each product.
Naja also seeks to create jobs in homes. Women living in small Colombian communities sew the wash bags that come with each lingerie purchase. Through the Underwear for Hope program, Naja gives them the opportunity to learn new skills and earn an income right from their home.
For the Wearers
One of the goals is to disrupt the portrayal of women in the lingerie industry. Naja's lingerie is modeled by diverse women who look sexy and attractive, but not overly sexualized and objectified.
My favorite collection is Nude For All because it emphasizes diversity and recognizes that there's more than one "nude" shade. The bras and underwear have short quotes in the interior to send an inspiring message. Bras also come in a wide span of sizes (A-DDD cups) to be inclusive.
While it is great to feature bodies of all shades and produce bras in many sizes, I encourage Naja to take it to the next level. There's an opportunity to show more body types on the website. Doing so will send a stronger message that Naja is a brand for all women, regardless of body type or weight.
The textile printing process is environmentally sustainable. Naja prints the fabrics using digital technologies instead of conventional dying processes. This technology has allowed Naja to "almost completely eliminate the use of water in the production process."
Ladies - Naja lingerie is good for the makers, it's good for the wearers, and it's good for the environment. It's a win-win.
Photos: IG @naja