In the bustling world of fashion, a trio of sisters—Erika Sliwak, Christina Vilicich, and Rebecca Sliwak—found themselves struggling with the age-old problem: finding the perfect pair of underwear that not only looked good but was also sustainable and high-performance. Frustrated with the lack of options available, they set out to create their own solution, and so Au Natural was born, an active underwear brand that effortlessly marries style, sustainability, and luxury.
The Au Natural journey began with the founders’ own experiences as on-the-go women who prioritized eco-friendly and high-quality products. They knew they couldn’t be the only ones searching for a pair of underwear that was not only perfect for daily wear but could also keep up with their active lifestyles. With determination and an entrepreneurial spirit, the sisters embarked on a two-year research and development adventure to create a product that would revolutionize the underwear market.
“We all dreaded the morning ritual of digging through our top drawer searching for a pair of underwear that coincided with our mood and plans for the day. There wasn’t one pair that worked for everything,” they explained.
Their dedication and perseverance paid off, culminating in the launch of two hero styles: the Au Natural thong and bikini. Designed with everyday life in mind, these underwear pieces truly come into their own during workouts, where breathability, dryness, and odor resistance are non-negotiables.
What sets Au Natural apart is their choice of fabric: ultra-luxe and natural Merino wool. This wonder material is more breathable than cotton, feels incredibly soft against the skin, and moves seamlessly with your body. Best of all, the undies are lightweight and seamless, making them the superior choice for a base layer.
But it’s not just about the fabric; the sisters behind Au Natural have made it their mission to ensure that their underwear checks all the boxes for the modern woman. Merino wool’s natural properties make it odor-resistant, temperature-regulating, and stretchy, while also being sustainable and eco-friendly.
As we prepare to delve into our interview with the label’s founders, it’s clear that Au Natural is not only a brand but a game-changing movement that’s reshaping the way we think about underwear. We caught up with the ever-busy trio to hear more about their latest line, learn more about Merino wool, and what the future holds.
Hey ladies! So, you created Au Natural because you couldn’t find the right pair of underwear that was both high quality and comfortable. Can you tell us a bit more about that experience and what inspired you to start the brand?
Prior to starting Au Natural, we all dreaded the morning ritual of digging through our top drawer searching for a pair of underwear that coincided with our mood and plans for the day. We found that the underwear we chose was based on where we were going and what we were wearing. Whether it was a commute to work, a pilates class, Saturday night, etc, there wasn’t one pair that worked for everything!
That’s when we decided to create Au Natural. We wanted to wear underwear that was comfortable and versatile so we didn’t have to think about it each morning. Since it didn’t exist in the marketplace, we created high-quality underwear that would work for whatever was in store for our day.
We’re all about sustainable fashion, so I’m curious about your eco-friendly practices. Can you talk a bit about your production process and how you prioritize sustainability?
Au Natural underwear is made from a premium and sustainable material, Merino wool, which is nothing like that wool sweater that comes to mind. Merino wool is a lightweight, 100% natural, renewable, and biodegradable fiber. We chose it for our underwear not only because of its amazing and long-lasting benefits but also because wool by nature is a circular fiber and does not contribute to microplastic pollution in our oceans or on our land.
That being said, Merino wool is not a material that most people associate with underwear. Why did you choose this fabric, and what makes it superior to other materials?
For women in particular, Merino offers amazing next-to-skin benefits, especially worn as a base layer like underwear. It is more breathable than cotton and has superior moisture-wicking capabilities, which means less sweat on your body. Not only does it keep you cool and fresh, but it also reduces the opportunity for bacteria to accumulate.
Merino wool is considered a natural, high-quality performance fiber, which is why it’s more expensive than other materials and an investment in yourself. We believe that buying fewer, more high-quality pairs of underwear that last longer is an eco-friendly and sustainable way to shop. This is also why most underwear made of cotton and synthetic materials tends to fall apart after a few washes.
I know how important it is to have comfortable and functional underwear. Can you talk a bit about how Au Natural caters to the needs of the modern woman?
As working women who are always on the go, we need our underwear to work with our lifestyle! Au Natural is the only underwear that works for every occasion—gym, travel, going out, sleep, or lounging. Its versatility allows us to grab it and go, without any thought required each morning. Women are busy enough – the underwear we choose shouldn’t complicate things further!
The intimates industry can be pretty cutthroat although luckily we’ve seen a rise in Gen Z labels such as yours. What sets Au Natural apart from other underwear brands out there?
Most new intimates brands usually started with a bra and added underwear as an afterthought. We wanted to create the perfect pair of everyday underwear that women would feel good in and love wearing. That’s why we only created 2 hero styles, because that’s all you need. We kept our minimal approach as a new way to shop for intimates in hopes of changing the mindset from buying a lot of cheap underwear to a few high-quality pairs.
We’re all about body positivity and inclusivity. What can you tell us a bit about the range of sizes that you offer and why this is important to your brand?
We currently offer sizes XS-XL and size XL was the first to sell out! We are working on a restock for spring.
Can we expect any new styles from the brand in the future?
Yes, we are working on some new colors and styles for spring!
And finally, what do you hope that women take away from their experience wearing Au Natural?
The experience is everything for us and goes back to why we started the brand. When women wear Au Natural, we know they will feel comfortable no matter what their day throws at them, and confident in every situation.