Apr 22, 2021
Creating an Ethical,
Sustainable, and Inclusive Brand with Erin Donaghy
Do you feel like you always have
to keep up with the latest fashion trends? Have you ever felt
pressured to get the newest clothes and
Fast fashion’s business model is
to quickly produce cheap and trendy clothes. They encourage
consumers to buy more and buy often. However, it is harmful
to the environment. Fortunately, more people are now becoming aware
of the adverse effects of fast fashion. There are now more fashion
brands that have sustainable and ethical practices.
In this episode, Erin Donaghy
joins us to discuss the alternative to fast fashion. Erin is the
founder of Applause Lingerie. She shares her journey of creating a
brand that is sustainable, ethical, and inclusive. We also talk
about how she handles all her responsibilities as a brand owner, a
full-time teacher, and a mom.
If you want to learn more about
the wonders of sustainable fashion, then this episode is for
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the
- Discover the truth about fast fashion and how
it hurts the environment.
- Learn how Erin turned her dream into reality
and built her brand.
- Erin shares her top advice for women feeling
overwhelmed with all their commitments.
Erin’s Journey to Creating Applause
- Erin started sewing around 20 years ago as a
- She then started taking classes and eventually
made fashion her profession.
- Applause Lingerie was Erin’s dream brand that
- Lingerie drew Erin in because of its beauty and
functionality, but also she thought she could keep this business
going by solving the lingerie problem that women have.
- Listen to the full episode to hear Erin talk
about launching her brand from doing shows to home
What Fast Fashion Is and Why It’s Bad for the
- Fast fashion is an industry that copies
elements from high-end trends. By simplifying the construction
process, they produce clothes quickly.
- Fast fashion promotes the idea that people have
to change looks frequently. Because their products are cheap, you
don’t think of saving up or focusing on
- Overproduction is one of the main problems in
- Lots of clothes get thrown away and even
How Applause Lingerie Is Different from Fast
- Erin shops at thrift stores for fabric and
upcycles yardage instead of ordering tons of
- Erin also does in-person fittings to make sure
that the size is as it should be.
- Erin does not want to make a bra that someone
- Applause Lingerie is slow fashion. It’s about
putting in the time to get it right.
Erin’s Notable Pieces
- Aside from bras and panties, Erin also likes
making Kimono-style robes.
- The fabric of bras and certain types of laces
are delicate and challenging to work with.
- Erin admits that there are times that a good
idea doesn’t always translate to a good product.
- As a zero-waste designer, Erin takes these
failed experiments apart and puts them on a save-someday
The Challenges in Creating and Delivering a Sustainable
- Because Applause Lingerie is a smaller brand,
one of the challenges is sourcing materials. As much as possible,
Erin tries to use materials that are sustainable and ethically
- When the COVID pandemic struck, in-person
fittings became a lot more challenging.
- Since people wanted to feel more relaxed while
working from home, bralettes became high in
- They also couldn’t go pop-ups
- Erin is also hesitant to have influencers
promote her brand.
The Importance of Diversity in Fashion
- Applause Lingerie’s products are
- Because of this, Erin can accommodate people of
diverse body sizes while solving the problem of
- Erin also tries to improve the models she uses
to showcase different types of bodies.
On Erin’s Teaching Career and Her Family
- Erin is also a full-time Montessori teacher for
4th, 5th, and 6th graders.
- After teaching online for almost a year,
they’re finally going back in person within two
- Erin is thankful that her two teenage daughters
are adaptable and self-directed.
- Despite having little free time, Erin doesn’t
feel resentful because she loves what she’s
Erin’s Daily Non-Negotiables
- Erin likes to have a big breakfast and read the
newspaper on the weekends.
- Erin tries to set 20 minutes aside to do some
reading before going on TikTok.
Erin’s Advice for People Who Are
- It’s okay to feel down if you’re suffering
because of the pandemic.
- If you’re able, work towards a goal in small
- With things so out of control, it’s nice to do
something for yourself.
5 Powerful Quotes from the Episode
“When you launch a business,
you're ideally solving a problem for someone. And lingerie is a
huge problem for women in a lot of different ways.”
“Fast fashion is an industry
that basically takes trends, something that would have been seen on
a bigger runway from a, you know, high-end designer, takes elements
of it, copies it quickly, gets it into production really, really
fast, and simplifies the construction process.”
“So many women have been turned
off by, you know, ‘oh we don't have that size,’ or, you know, ‘we
don't make that size.’ That's, you know, I don't want to put out
that message at all.”
“Because I do love my work, I
don't feel resentful or grumpy, or, you know, I am doing like, what
I love to do… But yeah, building a small business, it's definitely
for the courageous.”
“It is important too, if you
can, to try to work towards a goal in small steps no matter what it
is… I think it's nice when you can carve out a little
something for yourself and be like, ‘I can actually control just
this little part, and then I'll try to bring myself
Erin Donaghy is
the founder of Applause Lingerie. Her company is a sustainable
lingerie brand based in Tucson, Arizona. Applause Lingerie aims to
make women feel beautiful. They can also rest easy knowing that
their shopping choices help the environment. By choosing upcycled
fabrics or deadstock, Erin strives to be ethical in her production
process. Applause Lingerie also promotes inclusivity. It aims
to show diversity in its models through skin color, age, and body
Besides being a brand owner,
Erin is also an experienced lead teacher with a demonstrated
history of working in Montessori education. She is currently
teaching 4th, 5th, and 6th graders full-time while raising two
Are you interested to know more
about Erin and her work? Connect with her on LinkedIn or check out Applause Lingerie’s
website. You can also follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
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