Bringing this blog with such a buzz following the England women's team football win this weekend. It is pretty emotional seeing such a major moment unfold like this. The energy and feeling of empowerment as women claim a space that, for so long had been restricted because it was a 'men's game', really does make you feel embolden to make strides yourself.
Isn't it amazing what women and female identifying folk can do with they're supported.
And that takes us both physically and metaphorically to meet a rather epic brand that I have had the sheer joy of creating with this summer. Say hello to B.X.M creators of sports bras made exclusively for bigger boobs, with people and planet in mind.
Today, we are chatting with Lizzie Gordon, founder of B.X.M, her inspiring journey from having an idea for a product that didn't exist, learning how to bring it into being and create an incredible brand.
Tell me a little bit more about the story of your brand and how you arrived at creating B.X.M….
The idea for the business originally came from a place of frustration, I’ve always had bigger boobs and constantly felt completely forgotten and overlooked by lots of clothing, activewear and lingerie brands. This was especially the case when I’d see my smaller boobed friends being able to buy loads of nice sports bras from the sustainable activewear brands that have started cropping up in recent years.
I can probably count on one hand the number of brands I know of that stock a sports bra in my size – none of them are either a) comfortable or b) conscious/sustainable. So, about 10 years ago, I starting playing around with the idea of creating something myself. At the time I told myself that I had no idea what I was doing should probably leave it to the bigger brands to sort out.
Roll on about 8 years, there still wasn’t anything sustainably or consciously made for women with bigger cup sizes – so I decided to sign myself up on a short course on lingerie design that the London College of Fashion were doing. This turned out to be the match that lit the fire under my bum and pushed me on to start the business. Although the course title was “lingerie design”, it covered everything from what shapes you might want to have as part of your design, to how to source fabrics, and getting started on the manufacturing process. It opened my eyes to the fact that I could start the brand and learn about the bits that I didn’t know.
In June 2021 I decided to go down to working 4 days a week so I could dedicate a day a week to B.X.M, and in September 2021 I finally took the leap to working on the brand full time.
One of the things I adored about your brand the moment I learned about it, was seeing it grounded in ethical values, can you tell me more about how you have built a sustainable brand?
Having integrity and raw truth as 2 of the 5 values that underpin the business and the brand is so crucial. To me this is all about making sure that we are staying true to the vision I have of building a sports bra brand that is positive for both people and planet, and keeping ourselves accountable at every stage.
Making sure the brand was as sustainable and ethical as possible is something that has always been front of my mind from the outset. From sourcing recycled fabrics to finding a manufacturer in the UK, every step of our journey I’ve asked myself if I’m aligning the business with the values I envisioned for it. This has often come with it’s challenges, it is no secret that creating sustainable garments in an ethical fashion is considerably more expensive due to things like recycled fabrics costing more to make, and the additional production costs to ensure workers are paid a fair wage. However, these are all things that I’ve been passionate about having from the beginning and have lead to our bras being of a higher quality and feel vs our competitors.
I think it’s also worth saying that we’re nowhere near perfect when it comes to the green credentials of the brand. I’m always looking for ways that we can improve and make B.X.M even more green and ethical – the end of life process for the bras is currently something I’m exploring, I’m conscious that although the process of making the bras is both sustainable and ethical
Going into your shoot you had some clear objectives on the vibe, how do you feel now you have images that are aligned to this?
In a word, amazing! I knew I wanted to capitalise on the raw female power and wild woman vibes that I thought we’d have from the location, what I didn’t expect (and absolutely love) is the delicateness of some of the images. We really were working with nature for our shoot rather than against it.
Something that I’ve always been very passionate about when it comes to any imagery associated with the brand, is to showcase a whole range of different bodies. I often get frustrated with brands who say that they have pieces that fit a fuller bust size and shape, but I never seen anyone that looks like me in any of their photos so it’s difficult to tell. I created B.X.M to try and be the brand that I (and so many other bigger boobed women) have been waiting for, helping them feel seen and understood.
I really admire that as a brand, you are disrupting narratives around exercise for female identifying humans with fuller busts, by creating a product that actually works and is ethical, what has been the biggest takeaway from this journey so far?
It might sound a bit negative, but my biggest takeaway has probably been how tough it has been to create our bras. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve absolutely loved the process, but there is so much additional technicality that goes into creating a sports bra that caters for bigger boobs AND is sustainable and ethically made.
I also think that us bigger boobed women have much higher expectations of things like our sports bras, we want them to be able to do their job and do it well. I was conscious of this going into creating the business and the bras, so it was absolutely vital to me that we didn’t launch until I was 100% happy with the product and believed that our bras were completely fit for purpose. This ended up meaning we had 5 rounds of prototyping (most products would have a maximum of 3), with a variety of different testers of all shapes and sizes, so I could ensure that the bras both fitted and worked across our size range.
What does the next 6 months look like for B.X.M?
We’ve definitely got some exciting things coming up – some of which I can’t talk about quite yet. One thing I’m really keen to do is get out there and meet our existing and potential customers in person, so we’re going to try and do a couple of pop-ups and have stalls at some markets in the second half of 2022. It’s such a great opportunity to talk to people about our bras and their boobs, and get their feedback – I’m always keen to keep improving the designs to make them better and better.
I also heard the other day that both our Limitless and Fearless bras are finalists in the sports bra category for the Health and Wellbeing awards, winners are going to be announced at the end of August, so I’ll be waiting with baited breath and champagne at the ready!
There is just so much inspiration here, from following your dreams, being non-negotiable on sustainable values and creating such an amazing impact from the moment she launched.
Beaming big love to the following folk who were all part of the shoot:
Jasmine on BTS: https://www.instagram.com/tobewanderlustofficial/
Visit B.X.M here: https://www.iambxm.com/
If you're a conscious brand and you're interested in chatting more about how we can tailor a branding shoot around you and your business then drop me an email so we can chat more.
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