In conversation with PANSY©

by Talulah Brown

Photo courtesy of Pansy

Photo courtesy of Pansy

Pansy, founded by Laura Schoorl and Rachel Corry, is a California-based organic cotton underwear company born from a need for aesthetic, conscious basics. With a deeply personal and environmentally-driven agenda, the brand acts less as a clothing company and more as a celebratory space, inviting all to explore the beauty in themselves, their relationships, nature, and art.

Now solely run by Laura and a small team, Pansy stays true to its original vision of minimal, timeless pieces that encourage local production, artistic collaborations, and female teamwork. Their simple yet genius designs range from bra, full bra, sports bra, low rise underwear, high rise, and X high rise and are available in colors like leaf, apricot, sunflower, and rose. Their online shop includes a small collection of lounge wear as well. The underwear is sewn in a factory in San Leandro, CA. The organic cotton is grown in Texas and milled in North Carolina. The natural rubber/cotton elastic is made in South Carolina and the dyes are hand picked and non-toxic. All products are compostable

After purchasing my own Pansy set, I fell deeply in love with the brand and sat down with Laura to discuss custom colors, finding refuge in the countryside, and what it means to be a part of the Pansy community.

Can you speak more about the inspiration behind Pansy? What lead you to create this company?

Yes! I started Pansy with a friend. We were on a road trip talking about all the things we wanted to make and we both realized there wasn't any underwear available that was aesthetically pleasing, local, organic, and ethically up to our standards. We started dreaming up exactly what our ideal underwear would be on that trip.

 Your bras and underwear feel deeply inspired and linked to nature, even more so than just the material. Can you elaborate on that relationship?

I love the natural world and agriculture. Growing up in California, there is so much wilderness here and so many beautiful landscapes that inspire me creatively. Our photos are often taken in nature. I want Pansy to feel natural and effortless like a flower. I like the imperfection of a wrinkle or a fold because that is how nature is.

What I’ve read about the production of your underwear is so admirable, I’m curious to know more. What can you tell me? 

Our organic cotton is grown in the South and it is knit into fabric in North Carolina. We sew everything close by to our studio and dye in a small dye house across the Bay from us. It is essential for us to know where everything comes from to ensure that we're doing the least amount of harm to the earth. 

The colors you use feel so unique to me, almost like I’ve never seen them before. How do you choose your dyes?

All of our colors are custom dyed. Sometimes the colors are based on vintage clothing or fruits. They are all colors I feel drawn to. It's always a process of bringing swatches I love to our dye guy and sometimes he gets the right color on the first try but sometimes it take a couple months until I feel it is just right. Now that we have such a rainbow, a lot of it is letting go of colors when I don't love them as much and adding the new color that seems like it's missing. I feel so grateful that we are able to custom dye everything. I love color so much and I feel like I get to rediscover shades. I know a lot of people get sad when we retire colors but it just allows room for new ones to come into our lives! 

Photo Courtesy of Pansy

Photo Courtesy of Pansy

The photographs and films I’ve seen on the Pansy website and instagram feel so personal and emblematic of the brand’s philosophy. How do you choose who to involve in your shoots?

The shoots that I do myself are usually friends and people who reach out to me online. I have to feel connected to them artistically. We only shoot film because I find that lends more mystery and depth to our pictures. I feel like everyone who shoots with Pansy is a part of our community of friends and friends of friends. I feel so much love for everyone involved.

How do you hope women feel while wearing Pansy products? 

Comfortable and full of joy!

Is there anything exciting in the company’s future you can tell me about?

Yes, we are releasing two new styles this month. One is a unisex boxer brief. All of our garments are non-gendered but these are specifically more masculine. Personally, I love wearing it under dresses and around the house. The other is a new bra that I think a lot of women will be excited about wearing: it is similar to our full bra but it has a cross back and the straps are covered in fabric so it is a bit more sturdy for the person that is a little bit harder on their garments. 

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