Nisa goes plus-sized

Shannon Wray and Elisha Watson, co-founders of lingerie brand Nisa sat down with Apparel Magazine to discuss their brand's latest endeavour to make their styles accessible to a broader variety of consumers. "Our customers are passionate women who give a damn," said Wray. "They are changemakers in their communities and stand strong in their values championing women's rights, social equality and environmental action."

By buying with Nisa, customers are giving support to the former refugees the brand helps to employ and create better lives for themselves. The brand's latest move is to ensure all women can help Nisa make these changes, no matter their size. "It was important to Nisa to make their ethical underwear accessible to as many of their supporters and fans around New Zealand as possible," explained Wray. So, the brand released a made to order plus sized range to make this goal possible.

We want people to examine their consumption patterns overall, and buy better quality and less often.

Pam Lowe, one of the brand's production managers, bought an intense knowledge of producing well fitting and comfortable plus sized garments from her previous role with Zebrano. "Creating a plus size range isn't just about making a garment that's bigger all over," she insisted. "It's about working out which bits of the body grow, and which bits stay roughly the same size as you go up the size range. Getting it wrong means that garments are uncomfortable and ultimately won't be worn." Lowe, as well as the brand's co-founders, understand that creating a plus sized range requires research and tailoring in order to suit your new audience and their body shapes. The same amount of dedication should be shown to developing ranges for these consumers as those of smaller sizes.

"We reached out to the community with a survey to work out what women who are size 18-24 actually looked for in their underwear," presented Wray. "Over 150 detailed and considered survey responses later, we felt that we had a strong grasp on what these women wanted." These interests ranged from a comfort first approach to styles as well as a call for natural fibres and ethical alternatives to fast-fashion drops. Nisa's new plus-sized range is made to order, giving customers fully tailored and personalised garments. "We are excited about this approach, as it means the only things that are made are things that customers actually want, minimising waste in the process."

Wray expressed the brand's eagerness to continue pushing the envelope and offering consumers a broad range of products. "We would love to collaborate with artists and graphic designers, as it introduces such a fresh new feel to what we do," she divulged. Wray insisted that their brand will always be looking for new opportunities to grow and expand.