East Anglian Daily Time

East Anglian Daily Time



By Steven Russell
3 October 2009



"Once upon a time - about 2005, actually - a country girl's eye was caught by a scrap of fabric at the market. It was a beautiful piece of soft cotton with a tiny, red, floral print. That would make a gorgeous pair of knickers, she mused, as you do. Mum helped her make a pair. And that was the start of Luva Huva - a lingerie label with an environmental philosophy that's now selling knickers, bra tops and other handmade designs in the UK and abroad."

"Luva Huva - a made-up name with a made-up meaning: something like "to give love" - tries to get everything it needs from within the UK, though it is a tough ask. Lace is hard to find, while there is one remaining source for elastic - in Lancashire."

"Joanna's signature look is "very floral, floaty: the influence of the countryside - pretty colours, fresh colours. There is a niche for underwear and I just think there is not enough really pretty, girly, feminine stuff."

"Her ethical leaning is important ,too. "I try to source end-of-lines, remnant pieces or vintage fabrics. I like to make something really gorgeous from little pieces that might otherwise go to waste."

"I love the fact I make things myself"

"Joanna commonly uses cotton and silk ... and also bamboo. Fancy. "I had to go on a radio show in America and talk about bamboo, and they were like 'So, aren't they itchy?'" she says. "It's made the same way cotton is, made into a pulp and the fibres woven just like cotton - but it makes a much more beautiful fibre than cotton. It drapes beautifully and is really soft - and good if you've got allergies: eczema or anything like that. It's good to have next to the skin, and it's supposed to have anti-bacterial properties. They don't use chemicals to spray bamboo, and it grows really rapidly, unlike cotton.""

"What does she like most about her choice of career? "I'm mad about it, and I never tire of it, either - yet! People say 'You will do', but I don't"

""I love seeing them all together, after I've done a day's work and all the knickers are piling up high, with all the colours, and looking all frilly! I still get a lot of pleasure out of that. And finding the matching bow that means it's finished perfectly. It's the simple things.""


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