It started with a plastic planet roof-sticker and a joke.
After removing planet stickers while painting a ceiling, Natalie San Andres, co-founder the Uranus Apparel company, remembers someone making a joke about underwear.
“We joked about making underwear called Uranus,” said San Andres.
Soon, the jokers got serious and San Andres and her first cousin, Lauren Golik, decided to pursue the endeavor. They decided Uranus Apparel would sell underwear made from soy by products and founded the company in April 2008.
The company, whose motto is “help save planet Earth starting with Uranus,” decided that soy would be the best product to make into underwear.
“Soy became our number one choice because it was the most sustainable of the other fabrics and it was also the most comfortable,” San Andres said. “It also sounded the best.”
The panties, although not 100 percent soy, are made from the byproducts of soy and organic cotton.
“Our plan is to be sustainable and encourage people to be sustainable, but we want people to have a sense of humor at the same time,” San Andres said.
Soy is sustainable because it uses less water and the soy underwear and the soy underwear are made by using part of the plant that are normally considered waste.
San Andres and Golik are both graduates from the University of Florida. San Andres is currently working on her doctorate at FIU, and Golik is working in graphic design in San Francisco.
The cousins would like to keep the business in the family. “Wearing soy is so soft, it’s like being naked,” said Nina Golik, who is also first cousins with the founder.
Their product is quickly gaining popularity.
“I love them because they’re so soft, comfortable and cute,” UM sophomore Jessica Telleria said. “I wear them everyday.”
The all-natural soy underwear are sold exclusively to women and come only in boy short style. They come in packs of three, and are packaged in a biodegradable burlap bag.
Someday, the company would like to add new colors, new styles of panties including bikinis and thongs, a men’s line, as well as T-shirts, V-necks and other undergarments.
“Eventually, we’d want to go into retail and be able to sell to stores and to continue with the green image and keep making everything out of soy” San Andres said. “Our target market is individuals who want sustainable products yet have a sense of humor at the same time.”
Stephanie Parra may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.