"My name is Lauren Golik and I co-founded Uranus Apparel with my cousin, Natalie San Andres. I am 23, she is 22 and we are both from Miami.
We came up with the idea a little over a year ago. We were painting my sister's room in our underwear and were talking about our favorite planets. Somehow we got to talking about how it would be funny if there was an underwear company called Uranus. I think we were slightly delirious because of the paint fumes, but my dad heard us talking and thought it was a great idea, so Uranus Apparel was born. We decided we wanted to make the underwear out of eco-friendly fabric and came up with our slogan: "Help save planet earth starting with uranus". We did a lot of research about different types of sustainable fabric and chose soy because it is the most eco-friendly and the softest.
How soy is made: Soy fabric is made from the by-products of the soy food production process. Components from the soy bean are extracted to make tofu, soybean oil, etc. and a protein "cake" is left behind. This cake is then spun into fiber and woven into a cloth. Therefore, soy fabric uses a material that would otherwise be considered waste, and requires no further consumption of natural resources. The process uses some chemicals, but the chemicals can be used over and over again indefinitely, making it a "closed loop" process.
Currently, the only manufacturer of soy fabric in the world is China. This makes sense, as China produces most of the world's soy food products and thus has the greatest ability to produce the fabric. Our first order of soyshorts was manufactured in the same facility that produces the fabric from soybeans in China. However, we are working on moving our manufacturing to the US because we'd like to support the local economy. We are working with a garment manufacturer in Miami to work on our next order, which will be mens soy boxer briefs.
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The main idea behind our product is giving people an easy way to be more sustainable in everyday life. Everyone has to wear underwear, so why not wear some that are eco-friendly and aren't destroying natural resources? We are all about reducing waste and our product is made from something that would otherwise be waste. The burlap sack takes this a little further, because it reduces the use of plastics that are typically used to package undies. By packaging our product in a burlap sack that our customers can compost, there is no waste involved. It's about being a conscious consumer.
We order our burlap sacks from a typical packaging company, nothing too exciting. The Miami connection, besides that my cousin and I both grew up here, is that our soyshorts will soon be produced here, supporting the once flourishing local garment industry, that is almost non-existant now, due to overseas outsourcing.
We've sold nearly a thousand pairs of soyshorts on our website, but are working on getting into some retail locations. We are in it for fun and hopefully for profit as well. In the future, we plan on "adopting" sustainable farms, telling their stories, and donating a percentage of our proceeds to support them.
Our message to consumers who care about the environment but don't know where to start? We recommend starting by making small changes in everyday life, things that are easy to change, but make a significant difference in the long run. Use reusable shopping bags, turn off lights when you leave the room, and of course, wear Uranus soy undies!"