Silent Arrow is a brand which has only recently been brought to my attention, though it was launched in December 2016. Perhaps those in its native Australia will already be aware of these lingerie designs, which take inspiration from a number of subcultures, alongside founder and designer Kelly Barrett’s vast and expansive experience in fine art and the fashion industry.
However, as someone who lives on the opposite side of the globe I’m very glad to finally be aware of them: both because I enjoy the lingerie, and also because I highly appreciate the social consciousness of Silent Arrow.
This is not Kelly Barrett’s first venture into fashion, or even into lingerie design. After working her way up to Design Manager for an underwear brand, she co-founded a company with her partner that produces intimates for third-party brands. Silent Arrow was launched later as her own “creative project”.
According to the Who Are We section of the website, “Every 8 seconds someone purchases a piece of intimate apparel she’s designed”. Indeed, this is unsurprising as few of the designs are particularly unique when compared to other popular brands, and follow along with most recent trends for lingerie such as strappy designs, mesh cut-outs, and wireless lace bralettes.
What is special about this brand are most definitely direct benefits of having such a successful and experienced founder. For one, they boast an impressive size range with knickers and bralettes in Australian sizes 8-20, bodysuits in sizes 8-18, and bras from 8-18 bands (UK or US 30-40) and B-G cups. Their line of Busted Bras was specifically designed for DD-G cups, responding the need for different constructions, fabric, and closures on DD+ bras, while maintaining the youthful, trendy appearance of Silent Arrow’s designs.
This acknowledgement of the diverse shapes and sizes that women come in is also demonstrated in the brand’s imagery across their website and social media. The designs are featured on a number of models of different sizes, ethnicities, and body types.
As well as this, the analogue style photography gives the impression of a lack of Photoshop being used to minimise supposed ‘flaws’, and you can definitely spot some lovely freckles, wrinkles, and stretchmarks on the models. Again, this isn’t anything new in the lingerie industry – and has been a common marketing technique utilised by brands such as Aerie in the past couple of years – but I really appreciate the fact that Silent Arrow doesn’t shout about this fact.
In the same way, Silent Arrow has incorporated a number of different socially-conscious principles into their brand. They have done so in a way that seems more genuine than others, who use labels such as “feminist” to fit trends without following through with actions to back up their words.
For every item bought from Silent Arrow they donate a pair of knickers to a woman in need, all of which are embroidered with the beautiful message, “you are loved”. And while their lingerie is produced in China, they are very transparent about the production process – and, as Estelle has previously written about, the Made in China label does not necessitate unethical production values.
As well as this, they are attempting to transition into making their styles from entirely recycled and environmentally-friendly materials, with their F.U. TOO! collection being the first of theirs to be made from 100% recycled nylon microfibre.
An acknowledgement of the dangerous levels of waste and pollution which the fashion industry creates is very refreshing, and Silent Arrow also uses plastic-free packaging where possible. When not, they use bio-degradable plastics alongside Oeko-Tex certified dyes in all their designs.
For these reasons, I don’t think it matters that Silent Arrow aren’t necessarily producing the most unique designs. Their target market seems to instead be young people who want easy, stylish pieces, but who may also be more aware of the ethics behind clothing production and therefore willing to do research and spend a bit more on their underwear.
I really love how the designs range from androgynous, sporty silhouettes all the way to ruffled, neon-pastel sets. I particularly like how Silent Arrow often incorporates outerwear styling into the product imagery, which is a great way to demonstrate the potential for all the garments.
My personal favourites are the Fierce Bodysuit, which would definitely make an amazing layering piece with lots of outerwear potential, as well as the Busted Dreamin’ Bra which comes in a gorgeous cobalt lace, with a kind of tapered longline effect. I am definitely intrigued to find out how well their DD+ bras fit, especially as their size chart recommends a 12DD for me, while I estimate I should be in a 10G.
I will definitely be keeping an eye on this brand. Their blog is definitely worth a read for any who want to check out their values, and the most recent Colour collection is very on-trend and a good option for those who found themselves sized out of Savage x Fenty.
However, with an emphasis on slow fashion I don’t expect to see lots of brand new designs anytime soon. And for me that makes me even more likely to shop from Silent Arrow in the future.
What’s the most important thing to you when considering buying from a brand? Is it purely the designs, or do you take their principles into consideration?