Calita Intimates, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Calita sells women's underwear that's beautiful, comfortable (made from buttery-soft, sustainable natural fibers), and ethical—"underwear that feels right."

Photos courtesy Calita Intimates

Who are you?

I'm Rebecca Mazzara, founder of Calita Intimates. The name Calita came from two beautiful Spanish words I grew up hearing: calata, which means "naked," and cosita, which means "little thing."

What's your company about?

The idea was creating garments for women that are beautiful on and feel comfortable and flattering—and that are derived from natural fibers that are healthy for women because they're breathable. They're also good for the planet.

What inspired you to create Calita Intimates?

I was very active growing up. As with many young women, depending on the fabrics that you're wearing, being busy and active may unfortunately lead to infections. Hearing from my doctor that "you should be wearing breathable fibers," I immediately started looking for cotton underwear, things that I knew were breathable and natural. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything that didn't look like granny panties.

Can you tell us about the fabric and the styles?

The fabric is TENCELTM Modal, which is derived from wood pulp that comes sustainably from managed forests. It is also biodegradable and long-lasting.

We offer Cross Bikini Underwear and Cross Thong Underwear. I have three more styles coming, and then eventually plan on branching off into tank tops, also using the fabric, based on the feedback the fabric has been getting. Our customers are absolutely loving this fabric.

You're partnering with Cloverly for a promotion during April, right?

Yes, I plan to use Cloverly to offset the carbon impact of shipping all orders that we receive in April. Calita will pay for the offsetting on our customers' behalf, in honor of Earth Month—and we'll be using all Canadian offset sources. I've been talking to Cloverly for a while and heard a lot of great things about the integration with Shopify, so it sounded like a great time to set it up.

It was really cool to work with the Cloverly team to learn how the offsets are calculated. There really isn't any work on my end.

What is your company proudest of?

What I'm most proud of is that most of the business is sourced from Canada. My fabric is purchased in British Columbia. My technical designer is based in Quebec, and my manufacturer is also in Quebec. So I can visit them and check the quality and be physically there with them. I can build really strong relationships with all the moving pieces of my business because it's all local.

The Canadians that I've been selling to are so excited and proud to be buying Canadian-made garments.