In 2018, lingerie brand Fruity Booty set out on a mission to create a space where women’s underwear needs felt heard. After noticing a market over-saturated with highly sexualised alternatives that compromised comfort and harmed the planet, co-founders Hattie Tennant and Minna Bunting launched the London-based brand to provide a solution to the conundrum.

The brand has since gained a cult-like following among those who want to strike a fine balance between cosy yet cute underwear. “I think a lot of the time underwear can be intimidating and unrelatable,” says Minna, “we wanted to lighten the whole conversation”.

This year has been particularly momentous for the brand that was recently announced as one of the recipients of the BFC Fashion Trust grant for 2023, which will provide brands with financial support and mentoring from industry experts, sparking an exciting new venture into ready-to-wear.

At the core of Fruity Booty's excellent underwear offering is the use of sustainable, upcycled and repurposed fabrics. And you’ll be pleased to know that this is also the case for the newly launched Chéri Collection.

Because caught up with Minna about the Chéri collection and what the British Fashion Council Trust grant means for the brand…

Tell us more about Fruity Booty embarking on ready-to-wear...
We've been wanting to bring out ready-to-wear pieces for a really long time. But I feel like I've been stuck with it because if we want to do ready-to-wear it's got to serve a purpose. That’s what has been so amazing about the Chéri collection – it all has this element of being versatile, practical, and timeless.

With the Chéri pieces it was about creating a dress you could wear all summer, but also next summer. Something you wouldn't tire off. I see so many brands releasing a dress for a summer and then by next summer everyone is sick of it. For me, I wanted our clothing to be the antithesis. I wanted to create pieces that had a much longer lifespan.
It was a very natural extension and the clothing is slinky, easy to wear and lightweight, like our underwear. But also we wanted to create dresses where you’d see a hint of the bra. A way to show off the Fruity Booty underwear you already own. Plus, half the Chéri collection is made from dead stock. So, it was a way that we could keep telling our story in a different space.

What has the British Fashion Council Trust grant provided Fruity Booty with so far?
They have connected us with an incredible network of talented industry people that are there to help you in all areas. We’ve done a workshop on Shopify and marketing, which was amazing because obviously sometimes when you’re a small business it can get pretty lonely. To speak to people and hear about it is incredibly useful for our expansion.

How has receiving the award made you feel?
It’s made it all feel very real, I'm so proud of how far we’ve come. I mean, Molly Goddard, Chopova Lowena, all those people are my absolute dream designers. You know Fruity is a very different thing to those established designers. But I think, at the same time, what we have in common is we are all British brands trying to do a good thing in our space. So, I feel very proud and honoured to be near them.

It's easy to forget sometimes when you have a startup business, that you don't technically have a boss, so you don't have someone saying if you're doing something right or wrong, you just figure it out. When you get awarded something, it's a nice gratification. Because you're normally always just scrambling around asking yourself: Am I doing anything right?

What future plans do you have?
We’re planning on doing a pop-up in New York in September. So that's a really exciting plan and a really cool location as well. We are very lucky to have won a grant from the British Fashion Council to help facilitate it which is a huge excitement for us because I think it's such an opportunity for us to finally meet our international customers and for them to see Fruity in real life.

By Zari Ibbetson