Why I Started Proclaim

Posted by Shobha Philips on

Proclaim founder Shobha Philips.  Proclaim is and eco-friendly inclusive nude lingerie brand based in San Francisco, California


I started Proclaim because I was tired of not being able to find a nude bra that matched my brown skin.  My experience shopping for a nude bra was sometimes laughable.  From having someone try to convince me a traditional beige nude matches my dark skin perfectly, “you just need to look at it under the right lighting,” to “oh, that doesn’t exist hun, but good luck,” I have heard it all.  Over the years I found workarounds, like the discovery that a purple bra does the job of disappearing against my skin under that sheer white tee.  But at the end of the day, I’m not purple.  I have brown skin.  For years the fashion industry has chosen to ignore me and millions of women that don’t have the skin color that is ubiquitously known as nude.

I was aware of this issue for as long as I could remember.   Being a brown girl growing up in the Midwest, there were many beauty standards that didn’t pertain to me and “nude” was just another concept I thought I had to accept.  In a culture where blonde hair and blue eyes are regarded as ideal, a girl with black hair and brown skin just has to make do, I figured.

It wasn’t until I was older and moved to San Francisco that I started to question these beauty standards that inevitably permeate the fashion world.  Living in such a diverse city filled with people from all backgrounds with every skin color under the sun made me realize what it meant to embrace yourself and love your skin.  The fact that there wasn’t a nude color for so many women seemed more and more absurd to me.

I knew I had to be a part of the movement to revolutionize nude. But if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it right.  Beyond nude, there are so many issues in the lingerie industry that are long overdue for change.  The way women are portrayed, as overly airbrushed, perfectly fit little sex objects is outdated and doesn’t represent what most of our bodies look like. I wanted to create a brand that represented real women.  Our launch campaign features real women of all skin colors who are doing amazing things. Beautiful, brilliant women to admire.

The other part of the lingerie industry I wanted to change was addressing and being transparent about the environmental and social impacts of production.  I spent years researching different options for materials and production before discovering the recycled polyester fabric and local production facility in San Francisco that we ended up using.  Proclaim fabric is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles.  Each bralette diverts two plastic bottles form landfills and oceans.

What started as an annoyance about the color nude turned into something much bigger.  It turned into the opportunity to revolutionize an industry.  Proclaim is a love letter to women who demand change rather than settling for the status quo. 

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