Maxine Gordon reports on the North Yorkshire-based designer leading an undies revolution

WE'VE all had that sinking feeling. You put on your favourite bra, and it's suddenly too tight around the back, or the underwires are digging in like cheese wire; the cups overflowing with more than a pound of flesh.

If only bras could grow with us - whether that is from weight gain due to pregnancy, menopause, the time of the month, or from a fun few days on the fizz - and equally shrink back when our bodies do a reverse turn.

But that is asking too much?

Or is it?

Well not according to North Yorkshire entrepreneur Marta Bujwicka-Colman who has launched a new lingerie brand, Aberdevine, designed for a woman's changing body. What's more, her unique range of flexible and adaptable underwear has not come at the cost of aesthetics nor sustainability.

Yes, you have read that correctly. Marta has created what is surely the holy grail of underwear: bras that fit you day in, day out, look and feel luxurious, and are kind to the planet.

York Press: From the new collection of Aberdevine lingerie for 2024From the new collection of Aberdevine lingerie for 2024

Sounds too good to be true?

Well the underwear is no overnight sensation. Marta has spent the past six years developing her ideas first into prototypes and now products, available online.

Born in Poland, Marta studied economics in London and began a career with Bloomberg in the City where she met her husband Jack, who hails from Bransdale in the North York Moors.

Seeking a quieter life - and longing for the countryside - they moved to a forest location in Poland, where they started a family (three boys, Grant, Cameron and Tristan), and Marta began working in the wellness industry.

She also picked up an old hobby - sketching.

"I used to dance ballroom and Latin and I'd design my own dresses," said Marta, who for the past three years has been living in Helmsley with her family and their Hungarian Vizsla, Kiraly (which means king in Hungarian).

But back in that Polish countryside, instead of sketching skimpy, sequined, dresses, the young mother began drawing underwear: dreaming of bras that fitted properly, were genuinely forgiving of the ebb and flow of women's figures, that also looked amazing.

"I found a constructor who made two prototypes: one for me, one for her," said Marta. "She told me it was the most comfortable bra she'd ever created."

And so Aberdevine was born.

York Press: Marta Bujwicka-Colman's lingerie brand, Aberdevine, is designed for a woman's changing body. Photo by David LawalMarta Bujwicka-Colman's lingerie brand, Aberdevine, is designed for a woman's changing body. Photo by David Lawal (Image: David Lawal)

The unusual name chimes with the ethical core of the business.

"Aberdevine is the old-fashioned name for a type of finch called the Eurasian siskin," began Marta. "This siskin used to come into our garden when we were back in Poland. It would sit there on the fence. Then one day it disappeared. I found out that a neighbour had been spraying their fields."

The episode only served to enhance her commitment to do as little environmental harm as possible in her business.

And, to date, she appears to be succeeding, going to great lengths to use recycled materials and natural fabric dyes as well as opting for plastic-free underwires for garments.

Instead of cotton, she uses Italian lace - respun from off-cuts at the end of a production line.

"We tested many fabrics. Cotton is a very thirsty crop and does not look so elegant after a few weeks. So we use this regenerated lace which is more sustainable," said Marta.

Also earning eco-conscious gold stars are her recycled elastic, nickel-free metal parts, and gussets made from a fabric based on wood pulp.

"Our lace is dyed using plants," she added. "I don't use white as you have to use bleach in order to have white lace. Instead I use a cream that comes from oak gallnuts which gives a yellowy cream that looks very natural in the light."

In a limited edition collection for this spring she has introduced a new combination featuring an orange-honey colour with cream, the former dyed with tree bark.

But it's not just on the environmental front that Marta is trailblazing in the industry. Her designs appear to be rather revolutionary too, crafted in a way that works with real women's bodies.

"The central theme of the brand is lingerie that liberates. We don’t want to make beautiful but ultimately impractical or uncomfortable underwear; our designs are for active, energetic women, who are interested in more than just looking the part, and who love nature as much as we do," said Marta.

"All the bras and bodysuits are designed to be adjustable in size, accommodating a woman's ever-changing form and the outfits she chooses throughout the day.

"Key to our designs is that they are size-adjustable, allowing women to move up or down a size and still have the perfect fit and support. Most bras have hooks giving two or three options, mine have five or six.

"Our bras also convert between straps and strapless. We want women to be able to leave the house in the morning, take the dog for a rural walk, do the school run, go to work, and still have the right underwear to go out to dinner in the evening."

Aberdevine is available online at:

This article first appeared in Yorkshire Life magazine. The latest edition of Yorkshire Life is out now, available from newsagents and supermarkets across Yorkshire and 

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