I’ve had a running list of ethical lingerie options going for a while. What with Valentine’s Day coming up, I decided now is a good time to share. After challenging myself to buy only ethical clothing, I found lingerie to be the most frustrating to find. Vintage slips can be charming, but second-hand undies are not, so the challenge is to find sustainable options. Unfortunately, these brands still suffer from the same lack of ethnic, body, and ability diversity as the conventional lingerie industry, but let’s just tackle one issue at a time. Today, it’s sustainability and here’s what I’ve found:
bazsarózsa offers a small collection of interesting bras, undies, and camis in organic cotton. Pieces are made locally in NYC.
Blue Canoe the longest-running successful organic cotton clothing company and they are committed to organic cotton and US based manufacturing. Blue Canoe products are made in San Francisco. This is one of the few brands that offers larger sizing (up to 40DD in some styles).
Between the Sheets has by far the most extensive collection. You can shop by category, trend, activity, color, or collection to easily find the types of pieces you’re looking for. Whether you need basics or something special, you will likely find it. Between the Sheets is committed to sustainability. All of their pieces are made in NYC and materials are sourced locally whenever possible.
Based in the UK, Ciel’s ethics promote sustainable textiles, organic fibers, safe dyes, recycled fabrics, fair labor practices, and carbon offsetting. Much of what they have to offer is comfy-looking organic cotton like the pieces below.
Los Angeles based Clare Bare has more playful options than some of the other brands here. Their line includes soft cup bras, boy shorts, vintage inspired high waisted pieces, garter belts, rompers, bodysuits, and swimwear made from bamboo jersey and vintage fabrics.
Faeries Dance clothing is made from environmentally sensitive fabrics and low-impact dyes, sourced from both US and overseas manufacturers who take care to ensure that all workers are treated fairly, are safe from sweatshop conditions, and receive living wages. This is one of the few brands that includes larger sizing (and a nursing bra). They even address this issue in their FAQs and offer some suggestions, two of which are below.
Helpsy takes sustainability seriously, so when they say these pieces from Araks are made in small quantities, locally, and with eco-conscious materials, I believe them.
I love the vintage feel of Luva Huva! They produce handmade clothing using ethically sourced and sustainable fabrics wherever possible. Fabrics include 100% organic cotton, bamboo, and soy fabrics, along with end of line remnants, and vintage lace. Luva Huva products are hand made in the UK.
Madonna Bain is all about organic luxury and uses only quality natural, organic & eco-friendly textiles. Collections are manufactured in Australia and Indonesia with GOTS certified organic cotton yarn, and under fair working conditions with environmentally friendly practices wherever possible.
NaïS [pronounced ‘nice’] is made in NYC with materials and textiles supplied by American companies. Their packaging is eco-friendly and made in New Jersey.
If you can manage Rawganique’s hard-to-navigate site, you will find a good many options for basic lingerie in organic cotton certified to be sweatshop-free. For larger bodies, some styles offer bras up to cup size D and undies to 3XL.
Designer Monica Wesley’s brand, Uye Surana, is made in NYC. Pieces include handmade elements and are often made in limited quantities. Timelessness, wearability, and craftsmanship are foundational to this brand.
I just discovered Ayten Gasson and had to add them to the list. They source vintage lace trims from the old lace mills in Nottingham, and new English lace from companies based in the UK. Every piece from Ayten Gasson is designed and made in the UK. Some of their pieces are made from Peace Silk which allows the worm to emerge naturally, making it a vegan product.
I hope that this helps those of you on the quest for sustainable underthings. These brands help to address issues surrounding sustainability in the industry, but as I mentioned, do not address other ethical problems like lack of diversity. I’ll tackle that issue in the future. You can find these and other sustainable brands in my School of Ethics. And if you know of any other sustainable lingerie brands, please share in the comments!
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