Looking for a sustainable bra? We've found nine gorgeous bras to help put a green twist on this wardrobe staple. Skip the fast fashion and check out these options.
With the rise of fast fashion in recent years, the environmental impact of clothing has become an issue that comes up when shopping. Synthetic materials in clothing get broken up during washing, and these then end up in our waterways and landfills, contributing to the microplastic pollution problems in our oceans. A 2016 study concluded that more than 700,000 fibers can be released into the water system during a regular laundry cycle, this includes fibers from acrylics, polyester-cotton blends, and polyester materials — all of which are not biodegradable. Are sustainable bras available?
Over time, bras tend to lose their shape, elasticity, and support and should therefore be replaced regularly. In fact, experts recommend changing a regularly worn bra every six to twelve months. Due to the nature of lingerie, it’s generally not possible to donate old bras or to sell them again, so they usually end up in landfills. When added up, that’s a whole lot of bras in the trash during a lifetime!
When buying a bra there are a few things that we may want to consider such as style and comfort. To shop for sustainable bras consider other elements like the fabric used, sourcing of the materials, and the ethics of the brand. Some sustainable fabrics include bamboo, linen, organic cotton, and hemp, while synthetic materials like polyester and nylon should be avoided. We’ll recommend nine sustainable bras that help the planet.
1. Mary Young
This Canadian brand has a range of bras made from bamboo which are classic and simple, yet unique and available for a range of body shapes. Online orders are packaged in compostable tissue paper with recyclable inserts and the mailing packaging is made from 100% recycled material. Mary Young also offers a swimwear collection that is made from 100% recycled plastic. All of the company workers are paid a living wage and have good working conditions.
2. Sustainable Bras from Knickey
Knickey has an organic cotton range of bras available in classic and comfortable styles, certified by the Global Organic Standard (GOTS) which ensures organic standards are met across the whole supply chain and that ethical criteria are met for all workers. Online orders come with sustainable packaging and old undies and bras can be sent back to Knickey to be recycled into other items, customers get 15% off their next order in return.
3. Earth and Elle
Another Canadian brand, Earth and Elle uses a blend of hemp and organic cotton to make sustainable bras that are soft and supportive and come in a range of sizes. You won’t find any elastic, clips, or wires in these bras, and the dye they use has a low environmental impact.
4. Proclaim Sustainable Bras
Made in L.A., Proclaim uses a range of eco-friendly textiles in the bra range, including a combination of organic cotton and hemp which is durable, and dyes that have a low impact on the environment. Their Tencel bralettes are made from wood pulp from sustainably harvested trees and have earned the BioPreferred designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), meaning that they use natural, renewable resources, instead of relying on fossil fuels.
5. Free Label
A fantastic ethical choice based in Canada, Free Label‘s employees receive a fair wage and comfortable working conditions. The bras are made from technical bamboo which consists of 85% bamboo and 15% spandex and the dyes have a low environmental impact. Their longline bra designs are available for all shapes and sizes and the material is super soft and reversible.
Naja has a range of eco-friendly bras in various styles. Their Aria lace plunge bra is their first carbon-neutral bra because it is made from locally sourced upcycled lace and mesh. Alternatively, the Adriana lace bralette misfit is made from recycled plastic bottles and is digitally printed so no waste water is produced, meaning this bralette has a low environmental impact. Based in Colombia, Naja’s factory employs primarily single mothers who are paid above the market wage and receive healthcare, flexible working hours and free school meals for their children.
7. Sustainable Bras from Araks
Araks has an organic cotton collection with bralettes that are composed of 70% organic cotton and 30% upcycled cotton, mixed with wood pulp. This range comes in a range of bright colors, but its size range is not as wide as some of the other brands, with the largest size being a 36DD.
8. Kye Intimates
Produced in LA from upcycled and renewable materials, Kye intimates bras are feminine and delicate and online orders use minimal 100% recycled materials. Their swimwear range is designed with the environment in mind, as the fibers degrade in just five years, compared to similar products. Kye intimates donate lightly worn samples to a foundation called I Support the Girls which distributes menstrual hygiene products and bras to women suffering from domestic violence and homelessness.
9. Girlfriend Collective Sustainable Bras
Girlfriend Collective has a collection of sustainable bralettes and sports bras (available on Amazon**) which are made using 80% recycled plastic water bottles and 20% spandex, they’re dyed using sustainable dyes. Produced in Vietnam to SA800 certified standards, employees receive fair wages and good working conditions. Packaging for online orders is 100% recycled and recyclable and customers can see a breakdown of each product’s sustainable credentials on the website. For example, the black Ella scoop neck bra saved ten water bottles from going to landfill and prevented 13.6 lbs of carbon dioxide from being released.
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