Buying ethical underwear is an important part of sustainable living. Comfort is a must, but environmental impact should also be a deciding factor. To help you out, we’ve highlighted 6 sustainable and ethical underwear brands you can really get behind.
Switching to a more sustainable lifestyle is all about taking baby steps. For some, the first steps are towards eating local and organic products, for others, it’s about trying to live a zero-waste lifestyle. For most, caring about how clothing is produced is often one of the last steps taken because of how much research it requires.
What to Look For in Ethical Underwear
- Certified, natural fabrics
- Plant-based dyes
- Fair labor/supply chain visibility
Pact — More Than Just Ethical Underwear
This is a one-stop-shop for all your ethical clothing needs. Pact is on a mission to create Earth’s Favorite™ clothing, and underwear (including bras and socks) happens to be one of the many products they have on offer. This company is certified Fair Trade, and they use GOTS-certified organic cotton to create their super soft clothing. Whether you’re looking for ethical underwear, bras, or socks, Pact has you covered. Plus, you can choose from a variety of different colors and styles.
Where It’s Made: Pact manufactures its products in India, as the company believes it makes the most sense to manufacture in the country where the cotton is harvested.
Brook There: Organic Cotton Lingerie
If you’re looking for comfortable and minimalist ethical underwear, you’re in the right place; ethics and sustainability are at the core of the business. They aim to avoid single-use plastics in every area of business, including shipping! Brook There sells a few styles of bras and underwear, along with a loungewear collection.
Where It’s Made: The company uses GOTS-certified yarn, milled and dyed in California as their main fabric. Their products are cut and sewn in Massachusetts.
Where to Buy: Visit the Brook There website if you want to purchase some of their ethical lingerie.
WAMA — Ethical Hemp Underwear
WAMA does things a bit differently through their use of hemp fabric — which is actually an ideal choice for ethical underwear. Hemp is naturally anti-bacterial, has anti-odor properties, is super comfortable, breathable, and gets softer with each wash! With 5 styles of men’s underwear, 6 styles for women, and 2 bralettes, chances are you’ll find what you need.
Where It’s Made: WAMA’s manufacturing base is in China, which is the leading country in hemp textiles. Hemp is a niche crop, often grown on small, family-run organic farms. WAMA pays fair wages to its employees and has a very transparent supply chain.
Where To Buy: WAMA’s products are available to purchase from a few select stockists across the country, or you can purchase them directly on the WAMA website.
Knickey: Recycle Your Old Undies
By far one of the coolest features of the Knickey brand is their recycling program for old underwear. They’ll take back your old undies (from any brand) to make sure they get properly recycled, plus they’ll throw a free pair of ethical underwear into your next order as a thank you! Knickey brand products are made using certified organic fabric, and are free from harmful toxins.
Where It’s Made: The harvesting and manufacturing processes for all of Knickey’s products take place in India. You can even track the entire supply chain process from beginning to end on their website.
Where to Buy: You’ll find the complete range of ehtical underwear on the Knickey website, including 5 different styles in a whole range of colors.
Bright & Colorful Thunderpants
For those who love colorful, bright, and patterned undies, this small, family-owned New Zealand-based company is for you. The story of how they ended up in the USA is definitely worth a read. Thunderpants uses Fairtrade Certified Organic Cotton yarn and GOTS-certified cotton. Plus, they hire individual illustrators and designers to create the unique prints you’ll find on their underwear.
Where It’s Made: Thunderpants has a very close working relationship with the factory where their products are cut, sewn and manufactured — it’s only about 7 miles away from their office in Portland!
Where to Buy: You can buy Thunderpants directly through the Thunderpants website.
Pansy: Supporting Small Business
A small team of four run this ethical underwear brand out of Oakland, California. They sell socks, underwear and bras, along with some loungewear. All of their products use non-toxic, fiber-reactive dyes as well as organic cotton fabric and thread. A few of Pansy’s products use spandex made from recycled plastic bottles.
Where It’s Made: The organic cotton that Pansy uses to make its ethical undeewear is grown in Texas, and milled in North Carolina. Their products are designed and sewn in California.
Where to Buy: These products are available on the Pansy website .** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support Utopia.org, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.
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