Sustainability made simple

Sustainable Bras: They Exist & These 9 Brands Are Fantastic

sustainable bras
Foto: (Photo: CC0 Public Domain/pexels/Antonius Ferret)

Looking for a sustainable bra? We’ve found nine beautiful bras that put an eco-friendly twist on this wardrobe staple. Skip the fast fashion and check out these options.

The growing popularity of fast fashion has brought attention to the environmental impact of clothing, particularly regarding the rise of microplastic pollution. There are even microplastics in the ocean. When synthetic materials used in clothing are washed, they break down into tiny fibers that ultimately end up in water bodies and landfills.

These fibers, including non-biodegradable ones like acrylics, polyester-cotton blends and polyester, contribute to the pollution of our oceans. One 2016 study found that over 700,000 fibers can be released into the water system during a regular laundry cycle. Given this problem, the availability of sustainable bras is a topic of interest.

Bras tend to lose their shape, elasticity and support over time, necessitating regular replacement. Experts say to replace frequently-worn bras every six to 12 months. However, it is often not possible to resell or donate old bras, resulting in their disposal in landfills. That’s a whole lot of bras in the trash during a lifetime!

When purchasing a bra, there are several factors to consider, such as style and comfort. For those seeking sustainable bra options, it is important to consider the fabric used, the sourcing of materials and the brand’s ethical practices. Sustainable fabrics for bras include bamboo, linen, organic cotton and hemp. Synthetic materials like polyester and nylon are best avoided.

Here are nine sustainable bra brands that contribute to the preservation of our planet.

1. Mary Young

This Canadian brand offers a variety of bras crafted from bamboo, featuring a timeless and minimalist design that caters to different body shapes. In addition to their bra line, Mary Young provides a swimwear collection composed entirely of 100% recycled plastic. All employees receive a living wage and enjoy favorable working conditions.

When you place an online order, it will be carefully packaged using compostable tissue paper and recyclable inserts. Moreover, the mailing packaging itself is constructed from 100% recycled material.

2. Sustainable Bras from Knickey

Knickey offers a collection of bras made from organic cotton, featuring classic and comfortable styles. These bras are certified by the Global Organic Standard, which guarantees that organic standards are followed throughout the supply chain and that ethical criteria are met for all workers involved.

When you place an online order, it will be shipped in sustainable packaging, aligning with Knickey’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Additionally, Knickey provides a unique recycling program where customers can send back their old undies and bras to be recycled into other items.

Customers receive a 15% discount on their next order as a token of appreciation. This initiative promotes circularity and reduces waste in the fashion industry.

3. Earth and Elle

Earth and Elle, another Canadian brand, specializes in crafting sustainable bras using a combination of hemp and organic cotton. These bras are known for their softness, support and versatility, with a wide range of sizes available. What sets them apart is the absence of elastic, clips and wires, making them exceptionally comfortable and free from restrictive elements.

Moreover, Earth and Elle takes environmental considerations seriously, employing dyes with minimal ecological impact. By prioritizing sustainability and using eco-friendly materials and dyeing processes, Earth and Elle delivers bras that are both gentle on the skin and the planet.

4. Proclaim Sustainable Bras

Proclaim, based in Los Angeles, uses diverse eco-friendly textiles. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their use of organic cotton and hemp blends, which provide durability and contribute to a reduced environmental impact. Furthermore, Proclaim prioritizes eco-conscious dyeing processes, ensuring that the dyes used have minimal environmental effects.

Among their offerings, Proclaim showcases Tencel bralettes crafted from wood pulp sourced from sustainably harvested trees. These bralettes have earned the BioPreferred designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), underscoring Proclaim’s commitment to using natural and renewable resources rather than relying on fossil fuels.

By incorporating these sustainable materials and practices, Proclaim offers stylish and environmentally responsible bras.

5. Free Label

Free Label, another exceptional ethical brand in Canada, prioritizes fair wages and comfortable working conditions for its employees. When it comes to their bras, they use a technical bamboo fabric blend consisting of 85% bamboo and 15% spandex. This combination ensures a comfortable and flexible fit. Additionally, Free Label is mindful of the environmental impact of its dyeing processes, opting for dyes with a low ecological footprint.

One of the standout features of Free Label’s bra collection is its longline designs, which cater to individuals of all shapes and sizes. The material used in their bras is super soft and reversible, adding versatility. With a focus on sustainability, comfort and inclusivity, Free Label offers a range of ethical bras that are both stylish and conscientiously made.

6. Naja

Naja, based in Colombia, offers a diverse selection of eco-friendly bras in various styles. One notable piece is their Aria lace plunge bra, which is their first carbon-neutral bra. This is achieved through using locally sourced upcycled lace and mesh in its construction. By repurposing materials, Naja minimizes waste.

Another environmentally conscious option from Naja is the Adriana lace bralette misfit, made from recycled plastic bottles. This bralette is digitally printed, eliminating the production of wastewater and further reducing its environmental impact.

In addition to their ethical practices, Naja’s factory in Colombia prioritizes the well-being of its workers, primarily single mothers. These employees receive wages that exceed the market standard, access to healthcare, flexible working hours, and their children receive free school meals.

7. Sustainable Bras from Araks

Araks introduces an organic cotton collection featuring bralettes crafted with 70% organic cotton, 30% upcycled cotton and wood pulp. This combination of materials ensures both sustainability and comfort in their products. The bralettes are available in vibrant colors, adding a touch of liveliness to your undergarment collection.

However, it’s worth noting that Araks’ size range may not be as extensive as some other brands, with the largest size available being a 36DD. While this might limit options for those seeking larger sizes, the brand still offers a range of sizes to accommodate various body types and preferences.

8. Kye Intimates

Kye Intimates, produced in Los Angeles, stands out by utilizing upcycled and renewable materials to create its bras. The result is a collection that exudes femininity and delicacy. Regarding packaging, Kye Intimates ensures minimal environmental impact by utilizing 100% recycled materials for online orders.

In addition to its focus on sustainable practices, Kye Intimates also extends its commitment to the environment to its swimwear range. The fibers used in their swimwear are designed to degrade within five years, providing an eco-friendly alternative to similar products.

Kye Intimates goes the extra mile by donating lightly worn samples to a foundation called I Support the Girls. This foundation works toward distributing menstrual hygiene products and bras to women facing domestic violence and homelessness. Through this initiative, Kye Intimates contributes to environmental sustainability and supports the well-being and empowerment of marginalized women.

9. Girlfriend Collective Sustainable Bras

Girlfriend Collective offers a remarkable collection of sustainable bralettes and sports bras, available on Amazon**. These eco-friendly garments are made using 80% recycled plastic water bottles and 20% spandex, contributing to reducing plastic waste. Furthermore, the brand prioritizes sustainable dyeing processes, ensuring minimal environmental impact in the coloring of its products.

Girlfriend Collective’s bras are produced in Vietnam, following the SA800 certification standards. This certification ensures that employees receive fair wages and work under favorable conditions, promoting social responsibility within the manufacturing process.

When it comes to packaging, Girlfriend Collective remains committed to sustainability. Online orders are packaged using 100% recycled and recyclable materials, minimizing waste and contributing to the circular economy. Customers are also provided with a breakdown of each product’s sustainable credentials on the website, allowing them to make informed choices based on their environmental values.

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** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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