For far too long I accepted mediocre undergarments as a fact of life. Itchy, uncomfortable, unbreathable, and constricting — that’s what I thought a bra and cute pair of underwear had to be.
Those were the days that I didn’t even think to check the fabric content of the pieces laying closest to my skin. The days when I prioritized having drawers full of cheap, colorful (often synthetic) undergarments, instead of investing in quality natural pieces that would dramatically improve my day-to-day comfort.
But one day I just had had *enough* of the constant discomfort and distraction of polyester underwear. When I started experiencing psoriasis flare ups, I knew it was time to truly start prioritizing what I was putting next to my skin.
I sent my synthetic pieces to a domestic textile recycling facility (I generally try to swap or resell all of my unwanted garments, but used underwear is of course, an exception to that) and then finally went the natural route — and never went back.
My Experience With Brook There
(Transparency note: this post was sponsored by Brook There. All opinions are my own.)
Whether you’re completely making the switch to natural undergarments or want to slowly start replacing worn undergarments — or already have a natural underwear drawer and need a few more items — you’re probably doing some research on different brands.
Well in this review, I’ll share my experience with Brook There’s organic cotton undergarments to help you decide if they’re right for you!
Recently, the Brook There team sent me some of their pieces to try out and review. Specifically I’ve been trying out the Cairn Triangle Bra and Cairn Hipster, as well as the Undyed Curve Convertible Bra and Undyed Bikini Undie.
It was tough to choose because Brook There has a variety of colors, including a range of neutrals, some pretty pastels, as well as a variety of rich and bold colors. But I was curious about the undyed option and the Cairn was such a gorgeous color.
Upon receiving these pieces in their minimal, recycled packaging (more on Brook There’s eco packaging and other sustainability practices below!) I was definitely impressed by the quality of the fabric and construction of these garments. These were clearly pieces crafted with care. While they may be more expensive than your standard underwear and bralettes, you get what you pay for when it comes to quality, comfort, and knowing that these products were made sustainably and ethically.
Now let’s dive into the specific products I tried from Brook There…
Brook There’s Bralettes
I am very picky when it comes to bras and bralettes. Because let’s be honest: most of them are terribly uncomfortable! In fact I’ve pretty much stopped wearing bras and opt almost exclusively for bralettes.
This might not be for everyone — especially for those with larger bra sizes who want or need more support! (I personally typically wear a 34C.) — but for me, wired bras are a total no-go. And while the no-bra movement has been gaining steam, I must admit I’m not quite there! The happy medium for me is bralettes.
All that to say I’m a big fan of comfy bralettes.
And Brook There’s bralettes definitely rank high on comfort for me. The organic cotton fabric is soft, the elastic offers some support without being constricting, and one feature that I really love is that there is no clasp!
The concept behind a clasp is that it allows the size to be adjusted. Usually when you first buy a bra, you use the farthest out loop and then as the band stretches, you tighten the bra by moving to the closer loops.
But the reality often is that these clasps in the back just make it really cumbersome to put on a bra. And generally, bralettes are more flexible than wired and/or cupped bras, making the 3 different sizing options feel a little unnecessary.
So I was excited that the Brook There bralettes did not have a clasp.
The bras do still have adjustable straps still though so there is still some flexibility to make the fit a bit tighter or looser.
The differences between Brook There’s bralette styles:
Triangle Bra: A classic! A minimalist bralette with a V-neck that can be worn with a variety of tops. Feels supportive and secure. Accommodates up to a cup size C. At $48, this is the lowest priced option from Brook There’s lineup.
Curve Convertible. The main difference is that these straps can be worn multiple ways. In addition to wearing the straps vertically, you can also wear the straps crossed in the back, making it easy to hide the straps white wearing tanks and other styles of tops that don’t accommodate typical bra straps. This bralette is also curved like a scoop neck, rather than a V. Accommodates up to a cup size C. Priced at $56, this style is the mid-tier of what Brook There offers.
Pixy Bra: Brook There’s most supportive style which features details that offer shape and support without sacrificing comfort. Accommodates up to a cup size D. I didn’t try this style because I personally like to lean more minimalist when it comes to bralettes. But I think this one would be great for those looking for a bit more support (or anyone with a cup size D that’s sized out of the other two styles). At $68 this is the most expensive option that Brook There offers.
- Brook There’s bralettes are soft and comfy throughout the day.
- The bralettes do not have back clasps, but do have adjustable straps.
- If you’re looking for more support or wear a D cup, opt for the brand’s Pixy Bra.
- If you are looking for easy-to-wear and comfort, Brook There’s bralettes are for you! If you’re looking for a lot of support, you may want to look elsewhere for a wired bra. Brook There’s size range also does not currently accommodate larger than a cup size D.
- Brook There takes quality and sustainability seriously, making their pieces an investment for the long haul.
Brook There’s Underwear
Underwear tends to not be quite as complex as bras, but there are definitely still considerations to be made when it comes to both fabric and fit!
In terms of fabric, Brook There’s underwear is made from 94% organic cotton and 6% spandex for fabric recovery.
The underwear is ultra soft and is really comfortable against my skin, like the bralettes. I was especially excited to see that Brook There offers an undyed option. Undyed fabrics can have a lighter footprint on our environment and be gentler on our skin. But it’s quite rare to find undyed garments, including undergarments.
I tested out the Undyed Bikini Undie and the undyed organic cotton fabric is a really lovely off-white color that can be worn under a variety of skirts, dresses, and pants.
I also have been wearing the Cairn Hipster, which is a gorgeous dark purple. Purple is my favorite color (which is why I chose that colorway) and this shade does not disappoint!
With my experience of the two colorways I selected, the photos on Brook There’s site were accurate and aligned with the actual products received.
The bikini and hipster styles are quite similar, but I have a slight preference for the hipster, with the slightly higher waist.
- Brook There offers an undyed option, great for those with sensitive skin or who want to opt for an even lower impact piece.
- Colors shown on Brook There’s site were quite accurate to the actual product.
- The brand has a variety of styles and colors of underwear, depending on your needs and preferences.
More on Brook There’s Sustainability
I’ve touched on the sustainability elements of Brook There throughout this review, but I thought it was worth dedicating an entire section to it here.
Brook There uses organic cotton made from Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified yarn. This yarn is milled and dyed with fiber reactive dyes in California. FIber reactive dyes have a few environmental benefits: more than 90% of the dyestuffs are reacted onto the fibers (which minimizes waste) and fiber-reactive dyes work with less water and with lower temperatures (which reduces energy use).
Plus, fiber reactive dyes actually bond with the fiber, making the color more permanent, and ideally — ensuring that garment lasts longer in the wearer’s closet!
(Fiber reactive dyes can typically only be used with plant-based cellulosic fibers, so you won’t find these lower impact dyes used on polyester garments.)
It was really important to Brook There to keep their supply chain as close to home as possible — which means domestic production in the US. This not only reduces the emissions from shipping compared to overseas freight, but helps the Brook There team have more transparency into their supply chain and ensure their ethical standards are being met.
Their fabric is milled and dyed in California, which boasts some of the strictest ecological standards for producers and then is cut and sewn in Massachusetts. Brook There has a direct relationship with their partners, and can ensure that everyone along the production process is being paid fairly and works in safe, healthy conditions.
Another bonus is that the brand’s orders are fulfilled in the same cut-and-sew facility, which ensures that their pieces don’t have to get stuffed into polybags. Using polybags is often a requirement when shipping garments between facilities. (And we may not even always see this plastic waste as a consumer if the pieces get repackaged in the shipping facility.)
Going above and beyond to reduce packaging waste, Brook There uses Eco-Enclose recycled poly bags to ship their garments and recycled tissue paper to protect the pieces inside the bag. I was really impressed with the minimal packaging when I received my Brook There pieces!
In short: Brook There is a sustainably-minded small business that prioritizes people and planet along their entire supply chain.