This will be your go-to guide for ethical and sustainable lingerie! But first, let’s discuss why sustainable lingerie is important in the first place…
Why Do We Need Sustainable Lingerie?
It’s no secret that the brand that has dominated the lingerie market is problematic. Between a 2020 Times investigation uncovering Victoria’s Secret “entrenched culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment” to Hulu’s exposing Angels and Demons docuseries to their lack of supply chain environmental impact accountability.
But Victoria’s Secret isn’t alone. Many lingerie brands have their issues when it comes to perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards, relying on synthetic fossil fuel-derived materials like polyester, and lacking supply chain accountability.
While some relatively big name lingerie brands are centering inclusive marketing, we still have to ask questions like: what are their products made from and how are they made? who is making those bras and are they being paid fairly and working in safe conditions?
Because if a lingerie brand is claiming to empower women, they must also consider the women sewing their undergarments.
What Is Sustainable Lingerie?
So enough of the doom and gloom here! Let’s talk about what sustainable lingerie entails and what an ethical alternative to Victoria’s Secret might look like.
Because the fact is that there are a number of incredible eco-minded and ethical lingerie brands out there doing things better! While brands might not meet all of this criteria, these are some general aspects to keep in mind:
Most lingerie is made from polyester and nylon (synthetic plastic fibers). On the other hand, sustainable lingerie materials might include natural fabrics like organic cotton and Tencel or repurposed materials like deadstock fabrics and vintage trims.
No matter how eco-conscious the material is, it’s still unsustainable if a brand is overproducing and wasting those garments! An eco-friendly lingerie brand would produce intentionally in small batches, use pre-order or made-to-order models, or have seasonless collections that they won’t toss as soon as the month is over.
People are part of sustainability too. Look for brands with transparent and socially responsible production practices.
This could include owning their own factory/workshop, developing close relationships with their suppliers, using certified vetted factories, and importantly: paying those supplier factories enough money so that they can pay workers living wages.
Other Sustainability Practices
Some other ways an eco-friendly and ethical lingerie brand might prioritize sustainability include: using renewable energy to power their operations, using zero waste design practices, giving back to their community, and using eco-minded packaging.
Where To Find Sustainable and Ethical Lingerie
From elegant lace bras to bold bodysuits, these ethical and sustainable lingerie labels have it all — and they do it without keeping dirty secrets.
For more basic everyday bras and underwear, check out our Organic Underwear Brands Guide.
For sleepwear, take a look at our Sustainable Loungewear and Pajamas Guide.
This article features affiliates and partners. As always, we only feature brands that meet high standards for sustainability that we love — and that we think you’ll love too!
1. Uye Surana
Uye Surana is an ethical lingerie brand producing their bras, undies, and more in a small family-owned factory in Colombia that ensures safe working conditions and fair wages.
The brand also uses efficient printing techniques that minimize water and dye usage and produces in small batches to ensure they aren’t overproducing.
To prioritize inclusivity and comfort, Uye Surana undergoes extensive fit testing across their size range and uses their patented technology for precise band and cup sizing.
Bra Sizes: 28A – 44G
Underwear Sizes: XS – 3XL
2. Maylyn & Co.
As a slow fashion brand, Maylyn & Co. crafts their timeless sustainable lingerie with intention.
The brand’s romantic slip dresses are made from plant-based Persian Lotus Silk™. In other words, the silky fabric is completely vegan and silkworm-free, made instead from Lotus fibers that are sourced from family farms in Persia.
Maylyn & Co.’s vegan lingerie and sleepwear is made in a small factory in Persia (which their team regularly visits) by makers who receive living wages, and have flexible working hours and lunch breaks.
Your eco-friendly lingerie from Maylyn & Co. is also shipped consciously in organic cotton and recycled packaging.
Sizes: M – XL
3. Brook There
Proving that beautiful lingerie can still be breathable and comfortable, Brook There has super soft slip dresses, bralettes, and a variety of bottoms ethically made in Massachusetts from GOTS-certified organic cotton.
In their collection you’ll find pieces to suit your aesthetic, from delicate pastels and bold bright colors to a diverse set of neutrals and even undyed options. Brook There’s bralettes are the comfiest I own! And I love that they ship in minimal, recycled packaging too.
Bra Sizes: 32A – 38D
Underwear Sizes: XS-XL
Slip Dress Sizes: XS-XXL
Designed for the ultimate all-day comfort, JulieMay’s feminine bras and briefs are synthetic free. Instead, most pieces are crafted from an all-natural blend of organic Pima cotton and stretch silk.
The brand is accredited by AllergyUK to be safe for those with allergic reactions and skin sensitivities. (Elastane is a common irritant and is found in most undergarments.) The brand’s organic undergarments even feature a non-itchy soft tag!
Bra Sizes: 32B – 42DD
Underwear Sizes: 8-18 UK
Based out of Australia, The Very Good Bra is a woman-owned B Corp-certified lingerie brand that’ll help you and your skin steer clear of plastic intimates. Faced with the lack of plastic-free bras after having gone through breast cancer treatment, Stephanie Devine founded the company by launching the first 100% plastic-free bra on Kickstarter back in 2018.
Right from hook to seam, The Very Good Bra’s lingerie line is entirely free from plastic components. So much so that in a WormTech experiment, their bra was devoured entirely in a matter of eight weeks after being buried in a worm farm.
Find a range of soft and beautiful intimates made from organic cotton and TENCEL™ along with a small range of sleepwear and briefs made from left-over fabrics to ensure lower waste production.
Bra Sizes: 30: C – E | 32-36: A – G | 38: A – E
Underwear Sizes: XS – XL
6. Mary Young
Founded in 2014, Mary Young created her namesake label in an effort to counteract the culture of mass production and fast fashion.
Instead, Young focuses on ethical and local production within Canada, emphasizing quality over quantity. The Montreal-based factory where Mary Young sources from pays equal wages and offers good working conditions.
Bralette Sizes: XS – 2XL (some styles available up to L only)
Underwear Sizes: XS-2XL
Savara Intimate’s elegant bras (including a nursing bra!) are made from mindful materials like TENCEL™, STANDARD 100 OEKO-TEX® certified cotton, and surplus lace that was leftover from large factories.
All of Savara Intimate’s sustainable lingerie is ethically made in a family atelier in Latvia and a factory in Romania, where women earn fair wages and work in safe conditions.
And for each bra sold, Savara donates €1 to Because We Carry, a nonprofit supporting refugee kids and moms.
Bra Sizes: S – XXL
Underwear (Slip) Sizes: S – XL
Consciously handcrafted in Berlin by artisan sewers, Anekdot’s exquisite lingerie pieces and sets are soft, sophisticated, and come in confidence-boosting fits.
Anekdot uses many upcycled materials for their gorgeous pieces. They source surplus luxury fabrics from production leftovers, deadstock, off-cuts, and vintage materials.
Bra Sizes: XS – XL; AA – D cups
Underwear Sizes: XS – XL
Celebrating the strength and independence as well as the femininity and sensuality of women, Aurore Lingerie designs elegant yet comfortable bras, bustiers, and thongs.
The conscious London-based lingerie label primarily uses deadstock lace, silk, and tule fabric (excess leftover stock) from Europe and Japan. Each piece is made by expert ateliers.
Bra Sizes: 32B – 38D (70B – 85D in cm)
Underwear Sizes: S – L
This Danish sustainable lingerie brand has bras, bodysuits, and briefs in neutral hues, full-on lace, and fun prints, depending on your preferred aesthetic.
The B-Corp Certified company sources from certified ethical and sustainable factories and uses eco-friendly fabrics like organic cotton, Tencel Lyocell, and Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certified recycled nylon lace.
Additionally, Underprotection works with vetted suppliers within Europe that have Fair Trade, WRAP, BSCI, and/or GOTS certifications.
Bra Sizes: 30A – 40E
Underwear Sizes: XS – XL
Araks is a conscious label with a stunning selection of intimates thoughtfully crafted in New Y ork. From pastels to jewel tones, the sustainable lingerie brand has a lovely variety of hues to choose from.
As part of their efforts towards becoming zero waste, Araks selects intentional materials that are evergreen (meaning they can be used in many collections). And their sustainable bralettes, bras, and panties are made from materials like organic cotton, upcycled cotton, plant-dyed organic linen, and RECONYL.
Bralette Sizes: XXS – XL
Underwear Sizes: XXS – XXL]
12. NK IMODE
Creating timeless silk chemises and gowns, we contend that NK IMODE’s pieces are elegant enough to be worn inside and outside of the house!
Dedicated to providing only the best quality sustainable lingerie and nightgowns, NK IMODE’s sources either rescued stock materials or limited runs of silk produced responsibly in a WRAP-Owned family-owned factory in Suzhou, China.
The brand has some gorgeous eco-friendly bridal lingerie, including this number.
Sizes: XS – XL
Botanica Workshop uses lower impact materials for their eco-friendly lingerie including organic cotton, deadstock silk, and recycled nylon.
The slow fashion brand also uses low-impact dyes, recycled and recyclable packaging, and produces in small batches in Los Angeles. Even their fabric mill is sourced just 25 miles from their cut and sew studio!
In addition to bralettes and briefs, the small brand also has loungewear.
Bra Sizes: S – L; B-D cups
Underwear Sizes: S – L
14. Bum-Cake Vintage
Bum-Cake is the destination “where vintage meets sensuality. Yup, you can find lingerie made from eras like the 1990’s or even back to the 1950’s at this online shop!
From bustiers, to camis and lace slips vintage lingerie, you can find high quality (and even designer) lingerie for much less than you’d find new.
This Black woman-owned business is also available on Garmentory.
Size Range: S – XL
Torlowei is a Black woman-owned luxury lingerie brand with exceptionally designed bras, briefs, corsets, nightwear and more — most of which are made from natural fibers (they’re working towards finding replacements for the remaining 20%).
The brand sources from responsible suppliers that have sustainability initiatives and follow ethical production standards. And, by using only durable materials and offering repairs, Torlowei’s lingerie is designed to last.
Bra Sizes: 32B – 36E
Underwear Sizes: US2 – US16 / UK6 – UK20