In these crazy times, I find myself, more than ever, relying on good basics. I mean this literally. The clothes that are in direct contact with my skin mean the most to me right now.
While we could all use some support, in more ways than one, some reliable physical support goes a long way toward making us feel better prepared to face the day.
If your underwear drawer could use a revamp, consider shopping ethical underwear brands to bring you a bit of feel-good, eco-friendly newness where you need it most.
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Why Choose Sustainable Lingerie Brands?
What makes environmentally friendly underwear that different from a cotton value pack at Target?
First off, if we’re talking cotton, not all cotton fabric is made in the same way. Traditionally-made cotton fabrics undergo significant chemical processing, contributing to waste and pollution, and leaving traces of harmful toxins on your skin (which can cause yeast infections and possibly cancer).
Non-natural fibers like polyester and nylon are even more pollutive to produce, and shed tiny plastics into waterways each time they’re washed. They’re also not ideal for physical activity, since you’re essentially covering your privates in plastic, which – surprise – doesn’t breathe well.
Natural fibers are the most skin-friendly, especially if they are grown organically and processed without toxic chemicals. On top of that, sustainable and fair trade underwear is made by people who are compensated fairly, in factories that minimize their waste and pollution, in a production cycle that minimizes environmental harm and actively seeks to lessen the fashion industry’s impact.
Top Ethical Underwear Brands
Thankfully, there’s quite a list of brands offering quality eco-friendly women’s underwear these days. To help you navigate the options, I’ll break down the offerings of 16 of my favorites, from affordable ethical underwear basics to reimagined lingerie.
Warp + Weft is known for their fantastic ethical jeans, but they also make a great pair of (seamless!) undies.
In white, black, three nude shades, and extended sizing (XS-3XL), there’s something for everyone when it comes to everyday underwear.
Warp + Weft uses beech tree-derived modal and a cotton lining to make some of the most comfortable ethical underwear ever.
Our Pick: BII – Bikini in Medium Dark Nude
Organic Basics uses cotton, bamboo-derived Tencel, or recycled nylon in their essential undergarments, which come in seven different cuts, making it easy to find your perfect fit.
They also offer a range of eco-friendly bras, from comfy organic cotton triangle bralettes to functional and compressive sports bras.
As far as ethical lingerie brands go, Uye Surana might be the sexiest. Their lace and printed sets come in all the colors and with all the frills you would expect of traditional lingerie, but these sets are all ethically handmade in Columbia.
Need more convincing? Despite being covered with alluring eyelash lace, Uye Surana’s panties and bras are designed with comfort and adjustability in mind.
Knickey’s organic cotton, fair trade certified, chemical-free underwear comes in five cuts and nine color options, four of which are nude shades.
If you’re not sure what cut you want, or you just want to mix it up, try one of their starter packs, which includes one of each style undie.
Knickey will also help you recycle your old undies. With each box you send in, you get credit towards a free pair of new knickers!
Our pick: High-Rise Brief in Cloud Nine
Boody’s silky-soft, stretchy undies are made sustainably from bamboo fibers, a naturally sweat-wicking material.
Their undies come in seven different cuts in neutral colors and are meant to be paired with their bamboo viscose bras, which come in three styles for different levels of support.
Our pick: Classic Bikini in Light Grey Marl
Another proponent of bamboo fibers, Thought makes eco underwear cute with perfectly pretty print and color options.
Their briefs and boyshorts provide full coverage without veering into Granny territory. Pair with a matching cami or bralette for your go-to sleepwear combo.
Our pick: Enid Bamboo Jersey Printed Hannah Brief
Everlane’s cotton and recycled nylon basics are everything you want your underwear drawer to be: comfortable, cute, discreet, and sustainable.
Known for minimalist ethical essentials, Everlane doesn’t disappoint when it comes to high-quality, hardworking undergarments. Their bikini has a nearly 5-star rating with almost 1000 reviews.
Our pick: The ReNew Bra in Dark Tan
Say hello to your new favorite sustainable lingerie brand. Mary Young is all about celebrating every woman’s natural shape.
Her ethical bras and undies are made without underwire or shaping, but go well beyond boring basics with mesh and silky bamboo in playful colors and cuts.
This is ethical lingerie you can wear for that special night out that is also comfortable enough to wear all day.
Our pick: Kendi Brief in Mint
Thunderpants is all about supporting their workers and the New Zealand textile industry (they also have a USA store linked below).
They are dedicated to ethical and eco friendly manufacturing, going so far as to offset what carbon emissions they cannot eliminate.
Their ethically made cotton underwear comes in lots of fun colors and prints, so you can get creative with your underwear choices.
Our pick: Women’s Original Blue Sloth Undies
TomboyX makes size-inclusive, gender neutral undies that fit anybody. Their certified chemical-free cotton fabric is comfy and durable.
If you like the longer length of boyshorts and boxer briefs, this eco friendly underwear brand will be your new best friend. Their seasonal patterns are very cute, too.
My pick: Boy Shorts in Rainbow Pride
Wama makes its underwear out of hemp fabric, which is naturally soft, breathable, antibacterial, and easily renewable.
This no-brainer fabric comes in five flattering underwear cuts. One you find your fit, get them in a handy six-pack for all hemp, all the time.
Our pick: Bikini Underwear in Black
Make Threads 4 Thought your new go-to sports bra brand and you’ll be doing good in more ways than one!
Their range of recycled polyester sports bras are comfortable enough to sleep in, while still being supportive enough to workout in.
One of the big names in ethical clothing production, Threads 4 Thought are constantly fighting to improve the fashion industry while supporting green initiatives.
Our Pick: Malana Sports Bra in Mallard
Woron’s sustainable, naturally antibacterial modal undies come in seven basic cuts and one lacy style.
Even their plainer cuts, though, are so sleek and flattering that they’re an instant confidence boost.
The only way to move further down the path toward ethical comfort? Pair your undies with one of Woron’s lovely, wireless soft-bras. Namaste.
Our pick: Brazilian Cut Undies Cheeky Base
Those looking for the ultimate sustainable sports bra should look no further than PrAna.
Their curated selection of recycled Nylon sports bras offer support and style, whether you’re working out, or just working from home.
PrAna leads the way in sustainable activewear, so you can’t go wrong when buying this ethically made underwear.
Our Pick: Momento Bra in Flannel
If you can only afford to shop sustainable, ethical, chemical-free fabrics for one article of clothing, make it your underwear. Unless you’re new here, you’ve heard me say before that sustainable clothing actually saves you money in the long run because it lasts much longer – but for the sake of argument, let’s say if you have to choose, choosing sustainable underwear brands could be the most important.
You’re not only protecting the earth and supporting textile workers, but you’re also protecting your physical health as well.
Did I miss one of your favorite ethical underwear brands? Let me know in the comments!
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