10 Most Sustainable Bra Brands: The Conscious Consumer’s Guide

10 Most Sustainable Bra Brands: The Conscious Consumer’s Guide

By
Quynh Nguyen

Read Time:28 Minutes

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Stay impactful,

Amid growing concerns about the textile industry’s environmental impact, there is pressure to find greener clothes for your wardrobe, from an outer jacket to the item you wear closest to your skin—a bra. Unfortunately, fashion greenwashing makes it harder for you and all other consumers to figure out which clothing brands offer the most eco-friendly garments. So, we had to ask: Which are the most sustainable bra brands?

The most sustainable bra brands include Subset, Underprotection, and WAMA, which use low-impact materials, minimize waste, and strive for textile circularity. In addition, The Very Good Bra and Organic Basics commit to carbon footprint reduction and responsible production. 

Whether you are searching for a sports bra or a casual wireless bralette to add to your wardrobe without negatively impacting the soil, the water, the animals, and other people, there is a brand for you. So, let’s keep reading to learn more about the most sustainable bra brands and how they ensure sustainable, ethical practices. 

Here’s How We Selected the Most Sustainable Bra Brands

A bra is an intimate item that sits close to your skin and heart. Much is often desired from this small garment, from comfort to safety to support, on top of style and a feminine feel. Yet, there is one thing that definitely should not be missed: sustainability. 

Sustainable: The ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level | Avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”

Oxford Dictionary

The brands on this list were chosen based on their commitment and actions to promote sustainable practices while reducing the environmental impacts of the textile industry. 

They are transparent about their materials, processes, and workforce management within their supply chain. 

Some brands focus their efforts on reducing waste and optimizing natural resources while others strive to reduce the carbon footprint of their clothes. 

All of these brands share the commitment to reshape the textile industry toward a more sustainable and Earth-friendly sector. 

These Are the 10 Most Sustainable Bra Brands

Overall, these bra brands are sustainable. Yet, they take various approaches to reduce environmental impacts and uphold ethical standards. Let’s dive into each brand and find out more. 

1

Subset: Carbon-Neutral Organic Cotton Underwear

Logo for Subset

By seeking out the most environmentally responsible processes, low-impact fabrics and ethical manufacturing, we swap the greenwashing for integrity and accountability. ”

Subset 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Subset prioritizes sustainability by sourcing a high percentage of low-impact fabrics, offsetting carbon emissions, and facilitating underwear recycling. Firstly, they use GOTS-certified organic cotton, TENCEL™, recycled polyester, and regenerated and recycled nylon to reduce environmental impacts. For example, the Tank Bralette contains certified organic cotton (95% of the fabric), recycled nylon (83% of the straps), and TENCEL™ (69% of the band). Organic cotton, in particular, accounted for 92,1% of their fiber portfolio for 2022. Secondly, they reduce the impact of their carbon emissions with offsetting projects verified by Climate Neutral. For example, in 2022, they supported clean energy projects in India and Kenya. More importantly, they find ways to reduce their carbon footprint, such as using solar-powered energy in their supply chain and localized sourcing. Thirdly, in 2018, Subset launched the world’s first recycling program to save underwear, socks, bras, and tights from ending up in landfills. In 2022, they took back nearly 1 million of their own clothing items, as well as those of other brands. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Subset ensures their ethics by being transparent about their supply chain, all the way from farming to ginning, spinning, knitting, finishing, and packaging. Much of their supply chain is certified by Fairtrade International – Small Producers Organisations and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). They ensure that workers at their suppliers are paid a living wage. Regarding the impact of their operation, Subset discloses on each product page the item’s impact, including not only carbon emission (which is offset) but also the reduction of water usage and synthetic pesticides thanks to their use of organic cotton. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Subset donates new, clean underwear to individuals and communities in need. In 2022, they donated over 2,260 items to organizations across the US, including Bronx Fire Relief, I Support the Girls, and Cultivate Initiatives. They also hold team volunteer days where their staff get together and work toward good causes, such as building an outdoor library

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear, menswear
  • Product range: bras, panties, loungewear, maternity wear, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$ 
  • Size range: 2XS–4XL
2

Underprotection: Fashionable and Sustainable Lingerie

Logo for Underprotection

 “We always strive to make the most sustainable choices even if it is not necessarily the most economically sensible choice, but for us, it is not only a business, it’s a lifestyle and a belief that the future must and can be greeners. It is our goal to always improve – in everything we do” Stephan

Rosenkilde, Co-Founder of Underprotection

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Underprotection ensures their sustainability by sourcing low-impact textile and packaging materials, prolonging their garments’ lifespan, and striving toward textile circularity. Firstly, they use a high proportion of eco-friendly fabrics, including TENCELTM Lyocell, organic cotton, recycled wool, and RWS-certified responsible sheep wool. All their synthetic fabrics come from recycled sources with the Global Recycle Standard certification, be it polyester, nylon, or elastane (spandex). On top of that, Underprotection also has fabrics made by utilizing by-product waste (banana leaves from the fruit industry and sour milk from the milk industry), helping to cut down waste and lower their environmental impacts. Regarding packaging materials, they opt for recycled or biodegradable materials. Secondly, the brand designs their products with quality and durability in mind to make them last, offers guaranteed repairs within the first two years, provides first-aid rewards for customers who fix up items themselves instead of replacing them, and equips consumers with detailed wash and care instructions for various types of fabrics. All these efforts aim to extend the lifespan of a garment and reduce its environmental cost. Thirdly, regarding their efforts toward textile circularity, they have a take-back program to give worn-out Underprotection pieces a second life, and an Upcycled collection that utilizes returned Underprotection products through their Take-back program, which covers leftover fabrics and discarded items. Last but not least, their main supplier uses solar-powered energy and harvests rainwater

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Underprotection ensures their ethics by holding a transparent and responsible supply chain. They bind their suppliers with a Code of Conduct, which covers all of the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Their suppliers have certifications that guarantee proper working conditions and a fair wage, including WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), Sedex, GOTS, and BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative). Underprotection also audits most of the final stage of production. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Underprotection partners with various organizations to give back to underprivileged communities and the Earth. For example, they plant a fixed 150 trees every month in their partnership with Treeapp. Another example is their partnership with the ReSea Project, an organization on a mission to end the ocean plastic crisis. Part of their sales go to support the cause. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: lingerie, loungewear, swimwear
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XS–XL
3

WAMA: The Pioneer in Underwear Made in Plant-Based from Hemp Plants

Logo for WAMA
Screenshot of the WAMA front page

“We believe hemp is the answer to cut down on pollution and save nature.”

Shakib Nassiri, founder of WAMA

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

WAMA ensures sustainability by creating low-impact fabrics based on the plant-based fibers from organically grown hemp plants, in consideration of the crop’s high carbon sequestration potential and low inputs. Their materials are organic and contain no excess harmful toxins. On top of that, their supply chain includes family-run organic farms, where hemp fibers are extracted using only water and dew—the most sustainable retting method—as well as an organic hemp spinner, an OEKO-TEX®-certified factory where their hemp-based fabrics are finished using low-impact dyes, and other factories complying with the BSCI system. WAMA undies are delivered in custom boxes made from 100% recycled materials, recycled poly mailers, and naturally biodegradable tissue paper

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

WAMA ensures their ethics through full transparency about their supply chain. Their facilities are upheld by their supplier code of conduct, which covers all of the ILO Four Fundamental Freedoms principles, ensuring opportunities for safe work, economic development, and sustainable business. The factories where their products are sewn are BSCI certified, which means safe workplace standards for all employees. Finally, WAMA is a Green America Certified Business and a PETA-Approved Vegan brand. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

WAMA is not known to be part of any giving-back programs. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear, menswear
  • Product range: underwear, bralettes, plus-size
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XS–XXXL
4

The Very Good Bra: World’s First Compostable Bras 

Logo for The Very Good Bra
Screenshot of The Very Good Bra Front Page

“Our materials are sourced worldwide to be 100% botanically circular, leaving no negative environmental impact at end of life.

The Very Good Bra

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

The Very Good Bra ensures sustainability by prioritizing natural materials to make fully compostable bras, operating pre-sales to avoid overproduction, and facilitating services for repairing and reselling their items. Firstly, they exclusively use natural components for not only their base fabrics but also their sewing thread, labeling, and accessories so that their worn-out bras can be composted in your own garden. For example, the list of materials for the V for Victory Bra includes 100% organic cotton body fabric and liner fabric, as well as 100% plant-based thread and elastic from organic cotton and natural rubber. Additionally, The Very Good Bra packs their orders in recyclable tissue and a 100% compostable or 80% recycled and recyclable poly mailer. Secondly, they run at least three pre-sales a year with new styles, materials, or colors to plan their inventory more efficiently across their size range, minimizing waste. On top of that, they use all leftover fabric to manufacture small runs of sleepwear and briefs. Lastly, the brand offers replacement straps and runs a Facebook Buy Swap and Sell Group for bras needing new homes, extending the lifespan of each product and reducing its life-cycle’s environmental impact. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

The Very Good Bra traces most of their supplier chain. They also have a Factory Code of Conduct, which covers four of the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

The brand works with a social enterprise to warehouse and fulfill orders, providing employment opportunities to people of all abilities who would otherwise struggle to find meaningful work. Through their partnership with i=Change, customers have the choice at checkout of three charities, to whom they can donate $1, post-sale. Additionally, The Very Good Bra has donated sample fabric to The Social Outfit, as well as to Whitehouse Design fashion students. They have also sent usable sample bras to The Uplift Project and Thread Together

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: bras, briefs, sleepwear, loungewear
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: S–XXL
5

Organic Basics: A Carbon Neutral Brand Creating Underwear, Activewear, and Everyday Essentials

Logo for Organic Basics
Screenshot of the Organic Basics front page

We make our basics to be both Earth- and people-friendly — carefully choosing materials and fabrics that care for our environment, only partnering with factories that consider their impact too, and designing all the basics for all bodies.

Organic Basics

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Organic Basics promotes sustainability by choosing fabrics based on their environmental footprint and lifetime durability. Their clothes are made organic fabrics (cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard), low-impact textiles (TENCEL™ Lyocell certified by the STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®), or recycled materials (recycled wool, recycled cotton, and recycled nylon). They use a small percentage of elastane (spandex) in some garments to extend the products’ longevity, which ultimately extends the lifespan. For example, the Recycled Cotton Move Bralette is made with 70% organic cotton, 25% recycled cotton, and 5% Elastane. Organic Basics is fully transparent about the impact of their products, enabling consumers to understand their share in using the clothes. Organic Basics partners with Made2Flow, which calculates their emissions, and One Carbon World, which helps them reduce and offset all their emissions. Finally, they are also a B Corporation

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Organic Basics works only with trusted, certified factory partners, who ensure that their workplace is free of child labor and forced labor and that their workers enjoy a safe working space, earn a living wage, and benefit from employee perks like free lunches and childcare. They show full transparency of the location and practices in their factories. Organic Basics also audits or visits most of their suppliers

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Organic Basics donates 1% of the value of all orders to sustainable projects. Their partnership with Beam Impact enables consumers to choose where their 1% donation will go, at no extra cost to the consumers, to support local charities that help Nature Conservation, Ocean Conservation, Rewilding, or Sustainability & Gender Equity.

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear, menswear
  • Product range: underwear, bras, bottoms, T-shirts, tops, sweatshirts, hoodies, knitwear dresses, swimwear, socks, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XXS–XXL
6

Boody: Fit-For-All Everyday Essentials Made With Eco-Friendly Materials

Logo for Boody
Screenshot of the the Boody front page

“Boody emphasises quality and simplicity. We bypass trends and fads as we believe they lead to overconsumption and waste.”

Boody 

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Boody ensures sustainability by sourcing organic bra and organic cotton for their fabrics, reducing manufacturing waste, recycling all water used in production, and using recycled packaging. By sourcing plant materials from organic farms, Boody helps to keep out synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Furthermore, their bamboo lyocell, LYOLYTE™, and bamboo viscose are manufactured in closed-loop systems where liquids and solvents are recycled, reused, or safely removed. Their cotton fibers are organically grown and certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. Boody also has a zero-waste design, which enables knitting garments in tubes, leaving behind very little fabric wastage. Lastly, they encourage recycling of Boody’s ready-to-retire apparel by partnering with UPPAREL to launch The Goodness Loop. This platform enables consumers to buy a return shipping label, which starts the recycling process, and get a gift voucher to redeem on Boody’s new products. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Boody enforces fair labor practices by upholding suppliers to their Code of Conduct, which covers four of the ILO’s Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. They also trace most of their supply chain. Lastly, the suppliers in their final production stage are certified by the Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP). 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

As a 1% for the Planet member, Boody donates 1% of all their online sales to non-profits who help protect the environment. Additionally, they give 10% of all online beanie sales to the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, a not-for-profit hospital and research institute dedicated to transforming cancer care. They also work with Thread Together to provide new clothing to less privileged Australians.

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: kidswear, menswear, womenswear
  • Product range: underwear, activewear, maternity wear, socks, stockings, tights, shorts, plus-size
  • Price range: $$
  • Size range: XXS–XXL
7

Proclaim: Eco-Friendly Skin Tone Lingerie Made in the US

Logo for Proclaim
Screenshot of the Proclaim front page

“We are founded on the principles that fashion should represent all women and can be made in a way that does good for people and the planet. Proclaim is expanding the definition of nude, one ethically made bra at a time.”

Proclaim

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Proclaim ensures sustainability by sourcing a high percentage of low-impact fabrics, reducing waste, and lowering carbon emissions. Firstly, they use four of the most sustainable fabrics: organic cotton, hemp, TENCEL™ Lyocell, and recycled polyester (REPREVE®). Secondly, they reduce waste by sourcing recycled materials (REPREVE and Cupro), designing strategically to avoid fabric scraps during the cutting process, and repurposing scraps into new building materials. Last but not least, their supply chain is localized to a 30-mile radius to reduce transportation carbon emissions. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Proclaim makes their clothes in the US, a medium-risk country for labor abuse. They trace most of their supply chain, including all of the final and second stages of production. Their manufacturing partner is a family-run, BIPOC-owned apparel factory in LA that pays well above minimum wage

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Proclaim created a “buy one, donate one” model of mask and donated masks, meals, and hygiene kits to the Downtown Women’s Center in LA. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: bras, panties, loungewear,
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: S–3XL
8

HARA the Label: Underwear and Loungewear Designed Collectively for You and Our Earth 

Logo for HARA
Screenshot of the Hara the label front page

We stand for slow fashion, transparent supply chains and an ethical production line you can be proud to support.

HARA the Label

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

HARA the Label promotes sustainability by using mostly low-impact organic bamboo lyocell fabrics for their bras, panties, and loungewear items. They source only bamboo grown without synthetic pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers from suppliers with an OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 certification. Further down the life-cycle in the manufacturing stage, their bra lyocell fabrics are produced in a closed-loop system that filters and reuses all the water and solvent. Additionally, all their clothing items are colored with low-impact, non-toxic dyes. Specifically, they use natural dyes derived from plants like turmeric, and indigo, as well as madder root and GOTS-certified fiber reactive dyes, which require relatively low water. Lastly, HARA the Label produces clothes locally in Australia to reduce the transport carbon footprint. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

HARA the Label traces most of their supply chain, including the final stage of production in Australia. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

HARA the Label is not known to be part of any giving-back programs. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: underwear, bras, loungewear, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XS–5XL
9

Araks: US-Made Intimate Garments 

Logo for araks
Screenshot of the Araks front page

Sustainability is a way of life for us and a journey of continuous improvement.

Araks

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

Araks’s sustainability incentives are guided by reducing, reusing, and recycling their products. They design their swimwear, loungewear, and lingerie around evergreen core fabrics, meaning that excess materials can be worked into future seasons instead of discarded. These include a medium proportion of low-impact materials, such as organic cotton with GOTS and OEKO-TEX® STANDARD 100 certifications, plant-dyed organic linen, ECONYL® (recycled nylon), and REFIBRA™ (closed-loop regenerated fibers using cotton waste). In particular, 50% of the fabrics used for swim collection are recycled nylon (instead of virgin nylon). Additionally, their swimwear pieces are designed to mix and match across seasons, enabling consumers to buy fewer pieces while using each piece more often. Further down the life-cycle in the manufacturing stage, Araks saves scraps to be reused or donated to schools and other charitable organizations. They also reduce their manufacturing environmental impacts by opting for renewable energy and water recycling in their supply chain, as well as holding the final stage of manufacturing locally in the US. Araks’s incentive to reduce doesn’t stop at the point of sale. Instead, they invest in sharing the most low-impact ways to care for garments so that they leave as small of a footprint as possible, post-purchase.

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

Araks traces most of their supply chain, including all of the second and final stages of production. They share details of various mills that supply their fabrics, such as their location and sustainability certifications. Their manufacturing partners are also located in the US, a medium-risk country for labor abuse

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

Araks is not known to be part of any giving-back programs. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: swimwear, loungewear, lingerie, plus-size
  • Price range: $$$ 
  • Size range: XS–XXL
10

HERTH: Conscious Luxury Silk Wear With GOTS Certification 

Logo for Herth
Screenshot of the Herth front page

Sustainability is at the center of everything we do. HERTH, from the design to the final product, from packaging to shipments, aims to be respectful to the environment and people, to inspire conscious buying habits.

HERTH

🌎

How do they ensure their sustainability?

HERTH promotes sustainability by sourcing eco-friendly materials for their garments and packaging. They source exclusively carbon-neutral mulberry silk certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The dyeing and printing processes that the silk is subject to are also GOTS-certified, meaning no harmful chemical substances are used during these manufacturing steps. They also use low-impact dyes in all their products. Regarding packaging, HERTH uses boxes made in Italy and tissue paper from recycled and responsibly sourced FSC-certified materials. Their cardboard tags are FSC-certified, uncoated, and 100% recycled, while their polyester labels are made with 100% recycled content, certified by the Global Recycle Standard. Their entire supply chain, from material sourcing to garment handcrafting, happens in Italy, with relatively short transportation distances, reducing carbon emissions. Once finished, their products are shipped using carbon-neutral services, meaning that the transport-related carbon emissions are offset through external climate protection projects. 

🌐

How do they ensure their ethics?

HERTH ensures their ethics by making sure their whole supply chain is traceable. The blockchain technology in the QR codes found on their labels and tags enables consumers to see a full list of their suppliers, their certifications, their silk fabrics, and their production. Every person involved in their production process is assured a fair living wage and comfortable working conditions. Additionally, they use GOTS-certified silk, safeguarding the environment and its animals. The silkworms used for their silk are fed organic mulberry leaves and grown biodynamically without synthetic agrochemicals. They are allowed to fully develop and continue their life after leaving the cocoon, unlike the cruel practice in conventional silk manufacturing involving cocoons being boiled to prevent the moths from breaking the silk filament as they emerge. 

🤝

Are they part of any giving-back programs?

HERTH partners with 1% for the Planet to donate 1% of their total annual sales to, as the name suggests, support the planet.

🛍️

What is their product range?

  • Best for: womenswear
  • Product range: bras, T-shirts, tops, shirts, pants, dresses, bodysuits, underwear, accessories 
  • Price range: $$$
  • Size range: XS–XXL

Why Is It Important to Buy Products Made of More Sustainable Fabrics

It is important to buy products made from more sustainable fabrics because a sustainable textile industry has a lower carbon footprint, helps save natural resources, and is better for forests, animals, and humans alike. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Reduces Your Carbon Footprint 

The production of clothing and footwear is estimated to contribute 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions—more than all international flights and shipping combined. If the fashion industry were a country, it would be the fourth largest emitter of carbon dioxide

One way to reduce the carbon footprint of the clothes you buy is to opt for sustainable fabrics. Sustainable fabrics, which are often made with natural or recycled fibers, have relatively low carbon footprints compared to petroleum-based fabrics. For example, organic cotton made in the US has a carbon footprint of 2.35 kg CO2 (per ton of spun fiber)—a quarter of polyester’s carbon footprint.

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Reduces Demand for Natural Resources and Waste Management

The textile industry uses water and land to grow cotton and other fibers. It is estimated that 79 billion cubic meters of water were used for the sector worldwide in 2015. For example, producing a single cotton T-shirt requires as much water as one person drinks for 2.5 years (2,700 liters of fresh water).

Worse yet, the textile economy is vastly more linear than circular: the largest amount of resources used in clothes ended up in landfills (instead of being recycled to remake clothes). According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,

  • Less than 3% of materials used in the textile economy in 2015 came from recycled sources.
  • In other words, more than 97% of resources used in making clothes are newly extracted. 

When clothing items are disposed of within a short period of time—under a year in the case of half of the fast fashion clothes—the natural systems that provide raw materials for fabrics don’t have enough time to recover and regenerate, which could lead to ecological breakdown. 

Sustainable fabrics are made with less water and emissions while lasting longer:

  • Because they are durable, you don’t need to buy new clothes too often. 
  • Thus, you help reduce the pressure to extract more resources for making new items. 

Similarly, making and consuming sustainable fabrics made with recycled materials reduces the demand for virgin materials while helping tackle waste management. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Sustainable Management of Forests

Sustainable plant-based fabrics are made with raw materials from forests and plantations that are sustainably managed, such as complying with FSC standards

When you buy sustainable plant-based fabrics, you discourage unsustainable forestry practices like illegal logging. You can help reduce deforestation, biodiversity loss, and the effects of climate change. 

Buying Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Fairer Treatment of Animals 

The fashion industry is rife with animal mistreatment when it comes to making animal-based fabrics like wool or silk. Every year, billions of animals suffer and die for clothing and accessories.

Buying sustainable vegan alternatives can help to reduce the pressure on raising more and more animals to meet the demand for animal-based fabrics while sacrificing their well-being and lives. 

Suppose you have to buy fabrics made with, for example, wool or silk; make sure you only choose brands committed to cruelty-free products. In that case, you help advocate better treatments for animals raised within the textile industry. 

Using Sustainable Fabrics Encourages Fairer Treatment of Textile Workers 

Recent statistics from UNICEF estimated as many as 170 million child laborers worldwide, many of whom were engaged in some form of work in the textile industry. They don’t get paid minimum wages and often work long hours. 

When you buy sustainable fabrics from brands transparent about the working conditions at their factories, you discourage the use of child labor and help promote better working conditions for textile workers.

How Can You Generally Buy More Sustainable Fabrics

The key to sustainably buying fabrics is to check on relevant environmental and original certifications. 

For natural fabrics

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): A globally recognized certification system that ensures a certain threshold of organic content has been met. It covers manufacturing, packaging, labeling, transportation, and distribution (but not what happens in the fields where crops are grown). 
  • USDA Certified Biobased Product: The USDA BioPreferred® Certification is a voluntary certification offered by the United States Department of Agriculture. The certification identifies products made from plants or other renewable materials.
  • Ecolabel: Ecolabel is the official European Union voluntary label recognized worldwide for certified products with a guaranteed, independently verified low environmental impact. The label requires high environmental standards throughout the entire life-cycle: from raw material extraction through production and distribution to disposal. It also encourages companies to develop innovative, durable, easy-to-repair, and recyclable products. 

For plant-based semi-natural/semi-synthetic fabrics:

  • Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification: PEFC’s approaches to sustainable forest management are in line with protecting the forests globally and locally and making the certificate work for everyone. Getting a PEFC certification is strict enough to ensure the sustainable management of a forest is socially just, ecologically sound, and economically viable but attainable not only by big but small forest owners.

For recycled fabrics:

  • Recycled Claim Standard (RCS): The Textile Exchange RCS was originally developed as an international, voluntary standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled input and chain of custody. 
  • The Global Recycled Standard (GRS): The Global Recycled Standard (GRS) is an international, voluntary, full product standard that sets requirements for third-party certification of Recycled Content, chain of custody, social and environmental practices, and chemical restrictions. It can be used for any product with more than 20% recycled material.

For all types of fabrics:

  • STeP by OEKO-TEX®: STeP by OEKO-TEX® is an independent certification system for brands, retailers, and manufacturers from the textile and leather industry. It communicates organizational environmental measures, including reducing carbon footprint and water usage.
  • OEKO-TEX® Standard 100: OEKO-TEX® labels aim to ensure that products pose no risk to human health (i.e. containing banned chemicals). 

Some certifications that are signaling brands’ efforts toward lowered environmental impacts and a circular economy are: 

  • B Corp Certification: The label B Corp is a certification reserved for for-profit companies. Certified holders are assessed on their social and environmental impacts. 
  • Cradle2Cradle certification: Cradle2Cradle provides a standardized approach to material circularity. It assesses whether products have been suitably designed and made with the circular economy in mind covering five critical categories: material health, material reuse, renewable energy and carbon management, water stewardship, and social fairness.

Final Thoughts

Bras make up a category of clothing that is often high-impact due to the materials conventionally used for elasticity and support. Thus, it is important to shop with ethics and sustainability in mind when choosing your next bra.

By purchasing bras from brands that commit to sustainability, you support their mission to create a fairer and less harmful textile industry for all lives on Earth. 

Here is the list (again) of the most sustainable bra brands: 

  • Subset
  • Underprotection
  • WAMA
  • The Very Good Bra
  • Organic Basics
  • Boody
  • Proclaim
  • HARA the Label
  • Araks
  • HERTH

To make your use of these clothing items even more sustainable, follow these steps:

  1. Keep your bras for as long as possible.
  2. At the end-of-life of your bras, upcycle the materials to extend their usage and arrange for them to be recycled or properly disposed of.

Sources

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