The fashion industry is notorious for its wasteful and polluting practices. In fact, it is considered one of the most environmentally damaging industries in the world. However, Sustainable Jungle believes that change can start with something as simple as ethical underwear.
By switching to consciously-made, sustainable lingerie, individuals can make a positive impact on the environment. Sustainable Jungle has independently researched and tested various brands to ensure that they meet their ethical and sustainability standards. They have compiled a list of sustainable lingerie options for those who are interested in making a change.
The Best Ethical Underwear For Pro-Planet Patooties
Looking for comfortable and sustainable underwear that is also ethical? Look no further than these top 11 brands that offer eco-friendly and socially responsible options. From hemp and organic bamboo to TENCEL™ and modal, these brands use a variety of sustainable materials to create their products.
TomboyX is a non-binary brand that offers body-positive underwear, loungewear, sleepwear, socks, swimwear, tees, tanks, and sustainable activewear. Their mission is to promote self-acceptance through radical comfort and inclusivity.
TomboyX’s organic cotton underwear is mostly created with 95% OEKO-TEX-certified organic cotton and 5% spandex. They also have designs made with a blend of 95% TENCEL™ modal and 5% spandex. The OEKO-TEX certification assures that their zero waste period underwear is free of PFOS and PFOA.
Seeking to avoid fast fashion and mass production, TomboyX works with women-owned factories in Los Angeles, Vancouver, and China that are safe, clean, and pay fairly. The majority of their factories are WRAP and Fair Labor Association certified, and they visit regularly to ensure standards are adhered to. TomboyX pays its staff above-industry-standard fair wages.
TomboyX headquarters at a Gold LEED Certified building. Undies come packaged in biodegradable zipper bags. TomboyX wants its team to be a reflection of the diverse community they’re designing for. This inclusive line fits most bodies (XS-4X). Activism for social justice, LGBTQ, and women’s rights are at the heart of the company.
Knickey is an NYC-based organic underwear brand that designs non-toxic ethical cotton underwear that’s better for your bum, bank account, planet, and the people who make them. Fill your underwear drawer with a colorful mix of low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise thongs, bikinis, hipsters, and briefs.
All Knickey undies are made with 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton and 5% elastane. In addition to using sustainable materials, the colors (like Eden, Peachy Keen, and Butterscotch) are thanks to non-toxic, OEKO-TEX-approved sustainable dyes.
Designs originate in NYC, but undie dreams become a reality through ethical production in India. Their factory partner is Fair Trade certified. It provides workers with a right to unionize, safe working conditions, and living wages.
Can underwear be recycled? Yes! Just in the knick of time, Knickey has provided an eco-answer to this question. They accept old intimates (from any brand) for recycling into things like mattress filling or insulation. Having a viable answer to the dreaded question, “What to do with old underwear and bras?” is enough of a reward but as an extra bonus, you’ll also receive 15% off your next order. The brand uses packaging made from recycled materials and low-impact inks.
Knickey makes organic cotton underwear for a good range of bums, size XXS to XXXL, and uses a diverse selection of models.
3. The Very Good Bra
The Very Good Bra is an Australian brand that makes zero-waste bras, sleepwear, and sustainable cotton underwear. A bra that can be composted! No wonder it went viral.
Their zero waste underwear is Australian-made from either organic cotton or wood-based TENCEL™ fibers. Bra elastic is made from natural tree rubber knitted into organic cotton. They do use a synthetic elastic in their briefs, but it’s Cradle to Cradle Gold Certified and breaks down safely. There’s no spandex, polyester, or nylon in sight.
Production takes place in Sri Lanka at a WRAP-certified and SEDEX-audited factory that pays 75-100% above the local minimum wage. Employees receive several benefits including free transport, free medical care, and subsidized food. For warehousing and fulfillment, TVGB partners with Avenue, a social enterprise that offers employment opportunities to people of all abilities.
TVGB takes steps to reduce waste by launching collections via pre-sales, selling replacement bra straps, and using leftover fabric to manufacture small runs. Their factory partner uses energy-saving practices. As well as making compostable underwear, the brand ships in either 100% compostable or 80% recycled and recyclable poly mailers (you chose at check-out), mostly through Australia’s Sendle, a carbon-neutral company.
The bras come in 24 proper sizes and you’ll find environmentally-friendly underwear to fit a smaller range of butts (XS-XL).
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How We Found The Most Sustainable Underwear Brands
When it comes to sustainable underwear, the materials used are crucial to ensure comfort and health. Synthetic fabrics can cause vaginal, urinary, and yeast infections, so it’s important to choose breathable and sustainable fabrics. The most sustainable materials include organic cotton, bamboo fabric made using a closed-loop process, and renewable materials like hemp. Semi-synthetic fabrics like lyocell and modal are also acceptable. However, elastane/spandex is usually necessary for the right stretch in underwear.
In addition to the materials used, certifications play a significant role in determining the sustainability of underwear brands. The most reputable certifications include OEKO-TEX® 100, PETA, GOTS, Fair Trade, Better Cotton Initiative, and bluesign®. Brands that hold these certifications ensure that their products are free from harmful chemicals and are ethically sourced.
Moreover, sustainable underwear brands prioritize ethical supply chain and labor practices. This means supporting workers with fair trade certified factories, safe work environments, and above-living wage pay. The most reliable certifications for these practices are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Oeko-Tex 100, and Fairtrade.
Green business practices are also essential for sustainable underwear brands. They should use compostable and/or recycled packaging, support carbon offset programs, and have energy-saving and water-efficient manufacturing practices in place.
Lastly, inclusivity and charitable giving are also significant factors in determining the sustainability of underwear brands. Brands that cater to all body types and promote body positivity are crucial, and those that support environmental and social justice charities are commendable.
Final Thoughts On Ethical & Sustainable Underwear Brands
Choosing sustainable underwear brands is not only better for the environment, but it also supports ethical and fair labor practices. Sustainable materials, reputable certifications, ethical supply chain and labor practices, green business practices, inclusivity, and charitable giving are all factors to consider when choosing sustainable underwear brands. By making conscious choices, consumers can help create a better world for everyone.