Sustainability has become quite the buzz word recently. You’ve probably seen the term coupled with everything from travel, to agriculture, to fashion. More and more people are questioning the ecological integrity of everything they buy; the result being that we are starting to see more and more brands become transparent in their practices with consumers.
In particular, as the sustainable fashion movement takes off, that being the movement to create change in the fashion industry towards better practices and more ecological integrity, people are becoming more aware of the environmental impacts of fast fashion. Negative environmental effects of the fashion industry include things like water pollution, the use of toxic chemicals, tonnes of textile waste, and poor working conditions.
Australia alone is the second largest consumer of textiles, and sends around 6000 kilograms of clothing to landfill every 10 minutes, most of those discards consisting of man-made synthetic fibres that may never break down.
Consumers are slowly becoming more informed and consequently turning towards buying less, or buying second-hand where possible. However, when it comes to our undergarments and lingerie, buying second-hand isn’t really an option, and it’s also something we can’t always hold off from buying when we need it.
So, if sustainability is your jam, and you’re ready to update your everyday essentials to more eco-friendly and conscious alternatives, then these brands which respect both people and the planet are sure to excite you.
Boody was one of the first sustainable undergarment brands that I tried, and it still remains one of my favourites and most used. Their basic underwear, bras, socks and bodysuit pieces are all super simple, which makes them the perfect staple for everyday wear and they are also very versatile.
The use of organic bamboo in all their fabric makes everything not only ultra soft and comfortable, but also really breathable, allowing you to keep cool in the warmer months and vice versa, thanks to the bamboo fibre’s thermo-regulating qualities. Bamboo is also hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial, so it’s hard to go wrong with their fabric.
The high quality and durable basics are affordable, and since it can be hard to find lower priced pieces that are also sustainable, once I knew I loved Boody, I really stocked up.
In terms of their manufacturing and distribution process, Boody is responsible and transparent across every step. Most notably, their bamboo is grown organically and without artificial irrigation, they use a low-waste manufacturing process, and recycled packaging is used.
Boody was born out of Sydney, Australia in 2011, and you can find it all over the country in boutiques, pharmacies and health food stores. It’s also just as widely available worldwide in various stores too, otherwise you can always place an order online.
Bimby and Roy
Our lingerie spends all day every day with us, so it’s important that it is comfortable and makes us feel confident. Bimby and Roy successfully ticks both of those boxes.
Comfort is at the forefront of all of their bralette and underwear sets, claiming that you can sleep soundly in the intimates. Putting this to the test, I was genuinely so impressed by how silky and soft sustainable undergarment pieces could feel.
You can also go as bold as you like with your selection of stretchy underwire-free bralettes and underwear, since they have everything from funky colourful prints to bold, simple colours. Being able to pick something that truly reflects you, definitely makes you feel confident in your own skin.
Beyond comfort and style, Bimby and Roy is completely based around sustainable and ethical practices. The undergarments are manufactured in Fiji (where the two sisters who founded the label grew up, before moving to Australia), in the first fully solar-powered facility in the region. To achieve those beautiful designs, they use the process of sublimation to transfer the prints to their pieces, which is the most environmentally friendly process since no ink dyes contaminate waterways.
Beyond the environment, they developed a childcare centre attached to the manufacturing facility (with fees subsidised), encouraging mothers and fathers to have their children close by during work hours.
But one of my favourite parts about this brand is that their pieces can actually double as swimwear. They are perfect for those who love adventures and impromptu swims. I’ve even found myself wanting to almost always wear my set on warmer days in case the opportunity for a quick dip arises.
While their range is small, only stocking a small number of designs in bralettes, underwear and robes, if you have a few of their pieces you can have fun mixing and matching patterns, without any of the guilt on harming the environment. They are stocked in a limited number of stores around Australia, but ship internationally.
My most recent sustainable undergarment purchase was from the luxurious and beautiful brand Le Buns. They sell organic cotton intimates and separate swimwear, and all the pieces manage to be both comfortable while still effortlessly sexy and feminine.
In fact, this was my favourite thing about these intimates. Whenever I think of ‘sexy’ underwear, I imagine always being slightly uncomfortable, and on the other end of the spectrum when I think of the ultimate comfort underwear, I picture your typical ‘granny’ underpants which don’t always make you feel sexy. Instead, their pieces are so versatile and can make you feel both!
Of course, a positive environmental impact is at the heart of their brand, and so they use organic, natural and regenerated luxurious fibres in each sustainable undergarment. That is, GOTS (global organic textile standard) certified organic cotton, a toxin free alternative to most other conventional pieces you will find on the market. Everything up to their delivery has been thought through with the planet in mind, as orders are packed with a biodegradable box made from recycled paper or a home compostable mailer bag.
Since they encourage consumers to buy less, their products are made with longevity in mind. While I have only had my pieces a short while, it’s already evident they will last the distance. Even their swim collection can be converted into undergarments for everyday wear, not just used solely for swimming.
Some of their pieces are a little more expensive than other brands in their category, but are still generally affordable, and I believe a reasonable price for the quality and long-lasting nature of the products. Simple, feminine and ethically produced, Le Buns is all about slow fashion, and their sustainable undergarment pieces are available worldwide.
While you are on your journey to becoming more eco-conscious about all of your purchases, it’s worthwhile to also think about what you start every single day with: lingerie. Since setting the goal of finding new ways to be more eco-friendly this year, these sustainable undergarment brands have certainly converted me, and I can’t find a single reason why I would go back to purchasing undergarments from more popular conventional stores on the market. I’m converted, and it’s not only kept the planet happy, but my body too.
This article was written by Laine Fullerton and originally published on A Girl In Progress.