Beyond Valentine's Day: 9 Sustainable Lingerie Brands You'll Want to Wear Year-Round
Corsetry, garters and mesh? Not this year. It’s time to give your underwear drawer a makeunder instead, with a focus on better-for-you, back-to-basics styles. From bra-and-panty sets in stark white to sporty tape bras paired with high-waisted briefs, the intimates we’re loving right now are luxuriously comfortable and beautifully minimalist–in other words, fit for real-world, everyday wear. Even better, these collections are made from natural and organic materials, meaning fewer pesticides and chemicals coming into contact with some of your body's most sensitive spots.
1. Brook There
Made in Maine from U.S.-milled organic cotton, Brook There is all about construction and comfort. You won’t find wires to “push up” parts of your body, or spandex-like synthetic fabrics to compress others. Instead, designer Brook DeLorme flatters the figure through precise fits and clever details, such as slimming color-blocking and strategically placed stripes.
Launched via Kickstarter last fall, the Najla range consists of just five classic styles: a balcony bra, a full-coverage bra, a camisole, a bikini brief and a thong. Each of the understated designs is available in black or white, crafted from organic cotton and made locally in NYC.
Best known for its bright prints (created with AZO- and formaldehyde-free dyes), Alas sleepwear is the stuff of dreams. The brand’s PJs, teddies and undergarments are made in India from certified organic cotton–which is also grown, spun, woven and dyed in-country.
4. Base Range
The vision behind this French brand is spelled out in its name, an acronym for Basic Aesthetic for Sustainable Easywear. But while the concept is simple, the execution is elevated–think smoky-black bodysuits made from stretchy bamboo, and sporty, waffle-knit bras cut from undyed organic cotton. Production is based at small, family-owned factories in Portugal and Turkey.
5. Only Hearts
This line of "inner outerwear" is a collaborative effort between a former pastry chef and a boutique owner–in other words, dotingly made and designed to appeal to a discerning customer. Made in Peru, Only Hearts’ Organic collection is made from GOTS-certified pima cotton and spans undies, tanks, PJs and loungewear.
The sustainable fashion set loves Kowtow for its unisex aesthetic and structured, oversize styles. But the New Zealand-based brand’s more casual Building Blocks collection is our go-to for minimalist basics. Find bikini briefs featuring Kowtow's latest prints, as well as camis, leggings and light-as-air layering pieces.
Designer Daphne Javitch favors Italian cotton over organic for her Ten Undies collection (the brand says Italian mills are renowned for producing superior textiles). But whatever sustainability points Ten loses for using a conventionally grown fiber, it makes up for with quality construction and on-point design. The U.S.A.-made line consists of just five styles–three panties and two bras–that have developed a feverish following in fashion circles.
Finding the perfect middle ground between basic and boring is the goal at Nico, an underwear brand from Down Under. The first lingerie line to be accredited by Ethical Clothing Australia, Nico works with bamboo and organic cotton fabrics, and manufactures all of its garments locally in Brisbane.
As might be expected of a brand whose name pays homage to the largest organ in the human body, Skin makes underthings that are lightweight but protective, with an additional emphasis on the health of the women who wear them. All clean lines and solid colors, the brand’s underwear is made of certified organic pima cotton and treated with low-impact dyes. Manufacturing takes place at small factories in Peru.