Anyone who has ever worn a bra knows that there is nothing worse than an uncomfortable bra, it's why making sure your lingerie drawer is filled with options that are as comfy and flattering as possible. While there are thousands of bras to choose many of them are made with unsustainable fabrics and materials. So to help you support your tata's ethically, we've rounded up our top picks for the best sustainable bras.
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Why shop for a sustainable bra?
Fast fashion already contributes to a huge chunk of the textile waste sent to our landfills. According to the Recycling Council of Ontario, 37 KG of textile waste per person ends up in Canadian landfills each year. Shopping for ethical and sustainable bras undergarments can surely help to minimize the amount of textile waste.
How to shop for a sustainable bra?
To shop for the best sustainable bra there are three main criteria to consider: the fabrics and the materials used, ethical sourcing, and corporate responsibility. These criteria cover both how natural resources are used and how the workers are treated as the intent is to embrace slow fashion while avoiding the worst fast fashion brands.
Fabrics and materials;
Just as there are beauty care products that are not good for your skin, there are fabrics that are not good for the environment as much as your skin. As you begin to understand the difference between fabrics you then divert to sustainable fabrics such as organic bamboo, organic cotton, linen and hemp, with certifications to verify the origins of these fabrics.
Synthetic fabrics like modal, TENCEL™, and lyocell are great when produced sustainably while plastic-based synthetic materials like nylon, polyester, or spandex are to be avoided because of their toxic components.
A few of the best certifications include the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the Organic Content Standard (OCS), USDA-Certified Organic, the Recycled Claim Standard, the SCS Recycled Content Certification, the Better Cotton Standard and OEKO-TEX® 100.
Ethical sourcing is the process of ensuring the materials being sourced are obtained in a responsible and sustainable way, that the workers involved in making them are safe and treated fairly and that environmental and social impacts are taken into account.
Certifications to look for are Fairtrade, B-Crop, WRAP, and BSCI. At times if the brand is smaller they don’t have immediate funds to get these certifications. If you are not sure, we suggest always asking questions for transparency.
Looking at what else a given brand is doing in terms of social and environmental responsibility. This might include practices such as plastic-free packaging, social and environmental initiatives like carbon neutrality, and/or certifications like B-Corp.
Our top picks for organic bras in Canada
We are obsessed with KOTN's eco-friendly tees. They also have the best fair-trade pyjamas and all-around affordable ethical fashion. Kotn’s fair trade organic cotton bras are made using nontoxic dyes and fit really well. Many brag about their lounge bras which are sized from XS to 2XL.
KOTN fabrics and materials
Proud to say that they are a part of that 10% that make their garments from higher-end pima and Egyptian cotton fibres.
KOTN Ethical sourcing
KOTN only sources their cotton directly from farmers and ensures that all of their garments are ethically made in Egypt and Portugal. They ensure that their factory employees are paid fair wages and work in safe conditions, with opportunities to create a career for themselves.
KOTN Corporate Responsibility
They have a thorough certification process that ensures that all BCI cotton is produced using the most ethical and sustainable methods possible. This includes maintaining and conserving biodiversity, being conscious of local water use, and using minimally harmful crop protection practices, all while upholding the quality of the fibres and creating the best possible work environments for farmers.
Mary Young has some of the best sustainable bras with a very classic yet simple design with strap and mesh details. These organic bras have colourful styles and sexy see-through cuts. Inclusive sustainable brand with the best organic bralettes, bodysuits, and lingerie are all ethically made in Canada. Be sure to check out their swim collection made from 100% recycled plastic too.
Mary Young fabrics and materials
Mary Young uses mostly rayon from bamboo fabric. About 95% is rayon from the bamboo and 5% is elastane OEKO-TEX® Certified and has passed UV testing (the fabric is sustainably produced, has been tested and is free from any harmful substances).
Mary Young Ethical sourcing
Everything is produced in Canada in a factory where equal wages and conditions are being met. They make it a priority to work with a team that invests back into the economy and workers are treated fairly.
Mary Young Corporate Responsibility
When shipping out their garments they use compostable wrapping tissue paper. The inserts that they add to each package are recyclable plus the mailing packages used are made from 100% recycled material and if the order requires a box they use cardboard boxes.
Tentree is a popular slow fashion brand designing women's, men's, and kids' clothes for a healthy, sustainable world with recycled materials and organic fabrics. Apart from their cozy ethical sweaters, sustainable backpacks and fairtrade hats, they have the best comfort and affordable sustainable sports bras in timeless colours. Sizes range from XS to XL.
Tentree fabric and material
All underwear garments are made from recycled elastane, TENCEL™and REFRIBA technology, and organic cotton.
Tentree Ethical Sourcing
All of their partner factories are regularly audited to ensure compliance with the tentree Code of Conduct and international labour standards. The factories that they partner with strive to meet the highest standard when it comes to upholding ethical labour rights.
Tentree Corporate Responsibility
Tentree is B Corp certified, and ships carbon neutral. They planted over 48 million trees and restored land in over eight countries. Tentree partners with global charitable organizations to plant trees and rehabilitate natural ecosystems.
We love KNIX as they are a woman-founded brand prioritizing transparency and women empowerment. Knix wants us to be unapologetically free and is a huge advocate for ethical bras with no wires. They do have the most comfortable wireless bras to super-absorbent underwear and all-inclusive sizes.
Knix fabrics and materials
Knix bras are made up of Nylon, Poly, Model. All Knix products are PFAS free. All of the main fabrics used in our bras and underwear are also OEKO-TEX® certified
Knix Ethical sourcing
All of knix products are designed in Canada and manufactured in socially and environmentally responsible factories in China, just outside of Shanghai; Seoul, South Korea; and Croatia.
Knix Corporate Responsibility
Knix Wear is committed to digital accessibility, and to conforming to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, Level A and AA and complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) effective communication requirements, and other applicable regulations.
Our top picks for sustainable bras in the USA
Pact is one of our all-time favorites and they carry both sustainable clothing and ethical home goods. They offer some of the most popular basics, which include organic underwear, to help you build a minimalist wardrobe starting with their soft, and comfy organic bras, giving enough shape and support. They provide light support, adjustable straps, a breathable, subtle but stretchy material, and removable pads. Sizes range from XS–2XL.
Pact's fabrics and materials
Pact's sustainable bras are made with 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton and 5% elastane. They use low-impact dyes and processes that allow them to use less water. If you are looking for organic bars with padding, you've come to the right place.
Pact's Ethical sourcing
Pact is certified Fair Trade, thus securing the rights of their workers. Known for sourcing sustainably produced organic cotton for its garments.
Pact's Corporate Responsibility
Pact has the option to offset the carbon associated with shipping your order at check out. Not to mention they package your shipment using more sustainable packing materials such as 100% post-consumer recycled paperboard, cardboard boxes, and biodegradable poly bags. They also work with Give Back Box to recycle your gently used clothing.
We are huge fans of Organic Basics because they are really a one-stop-shop for all your clothing needs. From sustainable men's clothing to upcycled & recycled clothing and even ethical maternity wear!
Well-known for their supportive sustainable sports bras in various colours and sizes ranging from XS–XL. They have a popular no-show (invisible) bra with a clean-cut, seamless look and feel.
Organic Basics fabrics and materials
Organic basics bras are made from mostly organic cotton and are blended with just 5% elastane/spandex. A very popular organic bra is the triangle. They are certified by USB, underwire-free, PETA-approved vegan, and provide comfortable support that’s the next best thing to going braless. They also have other bras made from recycled material such as nylon and TENCEL™.
Organic Basics Ethical Sourcing
All garments are made transparently in certified factory partners around the world, where workers have safe working conditions and are paid a living wage and benefits. Organic basics also have an impact index which measures the amount of waste, chemicals, energy, emissions, and water utilized in their production process.
Organic Basics Corporate Responsibility
This sustainable clothing brand is Certified B Corp and offers free carbon-neutral shipping. They have a low-impact website and design all products to last. They also have a fund that supports grassroots activists and organizations that address environmental crises and are members of 1% For The Planet.
WAMA offers the comfiest, organic cotton wireless bras.
We enjoy watching this LA-based brand brings a new feel to sustainable undergarments with their unique hemp pieces. Having hemp as a prime fabric can make it more accessible in the future. Sizes go from XS to 3XL.
WAMA fabrics and materials
WAMA’s signature fabric blend includes 53% hemp, 44% GOTS-certified organic cotton, and just 3% spandex, keeping their clothing sustainable. Their organic hemp bras come in two options: a triangle bralette for more casual wear and a racerback bralette to complete your sustainable sports bra collection.
WAMA Ethical sourcing
WAMA partners with small family farms in China for their hemp and use BSCI-certified factories. All workers are supported with fair wages, quality work environments, and a WAMA team member on-site to ensure the standards of their Code of Conduct are met.
WAMA Corporate Responsibility
WAMA uses EcoEnclose to ensure that its products come in mailers that are 100% recycled and recyclable, along with recycled and compostable tissue paper. Larger orders come mailed in recycled cardboard boxes. The only non-compostable part is the recycled paper logo sticker, which can be returned to WAMA.
Another fabulous sustainable brand is Knickey, which are known for their prime basic garments. With an XXS-3XL range of thongs, bikinis, and bralettes. Fun fact! Knickey also takes your garments back once you no longer use them and safely recycles them.
Knickey fabrics and materials
Knickey believes in natural comfort so their certified organic cotton is what most of even all of their garments are made from.
Knickey Ethical sourcing
A sustainable brand that is GOTS, OEKO-TEX and Fair Trade Certified. Making sure that the organic cotton’s growth, harvest, and manufacturing processes are safe for farm and factory workers.
Knickey Corporate Responsibility
They offer 100% plastic-free shipping including their stickers and it ships carbon neutral. Not to mention they have certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI).
Casabella is a leading sustainable brand when it comes to inclusive sizing from petite to regular, extended and curvy sizes 28A-40DD. We love that they are ethically made in Italy, with classic colours produced from natural dyes. Known for their stylish bralettes that give enough support and comfort. Fun fact! Cosabella is Italian for beautiful things.
Cosabella fabrics and materials
Lace bralettes seem to be popular for this sustainable brand and while polyamide and elastane are used in most of their garments, some feature cotton for the body. All colours are produced from natural dye.
Cosabella Ethical sourcing
Cosabella values its intrinsic relationships with Italian artisans and commits to treating its workers with respect.
Cosabella Corporate Responsibility
All products are shipped in recyclable paper packaging or biodegradable poly bags.
Final thoughts on sustainable bras
We know that textile waste is a HUGE issue, so if you have old bras that you need to get rid of make sure you take a look at "what to do with old bras", its packed full of useful information. And it's a really good idea to get fitted for a bra by a professional, it will help so much. Buying the wrong size means you won't wear it and odds are it'll end up in the garbage. All of these natural and sustainable bra brands are making it easier than ever to choose the right one!
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