2022 Ethical Underwear & Sustainable Bras & Lingerie (Fully Organic)

One oft-forgotten piece when building an eco-friendly wardrobe is ethical underwear. When cutting ties with fast fashion, consumers reach for sustainable staples like dresses, pants, and outerwear, but it’s just as necessary to include sustainable underwear, bras, and lingerie in your conscious shopping. Most undergarments are made from cotton, which is one of the world’s most water-intensive fabrics (it takes 7,000-29,000 liters of water to produce 1kg of cotton).2

A pleased looking woman holding up a bra on a hanger that is printed with green leaves and another man holding up boxer shorts printed with green leaves thinking about ethical underwear and sustainable bras that are fully organic.

This is why it’s crucial for environmentally concerned consumers to turn to alternatives like organic or recycled cotton, bamboo, or fabrics made from recycled plastics, all of which are available for a surprisingly comparable price to fast-fashion underwear. With the apparel and footwear industries combined accounting for over 8% of global carbon footprint, and the average western family creating 30kg of waste from clothing annually, switching to slow fashion is one of the most important changes to make to combat climate change.2

Starting with the essentials like bras and underwear is the perfect way to build a sustainable wardrobe from the first layer up. The following ethical underwear and sustainable bras and lingerie are fully organic, and will help decrease your impact on the planet.

Our Favorite Ethical Underwear Brands Reviewed

1

Best Sustainable Underwear: Parade

Parade plans to be carbon positive by 2025, gives back to a variety of social causes, and offers an unbeatable price point.

2

Best Sustainable Bras: Naja

Naja employs primarily single mothers in its factories, offering them generous benefits, and offers beautiful bras and bralettes made from recycled plastic bottles.

3

Best Sustainable Lingerie Brands: Los Angeles Apparel

With a wide range of stylish lingerie and a focus on worker’s rights and domestic manufacturing, Los Angeles Apparel is a great choice for chic, affordable pieces.

4

Best Organic Underwear (Organic Cotton Panties): Blue Canoe

Women-owned and run brand Blue Canoe features an array of functional, ethically produced organic cotton and bamboo panties.

5

Best Sustainable Mens Underwear: Pact

An affordable brand focused on giving back, Pact offers sustainable men’s underwear in a variety of styles.

What Are Sustainable Underwear Brands?

Sustainable underwear brands provide underwear made through ethical supply chains with eco-friendly materials at a variety of price points. The market is booming–any garment from boxers to a lace bodysuit can be replaced with an ethical alternative. Despite the rise of the slow fashion movement, fast fashion consumption is still expected to jump by 63% in the next decade.3

This is why it’s crucial to fight back by purchasing ethical pieces for every inch of your closet. Sustainable underwear brands have been popping up across the country and globe for decades, and offer a variety of styles at surprisingly low prices. Moreover, sustainable materials like organic cotton and bamboo often contain less toxins and allergens than their fast-fashion counterparts, meaning ethical underwear is not just better for the Earth, but kinder to the body wearing them too.

1
Best Sustainable Underwear: Parade

Parade ethical underwear screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: Parade promises to become a carbon positive business by 2025, meaning 100% responsibly sourced materials, recycled packaging, reduced waste, and more. The brand also works to ensure its manufacturing partners are committed to sustainable practices, and focuses on giving back and empowering marginalized communities.
Styles and Range: Thongs, high rise, briefs, cheeky, boyshorts, hip huggers
Materials: Recycled yarns, organic cotton lining
Size Range: XS-XXXL
Price Range: $
Company Located In: New York, NY, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear

In 2020, Parade’s CEO Cami Téllez dropped out during her final semester at Columbia to work on Parade full-time and has since sold 2 million pairs of underwear.1 Starting at just $8, Parade’s underwear is incredibly affordable and comes in every classic style. Its loud, bright solid colors give its pieces a signature look. The brand is socially conscious as well, donating 1% of every sale to a nonprofit of the buyer’s choice (from an approved list).

Parade works to empower its female employees by skill-training them, and also provides sustainability training for its manufacturing partners. The brand strives to become even more size-inclusive and will be fully carbon positive by 2025, making it a great choice for picking up socially conscious, eco-friendly underwear without breaking the bank. (You can check your emissions using a personal footprint calculator.)

2
Best Sustainable Bras: Naja

Naja suatainable bras screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: Naja was founded on the ethos of empowering women and offers a variety of programs to uplift marginalized communities. Their bras are made from recycled plastics with ultra-comfortable memory foam cups.
Styles and Range: T-Shirt Bra, Bralette
Materials: Recycled plastic
Size Range: XS-XL
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: San Francisco, CA, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear

Naja’s factories employ primarily single mothers and female heads of household, offering them above-market wages, benefits, and support for their children (i.e. school supplies and meals). Through the brand’s Underwear for Hope program, they employ women from poor communities in Colombia, empowering them as “micro-entrepreneurs” creating lingerie bags.

Naja’s garments are printed digitally, minimizing water waste. The brand is working towards including pieces made from recycled plastic bottles in every one of its collections.

3
Best Sustainable Lingerie: Los Angeles Apparel

Los Angeles Apparel ethical underwear screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: Los Angeles Apparel focuses on creating local jobs and paying its workers generously. Moreover, the brand is committed to incorporating organic and recycled materials and waste reduction by recycling its byproducts.
Styles and Range: Lounge shorts, bike shorts, lace panties, bodysuits
Materials: Domestically manufactured yarn, organic cotton, nylon, spandex
Size Range: XS-L
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear

Los Angeles Apparel works to create jobs locally, training its employees in advanced technologies and paying them $20-$35/hour.

The brand is committed to purchasing domestically-produced yarn, which supports U.S. farmers and reduces the supply chain’s carbon footprint. Los Angeles Apparel integrates organic and recycled cotton and recycles nearly all of its shipping and production byproducts. Its pieces are durable and designed for comfort, but maintain the style and flair inherent to sexy lingerie!

4
Best Organic Underwear (Organic Cotton Panties): Blue Canoe

Blue Canoe organic cotton underwear screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: Female-owned and run since 1994, Blue Canoe makes its underwear in the USA using only nontoxic, organic materials. The company believes in transparency regarding its supply chain and keeps its jobs local in order to enforce high working condition standards.
Styles and Range: Bikini, high cut, full brief, lace, hip hugger, boy short
Materials: Organic cotton, bamboo
Size Range: S-XL
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: San Francisco, CA, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear

Founded by Laurie Dunlap in 1994, Blue Canoe is fully women-owned and run. The brand’s pieces are made using 100% organic cotton and organic bamboo (which cuts down on water usage by 91%) and are almost completely allergen-free. Blue Canoe also uses nontoxic, fiber-reactive dyes, which use less water and create less waste than typical dyes.

The brand’s eco-friendly underwear is domestically made and provides a functional, comfortable basic for your delicate drawer.

5
Best Sustainable Mens Underwear: Pact

Pact ethical underwear for men screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: Striving to be “Earth’s favorite” clothing company, Pact makes its underwear from nontoxic organic cotton. The label also works with Fair Trade factories to ensure safe working conditions and uplift local communities. Pact’s shipping is sustainable and you can reuse the boxes to donate old clothes to nonprofits.
Styles and Range: Boxer, brief, boxer brief, trunk
Materials: Organic cotton
Size Range: S-XL
Price Range: $
Company Located In: San Francisco, CA, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear

Every one of Pact’s products is made from organic cotton, which uses 81% less water than typical cotton and contains no toxic chemicals. The brand only works with Fair Trade Certified factories, offers carbon offset shipping, and uses post-consumer, recyclable packaging. Pact also offers a “Give Back Box” program, through which customers can use old Pact shipping boxes to donate clothing to nonprofit organizations. At just $14 per pair, Pact’s underwear packs a guaranteed impact.

More Sustainable Underwear Brands

The following brands have received honorable mentions for their high quality. ethical underwear, bras, and lingerie!

6Everlane

Everlane ethical underwear screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: Everlane strives to work in alignment with the Paris Agreement to combat climate change with specific science-based goals. The brand’s panties are affordable and made from ethical materials.
Styles and Range: Bikini, hipster, thong
Materials: Supima cotton, elastane
Size Range: XXS-XL
Price Range: $
Company Located In: San Francisco, CA, USA
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear Brand

Everlane’s core value is “Radical Transparency” in its supply chain. The company’s distribution centers are 100% landfill-free, and it adheres to strict environmental goals and guidelines, including net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Moreover, Everlane’s materials are bluesign certified, meaning they’re free of over 900 harmful chemicals.

7Knickey

Knickey sustainable bras and underwear screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: A Carbon Neutral certified company with Fair Trade certified factories, Knickey offers a variety of staple ethical underwear, including a convenient“starter set.”
Styles and Range: Thong, bikini, hipster, brief
Materials: 95% organic cotton, 5% elastane
Size Range: XXS-XXXL
Price Range: $
Company Located In: New York, NY, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear Brand

Knickey offers ethical underwear in staple basic colors in a variety of styles, made from organic cotton.

The brand’s packing materials are 100% plastic free, made with recycled content and post-consumer waste and using low-impact inks. Fair Trade International certification is the minimum standard for Knickey’s factories, and its materials are Oeko-Tex certified (free from harmful chemicals).

8HARA the Label

Hara the Lobby ethical underwear screenshot.
Sustainable and Ethical Underwear Ethics: HARA (“green” in Hindi) is committed to the slow fashion movement, as proved by its transparent supply chain and plant-based fabrics.
Styles and Range: High waist, low waist, G-string, leotard
Materials: Bamboo, spandex
Size Range: XS-5XL
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: Melbourne, Australia
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love This Ethical Underwear Brand

HARA undies are made from bamboo, which grows fast and is water-efficient, making it an ideal sustainable material. Its size-inclusive, “universally flattering” line of underwear is dyed with plant dyes, making them both more sustainable and better for your skin. HARA offers unique styles like G-string and leotard and carries bras, loungewear, and sportswear as well.

Our Favorite Eco Friendly Bras, Ethical Bras and Organic Bralette

Finding eco-friendly bras and bralettes isn’t as hard as you might think, and the styles and fabrics will make you wonder why you’ve never tried them before.

9Boody

Boody bamboo underwear screenshot.
Eco-Friendly Bra Ethics: Australian label Boody offers a variety of affordable, organically grown bamboo bras.
Materials: Organic bamboo
Size Range: XS-4XL
Price Range: $
Company Located In: Sydney, Australia
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love These Eco-Friendly Bras

Boody’s organic bamboo bras are made through a zero-waste manufacturing process. Their packaging is recycled and only uses vegetable-based inks.

The brand offers an incredibly affordable line of sustainable bras (including bralettes and sports bras), starting at $16.95. Boody also offers a bracelet, 100% of the profits from which are donated to fighting malaria.

10Lively

Lively organic underwear screenshot.
Eco-Friendly Bra Ethics: Lively’s sustainable collection is made from increasingly recycled materials, and the label takes care to create a safe, supportive work environment in its low-waste factories.
Materials: Nylon, spandex
Size Range: 32A-36DDD/38DD
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: New York, NY, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love These Eco-Friendly Bras

Lively’s bras, bralettes, swimwear, and activewear are made from increasingly recycled materials. The company works to uphold company values and standards and offer education opportunities in its factories. Moreover, Lively partners with I Support the Girls, a nonprofit that donates essential items to girls and women in need.

11Girlfriend Collective

The Girlfriend Collective ethical underwear screenshot.
Eco-Friendly Bra Ethics: Girlfriend Collective’s size-inclusive range of bras are recycled and recyclable and made in ethical factories.
Materials: Recycled and recyclable - made with rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate)
Size Range: XXS-6XL
Price Range: $
Company Located In: Seattle, WA, USA
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love These Eco-Friendly Bras

Made from recycled plastic bottles, Girlfriend Collective’s size-inclusive line of bras is relatively affordable and designed for comfort. The company uses only eco-friendly dyes, and its factories are SA8000 certified for socially acceptable practices. All of its products and packaging are recycled and recyclable, and its bras come in reusable rPET pouches.

Our Favorite Ethical Lingerie

Love your lingerie when you know it has been created using ethical sources and organic materials. Check out these brands:

12Mary Young

Mary Young ethical underwear screenshot.
Ethical Lingerie Sustainability Initiatives: Founded in 2014 with the vision of empowering women of various body types, Canadian brand Mary Young offers a line of lingerie made from environmentally-safe materials.
Materials: Nylon, spandex
Size Range: XS-2XL
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: Toronto, Canada
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love These Eco-Friendly Bras

Mary Young’s lingerie is made domestically in ethical Canadian factories. It’s fabrics are UV tested and Oeko-Tex certified. Its products are free from chlorine bleach and toxic dyes, and the company does not use synthetic sizing agents (in order to cut down on waste). When shipped, Mary Young pieces are packed in compostable tissue wrapping into 100% recycled mailers. Mary Young lingerie is size-inclusive and comes in a variety of gorgeous styles.

13Anekdot

Anekdot ethical lingerie screenshot.
Ethical Lingerie Sustainability Initiatives: Berlin-based company Anekdot offers locally-manufactured, upcycled lingerie, made from production leftovers, end of lines, off-cuts, deadstock, and vintage trimmings.
Materials: ECONYL® regenerated nylon, B.recycled recycled polyamide, Q-NOVA® with ROICA™ recycled lace
Size Range: XS-XL
Price Range: $$$
Company Located In: Berlin, Germany
Rating: 5 out of 5

Why We Love These Eco-Friendly Bras

Anekdot’s lingerie comes in both individual pieces and sets and is upcycled from surplus and vintage fabrics. Its transparent supply chain provides fair wages to factory workers and encourages local talent. Anekdot is a zero-waste company, with surplus materials donated/sold to local creatives or donated to art and education refugee projects.

Small scraps of fabric are also reused for other Anekdot products, such as in pillow filling or on small accessories. The mostly-vegan, partially made-to-order, trans-seasonal lingerie Anekdot offers has a unique vintage flair that is sure to please. Plus… it’s gorgeous.

14Fruity Booty

Fruity booty ethical underwear screenshot.
Ethical Lingerie Sustainability Initiatives: Female-led label Fruity Booty uses deadstock and sustainably-sourced materials to craft its fun, unique designs.
Materials: Recycled polyester, elastane
Size Range: XS-XL
Price Range: $$
Company Located In: London, UK
Rating: 4 out of 5

Why We Love These Eco-Friendly Bras

80+% of Fruity Booty’s products are made from UK-sourced materials that would’ve otherwise ended up in landfills, and the remaining 20% are also made from conscious materials. The brand’s lingerie is produced locally in London as well as in Porto, Portugal, minimizing carbon footprint and guaranteeing high factory standards (in terms of both worker well-being and garment quality). Fruity Booty has a zero-use single plastic policy throughout its entire supply chain, and takes care to ensure its products are durable. Fruity Booty designs are fun and eccentric, featuring loud patterns and unique textures.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ethical Underwear

Ethical underwear is often an afterthought in building a sustainable wardrobe, so even the most eco-conscious shoppers are left with lingering questions when making the switch.

Is Organic Womens Underwear Comfortable?

Yes! Organic cotton panties are often comfortable than their fast-fashion counterparts, as they are made without harsh chemicals, leaving the cotton’s fibers naturally soft.4

Are Sustainable Underwear Brands Affordable?

Sustainable underwear brands are surprisingly affordable, with brands like Parade offering underwear starting at $8 a pair, and Pact offering $14 boxers and briefs.

Can You Buy Sustainable Seamless Underwear?

Yes! Sustainable underwear comes in all shapes, sizes, and styles, seamless panties included. Parade’s Universal collection is entirely seamless.

What’s the Best Sustainable Period Underwear?

Using period underwear is inherently more sustainable than pads or tampons. Take it a step further by using period underwear made ethically from sustainable materials, such as Knix or Thinx’s Modal Cotton line.

What Are the Best Ethical Fabrics to Look for?

Common ethical fabrics used in underwear and bras include organic or recycled cotton, organic bamboo, and rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate, made from recycled plastic bottles).

Switching to ethical and sustainable underwear is a great way to help the environment, and to get your lifestyle completely carbon neutral, consider tree planting offset programs that are offered by one of the top carbon offset providers.

Sustainable underwear is a key part of any eco-conscious shopper’s wardrobe. A comfortable pair of panties or briefs or a chic lingerie set is all the more enjoyable when you know it was ethically produced and made from eco-friendly materials. If you’re looking to reduce your carbon footprint and switch to materials that are better for your body, investing in ethical underwear is the way to go.


References

1Smith, Morgan. 8 October 2021. CNBC Make It. This 24-year-old dropped out of Columbia to build a $140 million underwear brand. 9 November 2021. Web. <https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/08/how-parade-underwear-ceo-cami-tllez-built-a-140-million-business.html>

2Mikolajczak, Chloé. 17 September 2019. United Nations Development Programme. Six things you didn’t know about the true cost of fast fashion. 10 November 2021. Web. <https://www.undp.org/blog/six-things-you-didnt-know-about-true-cost-fast-fashion?utm_source=EN&utm_medium=GSR&utm_content=US_UNDP_PaidSearch_Brand_English&utm_campaign=CENTRAL&c_src=CENTRAL&c_src2=GSR&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI54jH_rqO9AIVEgaICR2uwQaSEAAYAiAAEgLGMvD_BwE>

3Cassel, Scott. 2 January 2018. Northeast Recycling Council. Donate & Recycle Used Clothes, Footwear, and Other Textiles. 10 November 2021. Web. <https://nerc.org/news-and-updates/blog/nerc-blog/2018/01/02/lets-take-on-industry-polluter-2?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI54jH_rqO9AIVEgaICR2uwQaSEAAYBCAAEgKs4PD_BwE>

4Eco by Naty. Organic vs. non-organic cotton. 10 November 2021. Web. <https://www.naty.com/us/en/organic-vs-non-organic-cotton.html>

5Image Source: <https://yourparade.com/products/scoop-bralette-replay?variant=39776844808240>

6Image Source: <https://www.naja.co/collections/eco-friendly-bras>

7Image Source: <https://losangelesapparel.net/collections/women-intimates>

8Image Source: <https://www.bluecanoe.com/collections/100-percent-organic-cotton-underwear>

9Image Source: <https://wearpact.com/men/underwear/boxers%20&%20briefs/boxer%20brief>

10Image Source: <https://www.everlane.com/collections/womens-underwear>

11Image Source: <https://knickey.com/>

12Image Source: <https://www.fromthelobby.com/shops/hara-the-label>

13Image Source: <https://boodywear.com/>

14Image Source: <https://www.wearlively.com/products/the-cotton-bikini-jet-black?variant=19352135958624>

15Image Source: <https://www.nordstrom.com/browse/women/clothing/underwear-lingerie?filterByBrand=girlfriend-collective>

16Image Source: <https://maryyoung.com/collections/bras>

17Image Source: <https://anekdotboutique.com/product-category/lingerie/>

18Image Source: <https://fruitybooty.co.uk/collections/types?q=lingerie>