Everyone needs and wears underwear. But the underwear industry is not sustainable or ethical, and that's a problem.
On top of the clothing industry being extremely polluting, most underwear on the market is made from polyester which is essentially plastic, or super water-thirsty and pesticide-ridden cotton.
These fabrics have been normalised because they're cheap and widely available, but they're not the healthiest for our bodies. Especially when they're used to make clothing that's always in close proximity to our most intimate areas.
On top of that, why should huge underwear brands be allowed to make giant profit margins on underwear made by unprotected and exploited workers?
We've compiled an ultimate guide to sustainable and ethical underwear brands, grouped by the fabrics they all use, so you can be informed about what you're buying. Because an educated consumer is a powerful consumer.
Size range: XS-XL
Boody uses rayon made from organic bamboo mixed with nylon for their underwear. They have men's ranges as well, and each item comes with statistics for the amount of energy and water saved by purchasing from them.
Their factory is in China, and their bamboo is also sources from China.
Size range: XS - 5XL
Hara is an Australian brand that creates bras, undies and other loungewear. They use bamboo lyocell, which is a closed loop process of creating fabric from bamboo and results in a soft fabric.
Their factory is in Australia and their bamboo is sourced from China. They also used plant-based dyes.
Size range: XS-XXL
Magi creates hemp underwear made in Portugal, in comfy and stylish designs. Hemp underwear is antimicrobial, more breathable than cotton and better for the planet, as it requires very little water and can grow anywhere.
The hemp is sourced from China, from the same supplier Patagonia uses.
Size range: XS-XXL
WAMA underwear is a men's and women's hemp underwear brand based in the US.
They have plenty of different styles of underwear ranging from bikinis to briefs, hipsters and bralettes.
Their fabric is sourced from China, and their manufacturing is also done in China.
Size range: XXS - 3XL
Parade is a new Gen Z sustainable underwear brand that uses 85% recycled polyester for their underwear.
The colours are super expressive and bold and fun, and they have lots of different styles of underwear in a size-inclusive range.
The manufacturing is done in China.
Size range: XXS - XL
Knickey is a US-based sustainable underwear brand that creates comfy undies from GOTS-certified organic cotton.
Their undies are free from toxic chemicals, which is great considering the proximity of underwear to your intimate areas.
They also manufacture in Fair Trade certified facilities in India and they have a recycling program.
Size range: XS - 6X
Tomboy X is a gender-inclusive underwear brand that's also ethical and sustainable.
The majority of their cotton underwear and swimwear are Oeko-tex 100 certified, and their manufacturing is in China.
They have endless options for different underwear styles so there's a style for everyone's tastes.
Size range: XS - 2X
Pact is a Colorado-based brand that makes sustainable underwear made from Fair Trade Certified organic cotton.
They have a clothing recycling program, and also offer the option of carbon offsetting the shipment when you buy from them.
Size range: XS - XL
Organic Basics started off making men's undies but have recently expanded into women's - with an emphasis on sustainability.
They use mainly organic cotton and TENCEL, which is made from wood pulp from responsibly sourced forests.
Their manufacturing is done in several places around the world from Turkey to Portugal.
Size range: S - 3X
Proclaim has bralettes and briefs in different nude colours to suit different skin tones. As a bonus, they use TENCEL, and their undies are made in Los Angeles.
Size range: UK 6 -16
Lara Intimates is a UK-based brand that uses deadstock fabrics to make size-inclusive underwear.
Deadstock fabrics are essentially fabrics that other factories have deemed as waste - making clothes from them diverts the fabrics from landfill. They have a great bra size calculator too, with sizes ranging from 26A to 36GG.
We hope you enjoyed this guide to the sustainable underwear brands we love! If you want to know what the most sustainable fabrics are, click here.