Jasmine Hemsley shares her favourite lingerie brands taking a more conscious approach to underwear.
More than 10 years ago a friend (fellow Eco-Age columnist Sjaniel Turrell) and I committed to shopping more sustainably. We were already big second-hand shoppers, however we had to acknowledge that sometimes there are items we wanted to purchase new. On our quest for more sustainable brands, we decided to start with pyjamas and so the search began. We endlessly googled, asked friends who were similarly eco-conscious, spoke to sustainable store owners and, despite all of this, we still turned up empty handed. For a long time, the same manic search process applied to underwear. Despite there having been a demand for more ethical options for a number of years, and underwear being one of the most difficult items to purchase sustainably (as the most eco-conscious option ie. second-hand doesn’t feel quite appropriate!), for a long time there just weren’t many options. Now, thanks to more and more designers choosing the harder (but of course more worthwhile) option of ethical manufacturing and sourcing, there has been an influx of amazing underwear brands taking the stage.
From beautiful, lacy, feminine designs to basics for everyday and more edgy options, there’s now something for everyone and every occasion too. I’m sharing my edit of eight brands, many with a focus on British design and manufacturing, that are paving the way forward for a more sustainable approach across the fashion industry as a whole.
Every piece of Lara Intimates underwear is made at the brand’s HQ in Soho, London. Fabrics are reclaimed, luxury surplus materials aka unused scraps from large factories or brands. Elastics and packaging are also made in England with eco-friendly practices.
Stripe & Stare
Described as the most comfortable knickers in the world, Stripe & Stare’s pant sets are made from sustainably sourced modal from Austrian beechwood trees. This process uses 95% less water in its production than cotton and because it is a wood fibre it really holds its shape and incredible softness. The brand is also committed to carefully picking factories with the most ethical policies.
Woron via Reve en Vert
A Scandinavian brand based in Copenhagen, Woron (via Reve en Vert) sources all its materials from within Europe and produces its pieces at a small European, family-owned factory.
Every pair of Kinky Knickers is made at the brand’s factory based in Middleton, Manchester. They are 100% British — everything is designed, sourced and manufactured in the UK.
Home to all the “basics” you could ever desire, Organic Basics commits to using Class A and B fibers only and all its pieces are better made, consciously created and designed to last.
Christina Leonor via Reve en Vert
With an emphasis on quality and timeless design, Christina Leonor’s designs are beautiful and feminine. Each piece is lovingly designed in Sweden and made in a small factory based in Veneto, Italy. The silk used in many of her designs is 100% Organic Charmeuse and Crepe de Chine silk sourced from India, which means there are no pesticides or chemicals used in the process. Found via Reve en Vert
All of All Undone’s pieces are proudly made in Britain, safely and fairly, in the rolling hills of West Wales (South Wales was the home of British lingerie manufacturing for many years). Fabrics are carefully sourced from across Britain and Europe — the brand’s current collection features fine fabrics from England, Italy and France.
Luva Huva’s first collections were born of a chance discovery of some vintage fabric that became a pair of knickers. Despite the brand’s growth, the same thought goes into each of its new designs with a focus on local suppliers as well as vintage and end-of-line fabrics and trims. The brand’s pieces are handmade to order to ensure minimal waste.
Read Jasmine’s favourite stylish and sustainable fashion brands and Life as I know it.
See our guide for where to start with dressing ethically, and our full list of recommended brands.