These Sustainable Underwear Brands Will Help You and the Planet Feel Good

Whether you want a pair of panties for lounging or a bralette to feel sexy, these sustainable underwear brands have you covered. 

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Women wearing sustainable underwear
Photo: LeoPatrizi/Getty

Between recycling every cardboard box and piece of mail that arrives at your home, double-checking that you have a metal water bottle stashed in your tote bag before you leave the house, and washing countless reusable snack bags and containers, you could be juggling a lot of small tasks to make the slightest improvement to your environmental footprint. But making sure to buy eco-friendly clothes such as sustainable underwear is probably low on the to-do list, especially when the budget-friendly, polyester options get the job done just fine.

But not without creating some harm on the planet.

Each year, the textile industry uses 98 million tons of non-renewable resources, such as oil to manufacture new synthetic fabrics (i.e. nylon, polyester, spandex, and acrylic), fertilizers to grow cotton, and chemicals to produce and dye fabrics, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a charity focused on accelerating the transition to an economy that aims to eliminate waste and continuously reuse resources.Likewise, the total annual greenhouse gas emission from textile production is equal to 1.2 billion tons of CO2 annually — more than from all international flights and maritime shipping combined, per the foundation.

Buying panties and bras made from naturally derived, organically grown fabrics (i.e. organic cotton, bamboo, wood pulp, and more) or recycled synthetic ones by eco-conscious companies can help make a positive dent in the fashion industry's impact. After all, every little bit adds up. (

Plus, by purchasing sustainable garments, you're also supporting companies that have social welfare ingrained into their mission and have made concrete efforts to ensure workers throughout the supply chain have safe working conditions, receive fair wages, and more.

To start transitioning the undies in your drawer to those that are more eco-friendly, socially responsible, and comfortable, stock up on pieces from these sustainable underwear and bra brands.

Pact

Pact is on a "mission to build Earth's favorite clothing company," and based on its progress so far, the brand has definitely earned a spot on the planet's nice list. The sustainable underwear brand makes knickers and bralettes out of Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton — which requires up to 91 percent less water in the growing stage than non-organic cotton— is free of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and, most importantly, is super comfy. (P.S. Pact also makes killer sustainable activewear.)

Plus, you can be certain the garments are produced with the workers in mind: The brand's clothing is manufactured in Fair Trade-certified factories, meaning they provide safe working conditions, ensure employees are paid fair wages, strive to protect the environment, and more. To curb your environmental footprint and look cute doing it, stock your drawers with Pact's cheeky hipsters (Buy It, $12, wearpact.com), panty line-free thongs (Buy It, $12, wearpact.com), and supportive full-cup bras (Buy It, $30, wearpact.com).

Parade

Not only is Parade working to protect women's bodies by donating 1 percent of profits to Planned Parenthood, but it's also helping protect the environment with its sustainable underwear. The brand's Cheeky undies (Buy It, $9, yourparade.com), thongs (Buy It, $9, yourparade.com), and boyshorts (Buy It, $9, yourparade.com) are composed of Re:Play, Parade's signature blend of Global Recycle Standard-certified recycled nylon and spandex, giving each garment a buttery-soft feel and the ability to stretch up to two times its size. Score.

What's more, the garments are Oeko-Tex-certified, meaning they've been tested for — and are free of — substances harmful to human health, and produced in a factory certified by Sedex, which ensures it provides safe working conditions and abides by other ethical standards.

Boody

To achieve silky smooth panties, Boody skips polyester and nylon and turns to organic bamboo instead. Unlike conventionally grown cotton, bamboo requires little water to grow and doesn't rely on chemical pesticides or fertilizers, according to an article in the Journal of Textile and Apparel Technology Management. Plus, the brand's bamboo is harvested from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests — meaning biological diversity, water resources, and the fragile ecosystems in the cultivated forests are conserved — and once the bamboo is collected, Boody turns to Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production-certified factories to ensure the sustainable underwear is produced under safe, lawful, humane, and ethical conditions.

If Boody's stringent sustainability practices don't convince you to grab a pair of panties or a bralette, the garments' adorable style will. The classic bikini (Buy It, $12, amazon.com) provides just the right amount of coverage and have comfy, seam-free sides, while the g-string (Buy It, $12, amazon.com) is practically invisible under your clothes. Pair either of the undies with a matching padded Shaper bra (Buy It, $20, amazon.com), and you'll feel ready to take on the day. (

Reformation

When it comes to serving sustainable underwear, Reformation doesn't settle on style. The flirty Costa bra (Buy It, $45, thereformation.com), simple Kass bralette (Buy It, $30, thereformation.com), and the matching Karen thong (Buy It, $12, thereformation.com) are all made from TENCEL Lyocell, a fabric made from sustainably sourced wood pulp that has a low environmental impact and is biodegradable, not to mention super breathable and soft to the touch.

But Reformation isn't just reducing its environmental footprint at the manufacturing stage — it also replaces the resources it does use by investing in offsetting efforts.For example, the company works with Change the Course to support water restoration projects in California and has backed programs that encouraged the use of clean energy in India. Plus, more than half of Reformation's cutting and sewing is done in Los Angeles, and any garments produced by its manufacturing partners must adhere to its strict Code of Conduct, which ensures workers have the right to unionize, are given safe working conditions, and fair wages. There's nothing sexier than lingerie produced with the health of the environment and people in mind.

Allbirds

The cult-favorite wool sneaker brand recently made the leap into the undergarment market, and your nether regions will be so glad it did. Allbirds' sustainable underwear and bralettes are made from a blend of TENCEL Lyocell, merino wool, and a touch of spandex, resulting in lightweight, super soft garments you'll want to wear all day every day.

Yes, wearing wool on your private parts seems like a style reserved for lumberjacks, but, trust, the fabric has perks for the average person and environment, too. Wool has stellar moisture-wicking abilities, is extremely durable, and easily absorbs dyes during production, decreasing the amount needed to give the garment its signature hue, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

While Allbirds' doesn't publish its social commitments and details on its factories' ethical standards front and center like other brands, it does share its environmental efforts. Along with using eco-friendly materials, Allbirds funds projects that offset its carbon footprint, making it a completely carbon neutral company (aka all of its emissions are balanced out by those offsetting efforts). Moving forward, the brand is aiming to curb its carbon emissions completely. Mother Nature says TIA for rocking that comfy Trino bralette (Buy It, $30, allbirds.com) and pair of briefs (Buy It, $18, allbirds.com)

WAMA

Hemp isn't just having a moment in the CBD world — it's also making waves in the fashion industry, particularly by sustainable underwear brand WAMA. To create its comfy hipster panties (Buy It, $20, wamaunderwear.com), bikini bottoms (Buy It, $20, wamaunderwear.com), and bralettes (Buy It, $38, wamaunderwear.com), WAMA turns to organic cotton and hemp — a naturally anti-bacterial, quick-drying fabric with anti-odor properties. Aside from these must-have features, hemp comes with some environmental perks: The plant requires small amounts of water and fertilizer to grow, which can be done on land that's unsuitable for food production, per the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

In terms of social responsibility, WAMA sources its hemp from small, family-run organic farms and partners with international factories that provide employees with fair wages and quality working environments. To ensure the outsourced facilities actually meet these standards, WAMA has a team member based in the country to oversee it all. Based on these environmental and social initiatives, you're destined to feel good inside and out.

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