By Chantal Brocca
Think ‘sustainable lingerie’ means an organic cotton bra and panties that sag on your butt after one wash? Think again. Ethical lingerie is getting sexier – far sexier! Vintage lace, peace silk, recycled elastics and a whole lot of sass are the main ingredients, while styles involve keyhole cuts, ‘undo me NOW’ ribbons, cheeky pussy prints and even some couture-worthy embroidery.
Forget those sweet ‘n’ innocent bralets and eco-friendly pants you wouldn’t even want to be seen wearing in the gym locker room – these sustainable lingerie labels are super-fitting and super-fierce.
Handmade, couture lingerie with a heritage dating back to 1890? Why, yes, madam! The brand harkens back to fashion industry pioneer Lady Duff Gordon and remains quintessentially on the track of slow fashion, ensuring each highly luxuriously silky piece is made with the same care and quality afforded to the private clientele of master couturiers at the turn of the 20th Century, and often from exactly the same types of olde worlde, all natural materials, handmade in the UK.
This emerging luxurious eco-friendly brand will literally make you lust after art and nature. Inspired by artist Henri Rousseau, Studio Pia’s first collection features embroidered florals and silky greens incorporated into sheer panels, ultra cool cuts and adjustable sections, ensuring they are easily adapted to flatter a range of different body types. Nothing was left as an afterthought – even the little hardware adorning designs is made of pure, ethically sourced, 24k gold. Oh my.
Ever had that moment when you realize fumbling with your suspender belt hooks perhaps isn’t so sexy? When lingerie gets too complicated, we welcome brands like Svala, where cute meets comfort, ensuring the Valentine’s tease is tangle free – and made from bamboo viscose, organic cotton and low impact certified organic dyes. Simple, ethical, perfect.
This is lingerie’s first steps into spirituality: besides utilizing exclusively fair trade practices and environmentally friendly fabrics, this brand explores the meaning of empowerment by harnessing the energy of the different Chakra centers through the use of hand sewn Reiki attuned gemstones for a unique design twist – the extra benefits kind. Forget vibrators – it’s even sexier to get chakra root vibrations!
There are two ways to do transparency; and while we’re pretty acquainted with one, the other always seems to come as a happy surprise. Pesticide free organic cottons, Oeko-Tex certified dyes, and extra care to stay away from nasty hormone upsetting textiles that somehow still find their way into our clothes are only some of the key features that make Olly Lingerie great – but we love the sheer panty panels, too.
Naja was inspired by a deep need to make the world a better place – and spread that desire through cheeky design. Collections offer fun and vibrant digitally printed underwear teamed with lacy bralettes, whilst paying careful attention to bring water pollution almost down to zero. Need more? Naja employs women of underdeveloped countries, paying them above market wages, providing health care, and providing school supplies, meals, uniforms and books to their children. And don’t you love their Oriental and…’feline’ prints? Meow!
This brand came up with the phrase ‘sexual alchemy for body movement visionaries’ and they’re darn good at expressing just that. Under The Root is a grungy lingerie label began with a need to create practical, ethical underwear for dancers and free thinkers characterized by slow design ethics and an aim to achieve sustainability in every step of the manufacturing process.
Lingerie classics like handmade silk pieces never go out of style. Ayten Gasson has firmly established a reputation for supporting its local UK industry since its inception in 2005. Usually made from upcycled vintage lace and organic peace silk, Gasson’s designs feature beautiful oriental motifs, acute attention to detail, and feel oh-so-good against your skin – and his!
Bondage harnesses, vegan leather finishings, bullet bras and slits that leave little to the imagination – this ethical, vegan lingerie label gets straight to the point! And that point is to awaken the senses with bespoke luxury lingerie while remaining absolutely sweatshop and animal free.
This sustainable luxury brand aims at supporting local artisan communities in Sri Lanka through celebrating their traditional crafts. Local hand woven silks and reclaimed luxury fabrics from factories certified as “Garments without Guilt” make up ultra sexy, firm architectural structures are simply brimming with seduction, providing that extra support to women both in and out of the bedroom.
All items in this collection by Lola & August are sassily sustainable. Made are locally in Toronto, Canada with 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton purchased from a family business in Texas, USA. All their organic fabric has either been dyed using low-impact fibre-reactive or natural dyes, with safe peroxide used for whitening.
Chantal is the girl behind Underneath My Silk, a thought catalogue on fashion, culture and style.
Follow her on Instagram here.