Buying sustainable lingerie is easier than you think
On Saturday evening, I indulged in a bit of window shopping at Midvalley mall while waiting for my husband Daniel to finish watching a movie. I walked past ‘sale’ signs at La Senza, Forever 21 and Mango without much emotion. This was a good sign, considering how much I was addicted to them before embarking on my sustainable fashion journey.
I even walked past Victoria’s Secret without so much as a glance at it, cognizant of the fact that it, along with La Senza, make pretty lingerie that are nowhere close to my definition of sustainable. However, I also realised that while I had the other aspects of my wardrobe covered, I need to address lingerie and sleepwear as well.
So what else is a woman to do but turn to that God of Search Engines known to many of us as Google? Which is exactly what I did and I was amazed at the number of ethical lingerie brands there are out there.
Here are six of my best finds:
I came upon this online Etsy store by chance while shopping for accessories on Etsy and was pleasantly surprised to find that Colie Co does custom orders too. According to its ‘About Us’ page on Etsy, Colie Co is “your online hub for ethical fashion hand made by the sea in Sagres, Portugal”. The brand says that “most fabrics are either recycled, re-used or reclaimed from old garments to factory waste with lots of vintage printed cottons and lace thrown in there too”. While there was no mention of workers on the page, one can hope that they are being treated and paid fairly.
Luva Huva (pronounced Lover Huva), is an ethical lingerie brand from the UK. In the brand’s own words, it “produces beautiful, handmade clothing using ethically sourced and sustainable fabrics wherever possible”. What I like about this brand is they are not afraid to use strong and vibrant colours, which is a refreshing change from other lingerie brands who use a lot of pastel colours and black.
You’ll be happy to know that Naja’s garment factory mostly employs single mothers or female heads of households where they are paid above market wages with healthcare benefits. The brand also uses digital printing which reduces water pollution and it says it uses fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles wherever possible. Special mention needs to be given to its Sparrow collection, which is both retro and modern.
Cute and sexy is how I’d describe the range of lingerie and sleepwear from Svala. The collections are made with viscose from bamboo and organic cotton and dyed using a low-impact process, according to the brand’s ‘About Us’ page. They also use surplus fabrics from factories and are clearly environmentally conscious (more on the brand’s Sustainability page).
Azura Bay is a Canadian website that curates lingerie, loungewear and swimwear brands. Its founder Ashley McIntosh says on the website: “I’ve chosen the most luxurious and stylish options for Azura Bay that also support your values: ethical production, local options, artisan & handmade production, Fair Trade and eco-friendly fabrics and production processes as much as possible.” If you read up on each brand featured on the website, you’ll find that is true. A good place to shop for different lingerie styles (although I will say my favourite brand is Only Hearts).
Between The Sheets
This American lingerie brand caught my attention with “Between the Sheets is committed to fair and legal labor and wage practices and is registered with the New York State Apparel Industry Taskforce. No sweatshops, no illegal labor, period.” I was really impressed with this, as well as the brand’s commitment to eco-friendly manufacturing processes. Plus, it has a good range of lingerie that doesn’t cost too much, when you consider the care that goes into making the collections. Definitely a website to revisit when I need to shop for lingerie.
There are many, many more ethical lingerie brands out there. If you’ve any favourites you’d like added to this list, drop me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy shopping!