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Fashion, Life & Style

Womens Ethical Underwear for 2018

organic basics ethical underwear

I last wrote about women’s ethical underwear back in 2013, in the infancy of Moral Fibres, where I lamented the lack of brands, the lack of bras available that went beyond a C cup, and the lack of underwiring.  I felt that ethical bra makers seemed to think that anyone interested in ethical bras must be some kind of size 6 or 8 yoga nymph that need nothing more than two lacy triangles for support.

I recently revisited that post and sadly found that half of the brands featured had ceased trading, so I thought it was long overdue for a look into the women’s ethical underwear realm.   I wanted to find out if there are more brands out there, and crucially, if any of them had realised that women interested in ethical underwear want a wider size range and some might want underwire.

Here’s where we are in 2018:

womens ethical underwear guide

All Undone

All Undone make contemporary designer underwear, all of which are manufactured entirely in the UK using a blend of silk, mesh and lace.  Their bras come in back sizes 28 through to 34, and cup sizes D through to GG, with matching knickers available for the matchy-matchy look.

Anekdot

anekdot ethical underwear for ladies

Anekdot make stylish underwear designed and handmade in Berlin using materials sourced from production leftovers, end of lines, off-cuts, deadstock and vintage trimmings.  The team hunts down fabrics from factories that are closing down, makers surpluses, production errors or miscalculations. The materials have never been worn but make for truly zero-waste ethical underwear.  Underwire free, in sizes XS to XL, my only gripe is I can’t figure out how the sizing relates to UK sizes.

Ayten Gasson

Ayten Gasson sell luxury silk underwear (including peace silk), all designed and handmade in the UK.  The company is also dedicated to supporting as many UK companies as possible, from lace mills to printers.  Sizes go up to a 36D for full cup or non-padded underwired bras, and matching knickers are available too.

Buttress & Snatch

Buttress and Snatch burlesque and bridal lingerie is custom made, to order, in their Hackney workshop, and buy all of their materials from UK suppliers, and actively seek to minimise waste.  Buttress and Snatch have made underwear for famous ladies of all shapes and sizes – Madonna, Kate Moss, Beth Ditto, Neneh Cherry, Kate Upton, and even for Marilyn Monroe (in her waxwork form).

Bra sizes range from 28D to 42E and they seem to cater for the curvier lady.  As with anything custom made prices aren’t cheap but if you are curvy and looking for something extra special then this is the place for you.

Ciel

Ciel only use environmentally and ethically produced fabrics & production throughout the design and making process of their beautiful underwear.  From sustainable rapid growth textiles, such as lyocel and hemp, and organic natural fibres, certified by Control Union and GOTS, to recycled fabrics from post-production and post-consumer waste.

They specialise in pretty Liberty print knickers but also sell soft fabric yoga bras – in size 8 and 10 only.

ColieCo

womens ethical underwear uk

ColieCo sell very sexy lingerie, all made by hand in Portugal, using recycled, reused and reclaimed fabrics, and using only biodegradable and recyclable packaging.  Sizes for their soft and underwired bras range from 30B t0 36DD, but ColieCo do take requests for custom sizes, and prices are very reasonable for handmade underwear.

Kinky Knickers

Kinky Knickers specialise in, well, knickers but do sell soft bralets.  Knickers cost around £12, and every item is designed and made in their Manchester factory.

Lara Intimates

ethical underwear for women

Lara Intimates create beautiful underwear from their Soho factory, made from reclaimed and luxury surplus fabric from large factories or brands.  Even the elastics and packaging are made in England with eco-friendly practices.  Sizes range from a 28A to a 36F, and I personally love that all of the models used aren’t all size 8.  They even sell ethical nursing bras.

Luva Huva

Luva Huva sell stunning ethical lingerie, handmade in the UK.  Luva Huva use local suppliers and producers where possible, as well as using remnants, vintage fabrics, and end-of-line fabrics and trims.

Natural fabrics, such as bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, soy, and tencel are prioritised.   And Luva Huva are always happy to create made to measure garments to fit any body, so custom sizing is always free of charge.

Martha Rose

martha rose ethical womens underwear

Martha Rose sell very sweet British made lingerie. Their underwired bras go up to 36D and their knickers go up to size 14.  My one gripe is that a size 10-12 is classed as a medium and a size 12-14 is classed as large, which isn’t particularly body positive.

Neon Moon

Neon Moon sells a range of body-positive sexy knickers and unwired bras in sizes from XS through to XXL.  They say all their products are made sustainably by hand, although there are no further details on what being made sustainably means, and all of the products I clicked on do seem to be made predominantly from polyester.

Nui Ami

Nui Ami doesn’t do underwire, and instead, sell beautiful ‘sleep bralettes’, which is a cross between a bra and a vest.  The bralettes do go up to a 38/40 E-F cup, and are designed for sleeping in so I don’t know how much support one would give you.  All their products are made in Britain using materials sourced from Europe.

Organic Basics

organic basics ethical underwear

Organic Basics pride themselves on selling, well, sustainable basics fairly made in Europe from GOTS certified organic cotton.  They offer basic colours, timeless styles, and no seasonal collections to minimise wastage.  With a range of sizes from XS to XL, they cover a range of shapes and sizes.  Prices are also very reasonable – a pack of two knickers is £27 and a bra is a reasonable £30.

The caveat?  If you’re looking for underwire in your bra then perhaps Organic Basics isn’t the place for you.  Organic Basics call underwire “annoying” (although Organic Basics was created by four men…!), so I’m not too sure how much support the bra would offer anyone above a C cup.

Peau Ethique

Peau Ethique, available in the UK through ByNature, produce bras, pants, and nightwear made fairly from 100% organic cotton and silk.  It’s a good stop if you are looking for something lacy and glamorous, rather than some of the more basic styles that can be available ethically.

The best bit?  Peau Ethique does offer ethical underwired bras made from organic cotton, at competitive prices – all £25 or less.  The downside?  ByNature only offer very limited sizes, and I’ve seen nothing beyond a 32C.

Rossell

Rossell make luxury underwear made from natural fibres, made in Europe from European made materials.  The knickers are beautiful, as are the bras, although all bras are underwire-free and only go up to a 34D.

Thunderpants

The cheekily named Thunderpants promise the ultimate in comfortable pants that won’t go up your bum.  Made from 90% organic cotton, they offer two styles – original (BIG pants) and hipster, these pants are big on comfort.

Woron

Woron offers sustainable vegan underwear that is Okotex certified.  With a range of sizing from XS through to XL, again there’s no underwire here, and few styles look supportive for ladies of the larger chest.  Pants are offered in basic styles in 4 colourways, and look very comfortable.

That’s a bit of a whistlestop tour of the women’s ethical underwear landscape in 2018 – a bit more exciting than the 2013 landscape, I’m sure you’ll agree!  As always, if you come across any other women’s ethical underwear makers/shops then do let me know in the comments below!

Fashion, Life & Style

Five Places to Shop for Secondhand Clothes Online

where to shop secondhand clothes online

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where to shop secondhand clothes online

A common theme in any discussion about ethical shopping and ethical fashion is that it’s far too expensive for the average person to shop ethically.  I won’t lie, ethical clothing does tend to be more expensive than it’s fast fashion, mass-produced counterparts, and there is simply no getting around the fact that if you want to buy ethically produced and fairly made clothing that respects the rights of the garment workers then you do need to spend a little more.

However, if you want to shop ethically on a tiny budget then don’t forget that the single most ethical and sustainable way to buy clothes is to shop secondhand.

If rummaging around a charity shop doesn’t sound appealing to you, or you’re too time poor to amble around your local charity shops, then there are heaps of ways to shop for preloved secondhand clothes online.  Here are five to start you off:

shop secondhand online

eBay

Ahh, eBay*, my old favourite.  I’m sure everyone knows what eBay is and does, but perhaps you haven’t used it yet.

eBay can be a veritable goldmine for secondhand clothes online, and anything you could ever want or need is on eBay.  To be honest, most of my online secondhand shopping, nay, most of my wardrobe has come from eBay.  It’s the first place I look when I’m in need of something, and a lot of times I don’t need to look any further than eBay.  It can be a little overwhelming for beginners so see my top eBay buying tips here.

I do have a few eBay niggles: photography quality can vary, and item specifics can be scant, depending on the seller.  Many sellers don’t offer a returns service, and you can only combine postage if you are buying multiple items from the same seller.  In the last few years, it also feels like eBay has become awash with brand new clothing direct from China, so you do have to be on your toes.  That being said, you can pick up some great bargains if you’re prepared to search and come back when the auction is ending to bid.

Oxfam Online

Want to shop secondhand but still support a charity?  Yes, you can shop Oxfam online*!  From women’s clothing and accessories, to mens, kids, and vintage clothes, everything that you can find in your local Oxfam shop is online.

Easy to navigate, you can filter by category, size, brand, price, colour, and condition.  So much so, I personally find things are easier to find on the Oxfam website rather than in-store!

Unlike eBay, where the photography can be hit or miss depending on the seller, everything on Oxfam is photographed well, from multiple angles, so you can get a clear view of your potential purchase.

Items are reasonably priced (although I feel a little more expensive than in store), and delivery is just £3.95, no matter how many items you order.  For extra peace of mind, returns are free, and you get the added bonus that your purchase is supporting a good cause.

Oxfam is also offering Moral Fibres readers 10% off donated and Sourced by Oxfam goods on the Oxfam online website until 19th June 2018.  Use the code OXMF10 at the checkout.  Please note this can only be used online, and not in your local charity shop.  For the full terms and conditions please see here.

Depop

Depop is new to me and I haven’t made a purchase yet, but I have spent a little while browsing the app, and I must save I have been enjoying its Instagram-meets-eBay style format.

What I do like about Depop for buying secondhand clothes online is that if you find something you like you can buy it straight away.  None of this having to remember to come back at a specific time on a specific day to bid, like with eBay.  With Depop’s fixed-price format you also know how much something is, which can make it easier to budget.  That being said, I think you are more likely to get a bargain with the eBay auction style format compared to Depop’s fixed price model.

I initially found it harder to find what I was looking for on Depop as the search function isn’t great.  Unlike eBay, sellers are allowed to use other brand names in their listing so trying to find an item from a specific brand via the search function can be quite tricky.  I found I was having to wade through a load of items until I happened to find the specific brand I was looking for.  Then I found the filter (on the search screen), which allows you to filter your search results based on category, size, brand and price.  This makes for a much better Depop experience!

Depop doesn’t encourage sellers to list item specifics so there is very limited information available – you will need to message sellers to find out what the item is made of, for example.

Vinted

Vinted is a new-ish site where you buy, sell and swap clothes, shoes, and accessories online.  It’s broadly similar to Depop, in that’s it a fixed price format, however, unlike eBay and Depop, where sellers pay to sell, on Vinted, buyers pay to buy.  Buyers pay a service fee of 3% to 8% of the item’s price, plus a “fixed fee” of 3op to 80p on top of their purchase.  Why the “fixed fee” is variable is something I don’t understand!

Vinted say that all buyer fees are clearly visible at the checkout, so there are no nasty surprises, and this fee covers payment processing and protection for your order, in-app postage options and tracking, and support from the Vinted team in case anything goes wrong.

I’m not too sure I’m a fan of the pay to buy format, and I dislike the sliding fee scale, which is only visible come checkout time (making it hard to budget as you are browsing) so I personally haven’t purchased from Vinted yet.

ASOS Vintage

If vintage is your bag then try ASOS Vintage* where you can browse thousands of quality vintage items for men and women.  You can filter by size, colour, style and material to hone down on a specific item.  Items are very well photographed, on actual models, which is something I always appreciate in order to anticipate how it might look on me!

When buying on ASOS vintage you do buy from individual sellers, so you will have to pay shipping on each individual item unless you buy from a single seller.

Have you shopped on any of these sites?  Would you recommend them?  Or have you shopped elsewhere for secondhand clothes online?  I’d love to hear!