Looking for the best women’s ethical underwear for 2023? Read on, I’ve found over 15 sustainable and eco-friendly bra and knicker brands that might just fit the bill.
I first started writing about ethical women’s underwear, in 2013, way back in the infancy of Moral Fibres. I remember lamenting about the lack of brands, the lack of bras available that went beyond a C cup, and the lack of underwiring. Plus, I felt that bra makers seemed to think that anyone interested in ethical bras must need nothing more than two lacy triangles for support. It was a woeful picture.
Thankfully, as time has gone on, things have started to change. There is now a whole host of sustainable brands out there now catering to a range of different sizes, and offering a whole lot more support than ever before.
Guide to Women’s Ethical Underwear Brands
To help you out, I’ve rounded up the best ethical and sustainable women’s underwear brands out there right now – offering beautiful bras and knickers that are kind to the planet, whilst offering the support you need.
Use the quick links below to navigate to the sections about each brand, or keep scrolling for the full post:
Whilst reading through this guide, you might want to have a look at this post on what to look for when shopping for ethical clothing. It covers topics such as what fabrics to look for and explains what all the different eco-labels mean.
Price: £15 – £28
Size range: XS – 3XL
Available directly from Allbirds
Its inclusively-sized briefs, thongs, and shorts are made from a blend of sustainable Tencel and mulesing-free merino wool. This makes for a silky-smooth fit that feels barely there. The breathable materials help to wick moisture away, keep you comfortable all day, and help to minimise odour. Meanwhile, the silky-soft seams prevent irritation.
As well as knickers, Allbirds does offer a non-underwired bralette that offers everyday support.
Allbirds says that offering a carefully curated product range fit for all seasons, means that it can maintain a small, tight-knit supply chain.
Price: From £11.95
Size range: XS – 4XL
Available directly from Boody
All Boody garments are made from organically grown bamboo and are produced adhering to the highest standards for both the planet and its workers.
In fact, Boody is certified as both Ecocert Approved – which guarantees Boody meets the best environmentally friendly and socially conscious practices – and is PETA-approved vegan.
Boody is also a certified B-Corp. This means the brand has been independently verified as meeting high standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and accountability.
With inclusive sizing available on some styles, going up to 4XL, these super soft, highly functional, and unfussy designs are perfect if you’re looking for plain pattern-free women’s ethical underwear. With midi briefs, full briefs, boyleg briefs, Brazillian bikinis, hipster bikinis, G-strings, and high-cut bikinis, there is something for every preference.
A range of non-wired bras is also available – from seamless bras to sports bras and shaper bras.
Take 15% off your first order when you sign up for Boody’s mailing list.
Size range: 28A – 38F
Available directly from Pantee
Pantee is an ethical underwear brand, that launched in November 2020, with the aim of tackling textile waste in the fashion industry.
Catering for bra sizes 28A to 38F, Pantee upcycles unsold t-shirts that have been left unworn and are destined for landfill, into soft and supportive underwire-free bras and briefs.
In case you are worried about support, each bra is double-layered for extra comfort and support.
Size range: 2XS – 6XL
Available directly from WUKA
WUKA’s size-inclusive knickers – available in bikini briefs or midi briefs – range in size from 2XS to 6XL. These are ethically made and are certified carbon-neutral and vegan-friendly.
What’s more, these ethical undies are made from Tencel modal.
Tencel is made from responsibly sourced wood pulp from carefully managed beech tree forests, which are FSC-certified to ensure sustainability. Read more in my guide to Tencel.
WUKA also sells a wire-free and unpadded bralette (pictured) in sizes XS to 2XL, in the same sustainable Tencel modal.
Use the exclusive discount code MFIBRES10 at the checkout to get 10% off all WUKA collections, excluding Basics.
Price: From £30+
Size range: 28B – 38F (custom sizing also available)
Available from ColieCo
ColieCo sells very sexy lingerie, all made by hand in Portugal, using only recycled, reused, and reclaimed fabrics.
All ColieCo products are produced in-house, in a safe, comfortable and discrimination-free working environment by highly skilled workers paid a fair and full living wage.
ColieCo manufactures its underwear to order and uses intelligent garment design and cutting processes. These processes help to keep textile waste to an absolute minimum.
Sizes for its soft and underwired bras range from 28B through to 38F. However, ColieCo does take requests for custom sizes if you need underwear outside that size range. I’d say that prices are very reasonable for handmade ethical women’s underwear.
Size range: 6 – 16
Available from Etsy
Brighton Lace is a UK-based all-woman team that specialises in feel-good, sustainable lingerie designed to make you feel wonderful.
Passionate about sustainability, Brighton Lace works solely with eco-friendly and rescued fabrics, in small batches, to create its limited-edition lingerie collections. From organic cotton to recycled lace, and even recycled cashmere, its ethical women’s underwear is designed to have the lowest possible impact on the planet.
Find non-underwired bralettes and knickers in various styles – from thongs to French knickers and everything in between.
Size range: XS – XL
Available from Content Beauty
Scandinavian sustainable lingerie brand Woron – available in the UK at Content Beauty – offers sustainable vegan underwear that is Oeko-Tex certified.
Woron’s range of soft and breathable, wire-free bras and knickers are offered in various styles in 4 different colourways.
Lenzing Modal is the material of choice for Woron. This is a fine and smooth fibre made from Beechwood that is produced in Europe in a sustainable closed-loop process and sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified sustainable forests. Meanwhile, all dyes are independently certified by Oeko-Tex 100 as being free from synthetic chemicals.
Price: £10 – £15
Size range: 8 – 14
Available directly from Rapanui
Ethical clothing brand Rapanui makes its clothing and underwear in the UK (on the Isle of Wight), using natural materials, in its factory which is powered by renewable energy.
Its products are made in demand, seconds after they are ordered, so there is no waste from excess stock.
What’s even more impressive is that every product made by Rapanui is designed from the start to be sent back when it is worn out. Once your undies reach the end of their life, send them back to Rapanui. Rapanui covers the postage, and it will recover and remanufacture the material into new products. Rapanui will also reward you with a coupon that you can use to save money on your next purchase.
With vegan-friendly bralettes and knickers ethically made from organic cotton – in four different colours – they’re sure to be undies that you turn to day after day. We just wish Rapanui could introduce more inclusive sizing options.
Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Rapanui mailing list.
Price: From £49+
Size range: 30A – 40E (custom sizes also available)
Available from Etsy
Luva Huva sells stunning ethical underwear for women, all handmade in the UK.
Its pretty range of knickers and non-underwired bras and bralettes are made using remnants, vintage fabrics, and end-of-line fabrics and trims sourced from local suppliers and producers where possible.
Natural fabrics, such as bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, soy, and Tencel are also prioritised. These materials are all specially selected for their softness and comfort.
What’s also to love is that Luva Huva is always happy to create made-to-measure garments to fit any size. This means custom sizing is always free of charge.
Price: £50 – £100
Size range: XS – XL
Available directly from Anekdot
Anekdot makes stylish ethical underwear for women – in sizes XS to XL – that are designed and handmade in Berlin using sustainable materials.
These are all sourced from production leftovers, end-of-lines, off-cuts, deadstock, and vintage trimmings.
To find these, the Anekdot team hunts down fabrics from factories that are closing down, makers’ surpluses, production errors, or miscalculations. This means the materials used have never been worn but make for truly zero-waste ethical underwear.
As well as using surplus fabrics as the main material for its products, Anekdot is committed to making the absolute most of these materials.
As such, Anekdot cuts around small defects and makes its patterns in a way that minimises off-cuts. Textile scraps from its production too small to use in any of its designs also get used in other projects – from making accessories, patchworks or filling pillows.
Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Anekdot newsletter.
Size range: 8 – 26
Available directly from Modibodi
Its range includes ethical breastfeeding bras, sweat-proof bras, and underpants for incontinence, pregnancy and perspiration. Modibodi also offers adaptive underwear for people with disabilities.
This female-founded brand uses fabrics such as GOTS-certified organic cotton. Meanwhile, its underwear is OKEO-TEX certified. This means that all of Modibodi’s products have been independently verified as being free from harmful substances.
For new customers, your order comes with a 60-day risk-free trial. This means if for whatever reason you are not happy with your Modibodi underwear, it can be returned even if you have worn it.
Get 10% off your first order when you sign up for the Modibodi newsletter.
Size range: XS – XL
Available directly from One Essentials
One Essentials was started in dismay at the options available when it came to shopping for ethical underwear. A cry of “How can we expect to make the world a better place if we can’t even get the f***ing basics right?” led its founder, Carrie, to want to do better.
As such One Essentials uses innovative materials to create products designed for maximum everyday comfort, but minimum impact on the planet.
Its fully traceable women’s underwear is ethically made with a blend of recycled cotton, organic cotton, and a pioneering biodegradable elastane, these super soft and stretchy knickers are ones that you’ll want to wear again and again.
A takeback scheme means that you can send your old Old Essentials pieces back for recycling, to avoid textile waste. No matter how holey, you’ll get 10% off your next condition every time you use the take-back scheme as a thank you for preventing more garments from going to landfill. Meanwhile 1% of every sale – not profits – goes towards textile cleanup initiatives.
Stripe & Stare
Price: from £18
Size range: 6 – 22
Available from Stripe & Stare
Stripe & Stare, a female-fronted certified B-Corp, make sustainable underwear designed for women who are too fun for frumpy underpants and too busy to wear anything uncomfortable.
Made from sustainable Tencel, its supersoft knickers are available in plain neutrals, or bold colours and fun prints in a wide range of styles. Think original knickers, high-rise pants, Brazilian knickers, thongs, unisex boxers, and multipacks.
Meanwhile, Stripe & Stare’s B-Edit is also the world-first collection of 100% compostable lace knickers. Using the latest in sustainable fibre technology, Stripe & Stare has combined Tencel fibres (wood), Seacell (seaweed) and biodegradable elastane to create fully home-compostable underwear.
What’s also to love is that Stripe & Stare plants a tree with every order placed, in collaboration with Ecologi. So your pants made from trees grow more trees!
Sign up for the Stripe & Stare newsletter for 10% off your first order.
Price: from £12
Size range: 4 – 28 plus custom sizing available
Available from Etsy
Want to add some fun to your underwear drawer? Then head straight to Sprout Organic. Here you’ll find bras and knickers – all handmade in the UK in GOTS-Certified organic cotton – in a riot of bright and bold prints.
When it comes to inclusive sizing, Sprout Organic is in its own class. Its entire range of bras is made to measure. This means it can cater to any size. Plus, if you have any extra requirements, such as one cup a different size to the other, or require shorter or longer straps, then this can be accommodated at no extra charge. This doesn’t come at a premium – all of its bras cost just a reasonable £34.
There’s lots more to love about Sprout Organic. Sprout Organic strives to be as close to zero waste as possible. All fabric scraps are repurposed or recycled, and all its parcels are sent out in fully recyclable packaging
Women’s Ethical Underwear Tips
That’s a bit of a whistle-stop tour of the women’s ethical underwear landscape in 2023. Whilst it is an improvement, there’s definitely still a long way to go in terms of underwire, inclusive sizing, and affordability.
Whilst you are here, I also have some ethical underwear tips for you! I have a guide to sustainable sports bras. I have a handy bra-fitting tip to make your bras last longer. And I have guides to underwear recycling, as well as a guide to bra recycling for charity that could be useful if you are currently updating your underwear drawer.
As always, if you come across any other women’s ethical underwear makers/shops then do let me know. I also aim to update this post regularly. So do check in next time you’re in the market for underwear, from new makers/shops that I’ve found!