40+ Sustainable Ethical Underwear Brands in Europe 2022

Do You Green Bra

Guilt-free undies, do they exist? Are they hideous? Are they expensive? Yes, no and it depends, in that order. Underwear is one of the things I don’t buy second hand. It’s not that I’d have an issue buying a lightly worn bra, it’s more that they’re just not available. Therefore I am always interested in sustainable ethical underwear brands.

As always the definition of ‘sustainable’ and ‘ethical’ is open to interpretation and I find my own definition changes are my knowledge and the market matures. Just remember, sometimes all we can do it make the least bad choice.

I’ve compiled a separate article on the sustainability / ethics of fabric types, which you can use to decide for yourself on your priorities on buying these most intimate garments.

When you’re ready to shop here are some companies that caught my eye in my search for sustainable, ethical, Europe-based underwear brands.

Nothing mentioned in this article has been sponsored. It’s all just my own personal opinion.

Sustainable Ethical Underwear Brands Sold in Ireland

eco underwear

Bon and Berg is an Austrian company with an Irish office that makes underwear from Lenzig Modal, in factories in Turkey which is audited by SMETA. They are also members of 1% for the planet. Their products are wrapped in compostable tissue paper and sent out in a compostable mailer bag, and their labels and stickers are also made from 100% compostable materials.

patagonia knickers

Patagonia is a high-street that makes thermal and normal underwear from recycled nylon printed with PVC- and phthalate-free inks. On their website they give details on how they work with factories and mills to ensure ethical work-practices, good working conditions and processes that are less harmful to the environment. They say they are particularly invested in protecting migrant workings and guarding against child labour and human trafficking. The company also gives 1% of their sales to support environmental organizations around the world. There is tons of information on the Patagonia website about the ethical and sustainable way they do business. I found the Environmental Assessment of Materials in Clothing particularly interesting. It talks about the reality behind some fabrics that are being sold as green.

woman wearing black briefs

Boody is an American brand of bamboo underwear that includes light-support bras, briefs, socks and leggings all made from rayon derived from bamboo. I’m not a huge fan of rayon clothing because the process of converting bamboo to fabric is generally very environmentally damaging but Boody use a close-looped system to make their bamboo fabric meaning that no chemicals or water leaves the system. They also use plant dyes and a computer based knitting system that produces no waste. The bamboo that they use is the only certified organic bamboo that I’ve come across on the market. Their bamboo is grown by the Hebei Jigao Chemical Fiber Company and grown in accordance with the international organic standard of OCIA / IFOAMand the USDA National Organic Program. The raw bamboo is also certified as organically grown by Ecocert. The final fabric is certified as being organic by The Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) and has been tested for toxic chemicals by the private company SGS.  Boody’s website claim that bamboo fibre (rayon) is biodegradable at the end of it’s life. My research has shown otherwise and I see no evidence of independent testing on their website to back this up.  The company says that it’s factories reach the gold standard for employee conditions as set out by the independent organisation WRAP, but it’s unclear as to whether this means they’ve been independently assessed as being so. Similarly Boody’s website does state that the production in their factories complies with ISO 14001 Regulations but doesn’t say if they’ve been accredited with the standard.You an buy their goods directly from the company or from UK based e-tailer U Organic or the Dublin based store Hopsack in Rathmines, Dublin 6.

Sloggi Underwear

Sloggi underwear is made from a blend of cotton, lycra, polyester or spandex and are made in accordance with Oeko-Tex Standard 100. They also have an unlimited guarantee on their Evernew garments. If their product does not deliver our quality promise, simply return it to them at any time for an exchange.

There are also a few Irish-based makers of made-to-order underwear including;

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E

Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

23 thoughts on “40+ Sustainable Ethical Underwear Brands in Europe 2022

  1. So comprehensive! Well done Elaine, bet that took some work putting it together.

    Jill

    On 31 Mar 2017 08:43, “living lightly in ireland” wrote:

    elainebutler posted: ” So guilt-free undies, do they exist? Are they hideous? Are they expensive? Well firstly i’m happy to report that they do exist and they’re not at all hideous (well most of them) and you seem to be able to get them for the same price as an average “

  2. Great post and thanks for sharing! I’m currently trying to find an ethical bra – underwear seems easy, but bras not so much! I’d like to add, Mighty Good Undie and Etiko are too brands that sell organic Fair Trade cotton undies. Both are Australian and I’m not sure if they sell worldwide, but I suspect that they do or at least that they intend to πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for those brand suggestions.I agree on finding ethical bras, especially underwire. They either cost a lot or are designed for model-like figures! Neither of which I have! Best of luck in your search.

  3. Wonderful research! Well don πŸ™‚ I wonder if Sloggi is really up to the other brands here though. They make no mention of their ethics on their website besides saying they are OEKO-TEX certified – which they don’t exactly shout about… I don’t feel very confident that they are making much of an effort to tread lightly in the fashion industry. It’s a shame. Because I quite like the look of their bras! Seems to be hard to find an ethical one that looks nice and will fit a D cup!

    1. Thanks. I do like a good bit of research πŸ™‚ I hear what you’re saying about Sloggi’s ethics but I suppose it comes down to a person’s preference s. I don’t tend to rank companies, just list the info and let the reader pick what suits them best. Totally hear you on the bra thing, I’m still looking. For the mo I’ve opted for inexpensive long-lasting cotton ones from a chain store and I use the money I save to invest in other sustainable products I need.

      1. That is a good way of looking at things if you can’t find a sustainable option that suits you πŸ™‚ it’s so baffling. I wish some serious laws would be passed to control the horrible fashion industry but I guess it just makes too much money!

  4. Thank you so much for doing all the hard work for us on ethical underwear. Absolutely brilliant post! Have bookmarked and shared link in plastic free groups on fb.

  5. Thanks so much for ti. I wanted to start getting better underwear and didn’t know where to start! Have you come across a Barcelona brand called twothirds? Apparently it’s almost all cotton and recycled fabric, made in Europe, and cute bras… But i wonder if there is more to it (I found it through Instagram and I don’t trust Instagram ads!) If you have any thoughts and would like to share please do! Thanks!

    1. Glad to be of help. I have heard of Two Thirds and I mention them in my article of clothing brands. I didn’t realise they did underwear too now. Will add them into this one too. Check out the other article for info on them. It should help you decide if they fit your values.

      1. Thanks Elaine! The hardest barrier when transitioning to more sustainable living is that you need to research for every new thing you need. It can get overwhelming! Your work is a huge help. Keep it up x

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