Let’s be brief.
Sustainable underwear is an essential part of your wardrobe both for your body and for the planet.
Not to understate the matter, but most underwear these days is made entirely of either toxic synthetic fabrics or conventional cotton—you know, the crop that’s dirtier than week-old undies…
Whether you’re looking for panties, simple boxers, or a new bra, these ethical underwear brands have you covered without the negative impact.
A Quick Look Inside Our Sustainable Underwear Drawer
Fair Trade underwear and basics brand Pact makes soft and breathable organic cotton ethical underwear that’s gentle on your nethers and the planet.
Subset tackles the problem of what to do with old undies with a recycling program that keeps them out of landfill.
Plastic-free and wire-free, The Very Good Bra lives up to its name with supportive bras made from organic cotton and other compostable materials.
What you wear next to your skin matters. The most sustainable brands look after your health and the planet by creating underwear that’s non-toxic, breathable, biodegradable, and ethically made.
Read on to find our favorite eco-friendly underwear, or shimmy down to the bottom to discover how we chose them.
Our Curated List Of The Best Ethical Underwear
Price Range | $14–$84 | Shop Pact
Materials | Pact’s affordable ethical underwear is made with a blend of GOTS-certified opganic cotton and a blend of elastane for stretch and comfort.
What We Love | Pact believes people and the planet come first in fashion. They’re certified Fair Trade and carbon-neutral, and make exclusively certified organic cotton underwear.
Pact’s Ethical Cotton Underwear
Pact peddles both boxers and bikini briefs, tights, and trunks, and they’re on a mission to get the rest of the world to cotton on to why sustainable cotton underwear rocks.
Certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard, Pact’s fair trade and organic cotton underwear use no toxic chemicals and 62% less energy than non-organic versions.
Their Everyday Classic Bikini Fit underwear for women is made with soft, breathable organic cotton and comes in a choice of colorways from black to blue.
We personally wear and love the low waste brief which is ultra comfy, a little bit sexy and importantly, passes the no wedge test (even when running).
Carbon Goals & Achievements | In partnership with SimpliZero, Pact measures the impact of every product and offsets it through reforestation, renewable energy, and community projects.
Supply Chain | All Pact’s underwear is made in a certified Fair Trade factory based in India. They guarantee all clothing is sweatshop-free and child-labor-free.
Pay It Forward | Pact donates your gently used clothes to nonprofits that need them through their Give Back Box Program.
Price Range | $18–$62 | Shop Subset
Materials | Subset’s undies are made from 100% certified organic cotton certified by Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) with elastane and nylon.
What We Love | What to do with old underwear? Subset has solved the problem by partnering with SuperCircle to turn recycled underwear into new materials. They take bras, panties, socks, and more, plus you earn $15 off your next Subset order.
Subset’s Fair Trade Underwear
Subset (formerly Knickey) has gained a cult following for its ethical cotton underwear for everyday wear. Find everything from high-rise briefs for women to men’s boxers and maternity bras.
If you’re not a thong fan, the Organic Cotton Low-Rise Thong may change your tune.
Designed for non-thong lovers, they have an ultra-low waist and a slim profile on the hip to give you ‘barely-there’ comfort.
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Subset is certified Climate Neutral, which means they offset all emissions through verified environmental projects.
Supply Chain | The brand is transparent about its supply chain, from the farm that grows its organic cotton to the Fair Trade factories in India.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | They have an inclusive range of underwear sizes, from 2XS to 3XL.
Pay It Forward | Their staff do regular volunteer days to help with projects in their local community in New York City.
Price Range | $20–$125 | Shop TomboyX
Materials | The brand uses OEKO-TEX-certified organic cotton with spandex to make their underwear. Some of their period underwear contains polyester.
What We Love | TomboyX is a queer-founded brand that advocates for their LGBTQ+ community. They make the best sustainable underwear and apparel inclusive and accessible for all.
TomboyX’s Sustainable Underwear
TomboyX makes ethical underwear that’s comfortable no matter where you sit on the size or gender spectrum.
You won’t find fussy lace here or pokey underwires. Instead, they offer rib high-waisted bikini styles, boy shorts, boxers and thongs. Boobs are covered too, with compression tops, bra tanks, and adjustable bralettes.
We love their range of sustainable period underwear, which allows you to feel like yourself while providing leakproof support. Choose from eco-friendly bikini cuts, boy shorts, trunks, or boxer briefs.
Carbon Goals & Achievements | The brand is working with a sustainability consultant to help them reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Supply Chain | Most of TomboyX’s suppliers are certified by WRAP and the Fair Labor Association. The Certified B Corp also visits the factories they work with.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | The female-founded company has a c-suite comprising 80% women, and 39% of their overall team identifies as LGBTQ and/or minority.
Price Range | $33–$59 | Shop Understatement
Materials | Understatement’s sustainable women’s underwear contains materials like recycled nylon, recycled lace, polyamide, elastane, and 100% cotton gussets. These gussets are conventional cotton, but their loungewear features organic cotton.
What We Love | Understatement underwear is made for women by women. The Swedish female-founded brand is on a mission to empower every woman they impact, from their garment workers to their charity partners.
Understatement ‘s Ethical Cotton Underwear
If you’re looking for ethical lingerie brands, check out Understatement.
Their underwear collection is designed to provide luxurious comfort while celebrating your every curve. Shop by style, including high-waisted panties and thongs, or browse by how much butt you like to bare. They also sell ethical period underwear.
Promising to be a new wardrobe favorite, Understatement’s Lace Highwaist Briefs are ultra-flattering with a choice of nine colors.
We chose to test these specifically for their more modest design, that still features transparent sexy lace side and cheeky coverage, with a scalloped-edge that compliments the shape of your cheeks.
These panties are invisible under clothing, too.
Supply Chain | Understatement works with ethical European and Turkish manufacturing partners that are experts in underwear. All factories must adhere to their Code of Conduct, and they visit them regularly to ensure fair working conditions.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | The brand is female-founded, and 70% of their staff identify as women. They don’t airbrush any of the models in their photos, as their underwear is designed to embrace every curve.
Pay It Forward | Understatement supports women’s initiatives and organizations, from breast cancer awareness to refuge shelters. They’ve also set up their Make a Statement funding accelerator program for female entrepreneurs.
5. The Very Good Bra
Price Range | $24–$59 | Shop The Very Good Bra
Materials | The Very Good Bra’s clothing is 100% plant-based and plastic-free. They use organic cotton, TENCEL, and elastics made from natural tree rubber. Their dyes are GOTS-approved too.
What We Love | This Australian underwear brand was founded with a mission to create the world’s first plastic-free bra. They’ve since grown to include compostable underwear and eco-lingerie with not a scrap of post-consumer waste left behind.
The Very Good Bra’s Compostable Underwear
Make ill-fitting bras and pokey underwires a thing of the past with The Very Good Bra.
One of the best sustainable bra brands, they make eco-friendly bras that are plastic-free, biodegradable, and supportive without painful straps and wires. You can shop for organic underwear here too.
Better still, you can find your perfect fit with their virtual bra fitter.
Everyone needs an everyday black bra you can count on, and the brand’s hero Very Good Bra is here to take that responsibility.
The super-soft, wire-free bra made from certified cotton is comfortable, flattering and supports chests from 30C to 38E.
The Very Good Bra’s Sustainability
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Not a carbon goal, per se, but Stephanie, TVGB’s founder, is single-handedly working to pioneer Australia’s first textile composting standard—which would be a huge game changer for reducing textile waste!
Supply Chain | The brand works with a small, family-owned factory in Portugal which follows a strict code of conduct for ethical practices.
Pay It Forward | Through their partnership with i=change, customers have the choice at checkout of three charities, to which they donate $1 on their behalf, post sale.
Price Range | $26–$150 | Shop MeUndies
Materials | MeUndies has found an alternative to cotton underwear with sustainable ethical underwear from MircoModal, a fabric sourced from beechwood. A small percentage of elastane is added for extra stretch and comfort.
What We Love | MeUndies is on a mission to make affordable, ethical underwear inclusive for everyone.
MeUndies’ Eco Underwear
Ethical underwear for men and women is made affordable (and matching) at MeUndies.
Choose between cheeky briefs, boyshorts, trunks, boxers, and thongs – for men too, yes – and play around with colors, patterns, and fit to find the perfect pair for you.
All undies are made from breathable materials that are static-resistant and super supportive.
If you need enough eco underwear to see you through the week, MeUndies offers three, six, or a ten-pack of boxer briefs. If you can’t find a pack you like, you can customize your own too.
Supply Chain | MeUndies works with factories in Los Angeles, Turkey, Sri Lanka, China and Guatemala. All factories are vetted to ensure they meet strict ethical standards.
Price Range | $24–$45 | Shop ColieCo
Materials | ColieCo makes ethical women’s underwear from sustainable TENCEL, RPET recycled polyester, bamboo silk and reclaimed mesh from nylon and elastane.
What We Love | Taking the production process into their own hands, ColieCo manufactures all products in-house. If you can’t find underwear that fits, you can get them custom-made.
ColieCo’s Ethical Cotton Underwear
One of our favorite sustainable lingerie brands, ColieCo creates unique underwear that’s designed to reflect your personality.
Swap grey and beige for briefs in bright block colors, comfy matching bras, and edgy eco-lingerie.
The MIDNIGHT mesh side wrap panties give a new lease of life to reclaimed mesh while adding a touch of vintage glam.
Their eye-catching side straps are fully adjustable for comfort in mind and add a super flattering shape to match. Go bright with turquoise, or keep it classic in black.
Supply Chain | All ColieCo underwear is made in-house by a small team in Sagres, Portugal. The brand has created its own code of ethics, and they use certified ethical suppliers.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | The brand ensures all workers, stakeholders, and customers are respected and valued regardless of their background or characteristics.
8. Organic Basics
Price Range | $10–$100 | Shop Organic Basics
Materials | Organic Basics uses a range of sustainable materials, including organic cotton, OEKO-TEX certified TENCEL™ lyocell, and recycled nylon throughout their sustainable underwear range.
What We Love | Certified B Corp Organic Basics meets the highest social and environmental performance and transparency standards. They publish an annual impact report to hold themselves accountable.
Organic Basics’ Sustainable and Recycled Underwear
Organic Basics makes certified organic cotton sustainable underwear for women and men.
Their starter packs include trios of briefs and activewear bras + bottoms.
Get full coverage for the everyday with their CoreShorty mid-rise boy shorts made with organic cotton. They’re soft and breathable with single-jersey fabric and a logo waistband for extra flexibility.
Organic Basics’ Sustainability
Carbon Goals & Achievements | Organic Basics offsets their carbon emissions by shipping through One Carbon World.
Supply Chain | The brand is transparent about every part of their manufacturing process. You can find stories from their garment workers on their website.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | Their range includes sizes from XXS to XXL.
Pay It forward | Organic Basics has partnered with Beam Impact to donate to conservation and social justice high-impact causes that are important to the brand.
Price Range | $20–$75 | Shop Pantee
Materials | Pantee’s sustainable materials consist of a combination of recycled deadstock fabrics, including cotton, organic cotton, and elastane.
What We Love | Transparency has been a core value of Pantee since the beginning. They’re transparent about every part of their manufacturing process and work with partners that share their ethical values.
Pantee’s Sustaianble Underwear
Pantee is a figure-hugging, sustainable, ethical underwear brand made from reworked t-shirts keeping them out of landfill.
Selling a selection of bras and briefs with a great variety of sizes, boosting self-confidence and comfy style, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.
Simple yet flattering, Pantee’s low-rise bikini brief has a cheeky fit without baring too much butt. They’re soft, breathable, comfortable, and made from deadstock fabric. An all-round winner in our books!
Supply Chain | Pantee’s underwear is made at ISYG in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They’re ethically made by garment workers paid above the average living wage.
Pay It Forward | As 1% For The Planet members, Pantee donates 1% of all revenue to environmental organizations. They also plant one tree per order.
How Did We Choose The Best Ethical Underwear Brands?
What is sustainable underwear? For instance, is bamboo underwear ethical? What about conventional cotton?
While there is no set approach to sustainable and ethical fashion, we like to see intimates brands make a conscious effort to do and be better.
To help us separate clean underwear from dirty laundry, we’ve created a set of criteria that takes a holistic view of sustainable clothing brands to see how they match up.
Fabrics & Materials:
What is the most sustainable material for underwear?
Underwear can be more complicated than other ethical fashion products as it has contact with many intimate and sensitive parts of the human body.
Not only does it need to be durable and long-lasting, but also comfortable, safe, non-toxic, and protective.
Ideally, we like to see eco-friendly underwear featuring natural materials like organic cotton, hemp, and closed-loop bamboo or lyocell.
Not only are they biodegradable, but are made using far less toxic chemicals than, say, conventional cotton production.
What is the alternative to cotton underwear? Semi synthetics like modal are silky smooth and make luxurious undies.
Carbon Goals & Achievements:
The global fashion industry has one of the biggest carbon footprints, responsible for around 10% of greenhouse gas emissions.
And just because underwear are some of the smallest fashion garments around doesn’t mean their impact is equally small.
We want to see brands take steps not only to offset their emissions but also reduce the amount they produce.
Responsible underwear brands should be aware of their impact on the people who make their clothes.
Transparency is the first step towards sustainability, so we want to see sustainable underwear brands be accountable for their supply chains.
They should actively ensure all factories meet a strict code of conduct and workers are paid a fair wage.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:
We all need comfortable, healthy underwear no matter who we are. Sustainable brands should try to accommodate different customers with inclusive sizing and marketing and/or affordable price points.
Pay It Forward:
Supporting charity initiatives isn’t essential for small underwear brands, as we know it can be expensive. Still, it’s nice to see brands help to make the world and their local communities better places for all.
Closing Thoughts On Sustainable Underwear Brands
Fast fashion is often associated with the rampant cycle of clothing trends, and even your underwear drawer isn’t safe.
Those cheap packs of ten panties or stack of boxers you grab in passing aren’t made to last. It’s not surprising when it’s recommended that you replace your undies every six to 12 months.
Fast fashion underwear is made using petroleum-based materials or non-organic cotton. Once they reach the end of their lifespan, they can’t be donated, and very few can be recycled, so they end up finding their way to landfill.
Sustainable underwear brands consider the lifespan of their panties, boxers, and bras by making them out of biodegradable, plant-based materials.
Natural fabrics like organic cotton are much healthier for your nether regions too, as they’re breathable and free from harmful chemicals.
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