What lies beneath: 11 of our favourite ethical underwear brands this spring

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Looking for organic cotton pants, boxers, socks that are sustainable or even bras that do better for the planet? We have just the thing for you this month. Here are our favourite ethical underwear brands for men and women

Georgina Wilson-Powell 17 February 2019


I’m often asked what ‘being sustainable’ really means. The answer is complex, diverse and subjective but I love looking at how other brands interpret it as they design and make awesome clothes. 

Each of our underwear brands in this feature approach the sustainability issue in a different way - from minimising waste to upcycling to creating handmade pants in a Yorkshire factory powered by the sun (I’m not joking). What’s almost more important is that there’s something here for everyone - guy, girl, either or neither. 

We’ve partnered with BuyMeOnce on this feature because they also encapsulate this diverse but better for the planet philosophy. While we need different solutions to solve climate change, buying less and buying for the long-term is an easy swap and something we can all take part in. 

Read on, ethical underwear loving people...what you wear next to your skin matters. Let’s feel good about it.

11 of our favourite ethical underwear brands this spring

Swedish Stockings

If you wear tights, you’ll know the winter anguish of tights with the endless toe holes, ladders and the fact you start of with five pairs in November and end up in February with one. If, like us, you want to stop buying tights, Swedish Stockings are an amazing find. 

They make tights that last. You might roll your eyes but these guys are smashing it. Zero waste, renewable energy powered factories, recycled nylon waste turned into tights that you’ll have for years. Plus send them any of your old inferior ripped tights and they’ll give you money off your next Swedish Stockings purchase. Oh and there are tons of style options from solid block colours to delicate lace.

Ethical Undies Swedish Stockings

Never buy tights again with Swedish Stockings

Darn Tough

Darn Tough have been road-tested in the mountains of Vermont and these guys aren’t messing around when they say their natural fibre socks last. Their socks are made of premium merino wool, which means they’re naturally antibacterial and moisture wicking. Choose between hiking or lifestyle socks for guys and girls, there’s no slippage, no seam and the brand guarantee their socks for life. It’s time for your socks to step up.

Ethical Undies Darn Tough

How well do your socks fare on a hike?

Organic Basics

Organic Basics make organic cotton underwear for men and women that just do things better. Their starter packs of trios of briefs or activewear bras and pants make things like boring underwear shopping a little easier. Organic Basics is a Danish brand is continually working on better factories and processes so think GOTS certified organic cotton, timeless Scandi design made in fairly paid Turkish factories that reduce waste, water and energy.

Ethical Undies Organic Basics

Get all Danish with your pants

YOU underwear

Buy one for you, one for someone else. We know and love this model but YOU is the first brand we’ve seen it with ethical underwear. Shop for men and women’s pants made of 100% Fairtrade, organic cotton complete with sewn in positive messaging. There are a range of styles in black and tan colours, and each purchase gives a pair to someone in need through charity Smalls For All.

Ethical Undies You

Buy one pair and give one pair to someone in need with YOU


Social enterprise, AmaElla, makes organic and ethical lingerie that’s soft, sweet and gorgeous. It’s British and Portuguese suppliers employ and train women in new skills, creating long lasting lingerie from GOTS certified organic cotton. There are no chemicals or toxins used in dying, even the prints are made from water based inks. And it’s so pretty. Think delicate thongs, sexy bras and cute pyjama short sets - and not a scrap of cheap Victoria’s Secret style lace in sight.

Ethical Undies Amaella

Sustainable can also be sexy, as AmaElla proves with its sumptuous organic cotton collection


Boody make bloody good pants - there I’ve said it. Their secret weapon are the bamboo fibres which are created into men’s and women’s sustainable pants (and an activewear range). Their super soft, comfy pants are thermoregulating and breathable and what’s more seem to last and last and last. They’ll become your favourite eco-friendly pants in no time.

Ethical Undies Boody

Boody create super soft ethical pants from bamboo

People Tree

People Tree are like the ethical version of M&S. You know you’re going to get good quality basics that last from them. Their sustainable underwear (mostly pants but also bras and socks) are made of 95% organic cotton and a bit of elastane (that’s the bit that holds it all up) and have one of the most robust, ethical supply chains out there. Good value, daily life undies.

Ethical Undies People Rree

For Fairtrade and fairly made undies, check out People Tree

Jade Rozenbroek

Over the last few months we’ve seen an explosion in men’s pants - so to speak. Boxers are becoming the new way to show off your erm, eco-credentials. Rozenbroek sits more at the luxury end with its handmade, organic cotton men’s boxers. These guys certainly tick all of our boxes - they’re made to order to cut down on overconsumption, made by a team of Yorkshire artisans in a solar powered factory. And they’ll repair or recycle to complete the design circle.

Ethical Undies Rozenbrook

Ask yourself, where were your boxers made?

Lara Intimates

It’s not just boxers that are minimising waste. Lara Intimates takes a different approach to combat textile waste. Their beautiful zero waste bras are made by a team of London based female seamstresses that use up the end of luxury fabric rolls which are otherwise dumped. They focus on making bras that actually fit and you can pop by their studio for a bra fitting.

Ethical Undies Lara Intimates

Fall in love with a sustainable bra made from surplus material


There really is a sustainable men's underwear revolution brewing. ‘Ohe are a new menswear brand that create soft boxers from bamboo, which makes these pants anti-static, anti-fungal, breathable. Stylish, plastic free packaging makes them feel like a luxury purchase even though the pricing is more high street.

Ethical Undies Ohe

Purchase plastic free pants from 'Ohe.

Arvin Goods

We’ve fallen for Arvin Good’s huge range of hard working activewear socks that have become our go-to gym, running and exploring socks. Arvin use recycled fibres to create their socks and reckon they’re the cleanest on the planet. Their claim is supported by the fact they use minimal water, create minimal waste and don’t use any toxic dyes. What’s more these are rugged, close fitting socks that keep toes cosy in winter, choose from four lengths and any number of colours.

Ethical Undies Arvin

Arvin Goods's socks rock at keeping your toes tip top and they're good for the planet too

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