back to basics: ethical underwear

Discussing underwear really isn’t something that I thought I’d be doing when I started my blog but here I am, discussing underwear. I’ve never really been interested in ‘nice looking underwear’ but my friends have been slowly trying to transform my opinion of such, likewise with my desire to find ethical, yet affordable lingerie.

When thinking about buying ethical clothing, the conversation about buying underwear ethically is quite often overlooked. For me, and for a long time, I had a large preconception that it was just incredibly expensive, especially due to the fact that when you’re buying clothing there is a greater scope to go to charity shops or Depop. But there’s no way that I’m buying second-hand underwear. So, the quest began to find decently priced ethical underwear. Underwear is such a personal thing which is why part of me feels a little uncomfortable about writing about it or posting it on my blog or Instagram. But it is so integral to making you feel comfortable and good about what you’re wearing.

I started with scouting out brands on Instagram like The Nude Label and Pansy (a very aesthetically pleasing website but as their pieces are made in America not the most affordable). I was really about finding out about the material the underwear is made out of, the price, whether it is a UK based brand or not (as often the underwear I liked the most happened to be from the USA or Australia). A little ironic seeing as the underwear brands I’ve actually bought  from are based outside the UK, in Europe. The more I looked, the more brands I found so it was hard to whittle it down to a few of my favourites – but I’ve also narrowed it down to some of the most affordable I’ve found. It was after a sale on The Nude Label’s website that I decided to buy a few of their hipster briefs, made from organic cotton. They’re a brand based in Spain so shipping was €8, although not too extortionate. The pieces are made in a family-run factory in Valencia and value the transparency of their garments. Underwear should feel good and it’s even better to know the root of where it has come from.

When exam season hit this year I had a desire to buy some ‘feel good’ underwear, as well as the need to buy a few more pairs for when I go on holiday in the summer. Underprotection had a sale, and so I took advantage and bought a bra and a few briefs. They’re a Danish Brand based in Copenhagen, using sustainable materials such as recycled polyester and recycled wool, one of the briefs I bought was satin made from 100% bamboo. Bamboo can be incredibly sustainable due to the fast growing nature of it as a crop, although this still depends on how it is farmed, I recently read a concise post about the sustainability of Bamboo on Good On You, like most materials, the origins do matter. The shipping isn’t the cheapest but buying from the sale definitely made it cheaper, I did a post on ethical sales a while ago and I think with underwear it is the perfect opportunity to save when you can. The brand also sell loungewear and swimwear that isn’t too expensive as well.

Organic Basics are a brand I’ve been following for a while and when they reached out to me I was over the moon. I cannot tell you how comfortable their underwear is. Like wow. The black triangle bra* literally makes me feel so good and as it is black it can certainly double up as a bikini top if you don’t get it wet. The transparency on their website has to be applauded and I have finally have a pair of briefs that don’t have a pant line which is proof that if you have good undergarments it makes the outfit a little bit more put together (as well as the main thing which is being comfortable and making you feel great). The organic cotton range uses GOTS certified organic cotton, and the cheeky briefs* are made from 82% recycled nylon. Beyond their underwear range, Organic Basics also sell basic tees and sportswear suitable for light sports. All their ranges are basic in shade range but in my opinion they’re so much more than basic underwear, I genuinely feel good when I wear the pieces.

There are, however, quite a few brands that I haven’t tried but that sell some gorgeous underwear:

  • People Tree and Thought Clothing sell a small(ish) yet hugely affordable range of underwear on their website. Out of all the brands in this post, People Tree are definitely the most affordable underwear I think I’ve found and their options are very sweet.
  • Although not necessarily underwear, Swedish Stockings stock a range of tights and socks. They’re not the cheapest but I think with garments like socks, you can buy a pair that will last you years. Since I started trying to buy more ethically, I haven’t actually bought a pair of socks, but when I need to I know where to look.
  • Brighton Lace – WOW their bralets are absolutely stunning. I was going to buy one after exams but I need to save the money for trips over summer etc. so it may have to be a post exam results treat?!
  • Luva Huva – sell underwear which is similar in style to Underprotection, handmade in the U.K Their sales are very good, which again is something to bear in mind if you’re only buying undergarments every once in a while.
  • Woron Store – are a Danish brand but are stocked by a lot of U.K stockists and are similar to the basic, streamlined style of Organic Basics or The Nude Label. They also sell socks and swimwear.

Personally, I found buying ethical underwear an attainable change to my wardrobe, it just took me a while to find underwear that was both nice and affordable. In fact, a lot of the brands I’ve mentioned can often by the same price or even cheaper than their fast-fashion equivalent and so if you wanted to buy something new that was also ethical then underwear is a good place to start! With underwear as well, a few quality basics is all you may need and so if you’re worried about spending more on something ethical, you know that you’re going to wear undergarments day in day out – making the purchase seem more worthwhile. I bought some pants from The Nude Label just over a year ago and they’re still like new, without stretching at all. This is in comparison to my older briefs that barely lasted a year. My only qualm is that a lot of the brands don’t stock underwired bras so if you’re slightly bustier this may be a problem. Needless to say, I am always on the hunt for new ethical brands so if I do find some affordable ones that do then I shall add them to this post as time goes on.

If you have any other recommendations of ethical underwear, please comment down below and I can add this to the post as time goes on!

Lots of love, eleanor xx

3 Comments

  1. Katie Hunter 7th July 2019 at 11:26 am

    Ah Eleanor, these are stunning. I am such a sucker for exam/revision/essay treats lmao. My answer to expensive ethnical/sustainable clothing but hatred of commercialism is to just not buy anything and rewear what I have in new ways. Generally very effective, but for underwear, just can’t really be done… so will 100% be checking these out!!! I hope youre having the best summer xox

    Reply
  2. Izzy McLeod 7th July 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Ah cute! I really need to buy new underwear and take the plunge to finally switch to ethical but I am anxious about buying online!

    The Quirky Queer

    Reply
  3. Dalal Tahira 11th July 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I love the look of all these brands, especially the Nude Label- I’ve just scrolled through their website and their bras look so soft and slippy (does that make sense) I also love that they’re a small Spanish brand. I usually just bypass a bra during the summer but these options look wonderful and surprisingly more affordable than I expected. I hope your summer is going well- let me know if you’re ever up in London!

    Dalal xx
    dalaltahira.com

    Reply

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