Sustainably-Made Lingerie (and How To Find A Bra That Fits)

June 29, 2021

Sustainably-Made Lingerie and How To Find A Bra That Fits

Struggling to find well-fitting underwear that's comfortable, pretty, and sustainable is more difficult than it should be. Lots of people are wearing the wrong bra size, and that's not because they don't know what their real size is. Brands use different sizing systems, fitters use different measuring systems, and some sizes literally aren't catered for.

Disappointingly, many sustainable brands only offer a XS-XL range with the largest size being a D cup. I noticed a lack of under bust and bust measurements too leaving you unsure of whether the bra will fit, let alone be comfortable to wear. A recommendation to go with your "usual size" because the lingerie is made "true to size" isn't very helpful. Brands take note, please!

Thankfully there are some amazing brands who are making cute and comfortable underwear from sustainable fabrics in a great range of sizes. I found them to be reasonably priced in comparison to high street brands. Although you'll certainly find underwear cheaper from fast fashion brands, you won't find they cater to size or pay as much attention to comfort as the independent sustainable brands do. If you're able to, it's worth paying a little more (and we really are talking a small amount more) for more comfortable, responsibly-made underthings that will last you a lot longer.

The best brands to buy from are the ones that offer a fit finder, provide measurements, and have tailored their lingerie for different cup sizes. Beija London, Cavalier, and Lara Intimates were the best out of the sustainable UK lingerie brands I found.

I ordered the Lara Intimates Wren Bra and Cavalier Jersey Triangle Bralette. I was also gifted a Magi the Label Bralette. These are my thoughts on the style and sustainability of each one with more recommendations on where to shop for sustainable bras.



Cavalier

My initial order was for two Jersey Triangle Bralettes (one black, one white) and the moment I tried them on, I purchased another set along with a set of Cheeky Briefs. They arrived shockingly fast in minimal, recyclable and compostable packaging. Definitely my top choice for a 'wear everyday with everything' underwear set. It's plain yet cute, and incredibly comfortable.

Cavalier make their underwear using micro modal - a 'breathable, form-fitting fabric made from sustainably grown beech trees.' The trees are harvested in Europe and turned into yarn using 95% less chemicals than cotton, 20 times less water, and less land to grow. The fabric it produces is super soft, breathable, and sweat-wicking. There are no underwires yet the supportive band is more than adequate, and the bralette has a seamless design with no tags for ultimate comfort. Sizing is limited (only going up to an E cup) but for those of us in the smaller cup range the fit is perfect. Cavalier provide bust and under bust measurements in both centimeters and inches so you can see exactly which size will fit you best.

Even better, they offer a range of men's underwear. Something a lot of sustainable brands overlook. I highly recommend Cavalier if you're looking for a generously sized supportive bralette for every day wear, or sustainably-made men's underwear. If you click on this referral link, you'll receive 20% off your first order.



Lara Intimates

Lara Intimates offers one of the largest ranges of bras, from sizes 26A-36GG, in two styles. Although they lack variety, they make up for it in design. Both the Ava and Wren bras have been designed to provide more support for larger sizes with a side sling and centre panel that smaller cups don't require. So even though there are no under-wires, there's plenty of support.

The main fabric used in Lara Intimates lingerie is nylon with all briefs being lined with 100% cotton. Nylon isn't typically a sustainable material and one I'd usually avoid. However, Lara Intimates sources deadstock fabric to make their range of underwear from. They also have a zero-waste policy for dealing with offcut materials. The components are responsibly-sourced and the packaging is made by eco-friendly suppliers. The garments are made in a London-factory by an all-female team.

It's important to double check you're ordering the right size and Lara Intimated has a bra size calculator to help you do that. I plugged my measurements in and ordered the recommended size. It's perfect. The band isn't tight, the straps don't dig in, and the wireless cups feel supportive. The only thing I will say is that the nylon Lara Intimates uses isn't as comfortable as Cavalier's micro modal fabric but it is a prettier bra.



Magi the Label

Magi the Label kindly gifted me one of their hemp-cotton sets. I chose the charcoal bralette and bikini briefs. Sizing goes from XS to XXL with a size chart including measurements and how to take them. The garments are made from a hemp-cotton blend that is both soft and durable. It shouldn't fray or lose it's shape, and only gets softer with each wash. Magi the Label provide details on where their fabric comes from and who makes their garments so you know you're making a responsible purchase.

Due to the hemp-cotton blend, Magi the Label's bralettes have some that makes the fit more forgiving. They suggest you can size down for a tighter fit or up for a looser one. I went with the best choice for my measurements and found the fit to be true to size. I land right in between one size's measurements meaning there's a little wiggle room, which has made this set ideal for lounging around the house in. Follow their sizing advice and garment measurements, and you should end up with the perfect fit. But if you discover your order isn't quite right, Magi the Label offer free returns and easy exchanges.



Sustainably-Made Lingerie and How To Find A Bra That Fits


Sustainably-Made Lingerie


UK

  • Bamboo Clothing
  • Beija London
  • Brighton Lace
  • Cavalier
  • Lara Intimates
  • Luva you
  • Magi the Label
  • Neon Moon
  • Molke
  • Luva Huva
  • People Tree
  • Pico
  • Thought
  • Thunder Pants

    EU

  • A-dam
  • Aikyou
  • Anek
  • Baserang
  • ColieCo
  • Nude
  • La Fille Do
  • Organic Basics
  • Organic Lingerie
  • Saint Basics
  • Two Thirds
  • Under Protection
  • Vatter
  • Woron

    US + CA

  • Araks
  • Azura Bay
  • Between The Sheets
  • Blue Canoe
  • Boody
  • Brook There
  • Clare Bare
  • Eco Intimates
  • Everlane
  • Free Label
  • Jonesy
  • Knickey
  • Mary Young
  • Miakoda
  • Naja
  • Only Hearts
  • Pansy
  • Proclaim
  • Style Saint
  • Third Love
  • Uye Surana
  • Wama Underwear
  • Wear Pact

    AU + NZ

  • Hara the Label
  • Jackfruit
  • Kat The Label
  • Nico
  • Nisa
  • Vege Threads
  • The Very Good Bra


    How To Find Your Bra Size


    To find out what cup and band size you are, you can take your your own measurements at home. Take a tape measure and measure directly under your bust, holding the tape loosely. This is your under bust measurement and band size. Measure your bust by measuring around the largest part of your breasts. This will be your cup size. For both measurements, make sure to keep the tape measure parallel with the ground.

    If your measurements are odd numbers or half an inch either way, you should take more measurements to find out what size would suit you best. This guide to bra measurements will take you through the process. It requires quite a few measurements but you'll end up with the perfect fit. If your bust and under bust measurements are even round numbers, you can find your size with this bra size calculator. I found it to be perfectly accurate.




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