31 sustainable underwear brands UK for every price point

31 sustainable underwear brands UK for every price point

Girl in sustainable underwear UK

Underwear is an essential that most of us simply can’t go without. But for the conscious consumer, finding sustainable (and stylish) underwear brands in the UK can seem a tricky task. From unsustainable materials, unethical practices to a product that doesn’t really work on the second-hand market, a guide to sustainable, ethical underwear is needed.

We give you a complete low down of the best brands available in the UK, from affordable sustainable underwear to the most expensive. And for the growing number of people interested in sustainable period underwear, we have you covered there too. 

It’s a small market

Sustainable fashion may be a growing sector, however, the lingerie market only accounts for 2.4% of the sustainable apparel industry. The small scale of the sustainable underwear market can mean that ethical consumers can have difficulties finding eco-friendly intimates.

However, as the unsustainable impact of the fashion sector continues to swell, making sustainable fashion choices, right down to the underwear we buy, helps to build a better and cleaner fashion industry.

Underwear turnover

While it is partly dependent on how often we wear our underwear and the quality of the materials used, most experts recommend that underwear be replaced every six to twelve months. Following these guidelines can lead to quite an underwear turnover rate, and increased clothing and fabric waste. This compounds our need to buy from ethical underwear brands.

Girl sitting in sustainable underwear UK
Lingerie only accounts for 2.4% of the sustainable apparel industry. Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

How Can Underwear be Sustainable and Ethical?

The principles of the wider sustainable and ethical fashion sector apply to the underwear market. The fabric that a pair of underwear is made from and the conditions they are made in all impact the ethical and sustainable credentials of the underwear you buy.

Due to underwear’s unique requirements, emphasis is often put on using materials that are both durable and comfortable. Popular fabrics include cotton, polyester and elastane and many of the fabrics we find in our underwear drawers are blends, mixing both natural materials and synthetic fibres. While this gives us a comfortable pair of pants, it makes recycling options limited and creates fabric that won’t biodegrade.

The limited end of life options for synthetics means that they can become significant contributors to fashion’s waste crisis. And, as synthetics shed microplastics with every wash, and underwear requires frequent washing, synthetic fabrics found in our favourite pair of underwear pose an added environmental harm.

Materials for Sustainable Underwear

While synthetic fibres and blends currently represent a significant portion of the underwear market, there are companies taking a more natural approach.

When looking for sustainable underwear look for natural fabrics such as organic cotton. Many sustainable underwear brands are also turning to other recycled or plant based materials such as biodegradable elastic, hemp, bamboo and TENCEL to create a more environmentally friendly product.

Sustainable Underwear Brands in the UK

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We have compiled this handy list of some of the best sustainable brands for when your underwear needs an update. All brands are available in the UK.

To make it easier to use, brands are listed in roughly price order. We highlight the starting price for knickers and (where available) bras for each brand, and the materials used. There is also a section with sustainable period underwear towards the end.

If you are looking to sustainably dispose of old underwear, check out our articles on the best ways to recycle underwear in the UK and where to donate your old bras. And for ethical underwear for men, have a look here.

Lingerie is a huge and growing market so buying sustainably has never been more important. Photo by Joe Ciciarelli on Unsplash

Affordable sustainable underwear

1.

Bam

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, China, Portugal, UK
Sustainability creds: Impact Positive commitment, sustainable packaging, natural materials

Knickers from: £8
Bras from: £20
Materials: Bamboo viscose, polyamide, elastane

Embracing the soft and sustainable nature of bamboo, BAM has become one of the bamboo specialists of the UK’s sustainable underwear brands. The company makes both men’s and women’s underwear, as well as a select range of bras in neutral and monochromatic shades.

Since the company began, BAM has always had a focus on sustainability and is working towards becoming impact positive.

2.

thought

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability creds: Member of Ethical Trading Initiative, Traid Recycling Program, GOTS certified, recycled fabrics

Knickers from: £9
Bras from: £14
Materials: Organic cotton, bamboo, recycled nylon

Thought’s ethical underwear range includes both muted tones and fun, patterned designs. The brand utilises materials such as organic cotton and bamboo and makes both men’s and women’s underwear styles.

Thought uses a good selection of organic materials in its product range and has taken steps to consider the end of the clothing lifecycle, with its Traid Recycling program partnership.

3.

people tree

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Nepal, Kenya, India, Bangladesh
Sustainability creds: Vegan, Fairtrade, Soil Association Organic, GOTS, partnered with Give Back Box

Knickers from: £11
Bras from: £18
Materials: Organic cotton, elastane

A well-known name in the sustainable sector, People Tree’s range of underwear and bras champions organic cotton and ethical supply chains. Having achieved a ‘Great’ rating on Good On You, the brand has a range of certifications to back up its ethical claims and offers an impressive level of supply chain transparency.

Girls of all sizes in sustainable underwear
Look out for brands that produce their underwear ethically. Photo by Roberto Hund from Pexels

4.

boody

Based: Australia    Ships to: Worldwide (UK stockists)
Sustainability creds: WRAP certified factories, PeTA Cruelty-Free, Certified B Corporation

Knickers from: £12
Bras from: £17
Materials: Nylon, bamboo viscose, elastane

Boody underwear is designed with comfort in mind and made from soft materials for maximum wearability. Bras and bralettes are made wire-free and styles are made from bamboo fabric.

Boody scores great points on the animal welfare front, with a PeTA accreditation. It has also made steps to ensure ethical supply chains. Sustainable materials, such as organic bamboo, take centre stage in the Boody range.

5.

y.o.u underwear

Based: UK    Ships to: International 
Made in: India
Sustainability creds: Fairtrade cotton, PETA-Approved vegan, B-Corp certified, recycling program, Buy 1 Give 2 Program

Knickers from: £12
Bras from: £28
Materials: Organic cotton, elastane

Y.O.U Underwear is classically stylish, sophisticated without being pretentious, and effortlessly sustainable. Having been included in Forbes, featured on Steph’s Packed Lunch and BBC Radio Oxford, the credentials of Y.O.U are just as impressive as its ethical business approach.

The brand ethically manufactures its products using sustainable and organic materials. It runs a recycling program to reduce fabric waste and hosts a buy one, give two program where for every participating purchase the brand donates to those in need.

A truly ethical underwear brand, a pair of Y.O.U underwear is the perfect addition to your underwear drawers. 

6.

nudea

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Portugal
Sustainability creds: Certified B Corporation, sustainable packaging, carbon neutral, charity donation program, bra recycling

Knickers from: £13
Bras from: £28
Materials: TENCEL, recycled microfibre, elastane, recycled nylon

Having only launched in 2019, these new kids on the block have already gained B-Corp certification. This UK brand’s range of sustainable underwear and bras are modern, chic and sustainable. Wanting us all to find the perfect fit, Nudea offers virtual bra fittings through the website.

By offering well-fitting quality products, Nudea reduces the need for re-purchasing due to incorrect sizing. They therefore encourage reduced consumption.

Girl on balcony in her lingerie
For the most part, we need comfortable underwear! Photo by MAX LIBERTINE on Unsplash

7.

Fruity Booty

Based: UK    Ships to: International 
Made in: Portugal and England
Sustainability creds: Participates in carbon off-setting, no single-use plastic policy, use of surplus fabric 

Knickers from: £15
Materials: Cotton

Fruity Booty is a sustainable underwear company based in the UK that is playful, sexy and sassy. The brand’s range of underwear and nightwear embraces bright colours and features cheeky styles with a touch of femininity in the details.

Committed to a sustainable tomorrow, Fruity Booty uses deadstock fabric from other UK organisations for 80% of its product needs, sourcing the remaining 20% from ethical suppliers. It engages with carbon-offsetting programs and has a no-single use plastic policy. So you can be sure your new Fruity Booty delight doesn’t cost the Earth.

8.

the hemp shop

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability creds: Vegan, plastic-free packaging, use of GOTS certified production facility

Knickers from: £15
Materials: Hemp, organic cotton, lycra

Featured as well in our hemp underwear article, the Hemp Shop makes both men’s and women’s underwear styles from sustainable hemp. The brand uses green energy suppliers and works with sustainable materials. It has taken steps to reduce waste and plastic pollution.

While the brand does use GOTS certified producers, more information on where and how its products are made would be beneficial.

9.

birdsong

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability creds: Handmade, ethical production, closed-loop bamboo fabric production, collaboration with ethical cooperatives, Oeko-Tex certified yarn

Made in: UK
Knickers from: £15
Materials: Bamboo, elastane, cotton

While Birdsong may have a very limited underwear range, it does adopt a highly sustainable slow fashion approach. The brand’s single underwear style is made in the UK in traced supply chains that pay living wages. Made from bamboo, these underwear are soft and comfortable to wear.

As Birdsong sources its bamboo fabric from suppliers that use closed-loop manufacturing systems, these underwear incorporate sustainable material. The fact that Birdsong has such a limited range also helps to avoid the overconsumption mindset common in the fashion sector.

Natural fabrics can be more environmentally friendly. Photo by Sora Shimazaki from Pexels

10.

stripe & stare

Based: UK    Ships to: International
Made in: China, Portugal, UK
Sustainability creds: Sustainable packaging, tree planting programs, works with charitable organisations

Knickers from: £15
Bras from: £25
Materials: TENCEL Micro Modal, elastane

With underwear, sleepwear and loungewear that is soft, sustainable and features feminine details, Stripe & Stare are sure to become a new everyday favourite.

Taking a comprehensive approach to sustainability, this innovative brand plants trees for every purchase. All products are made from TENCEL Modal and are biodegradable, helping to lower waste levels in the underwear sector.

Stripe & Stare are proving that underwear can be sustainable without losing its comfort or sacrificing those luxurious details.

11.

underdays

Based: UK    Ships to: International
Made in: Europe
Sustainability creds: OEKO-TEX certified products

Knickers from: £16
Materials:
Nylon, recycled nylon, elastane, bamboo

Underdays are the reliable, no frills but super stylish, comfortable, every day underwear we all need. Coming in a range or natural, muted or neutral colours, these pants are designed to maintain an elegant style while still being incredibly comfortable.

The brand works to give back, donating 1% of profits to a charity that works to provide education on menstrual health to asylum seekers, refugees and disadvantaged communities. Products are produced in ethical factories and are all OEKO-TEX certified.

Taking its commitment to sustainability even further, Underdays promotes the use of natural and recycled fibres in its products.

12.

urban kissed

Based: Europe    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: South Africa, Indonesia, Europe (brand dependant)
Sustainability creds: Carbon offsetting programs, Oeko- Tex certified products, GOTS certified products, Cradle to Cradle certified products

Knickers from: £16
Bras from: £25
Materials: Depends on brand but some include Pyratex, TENCEL Modal, recycled polyamide, elastane, organic cotton

A marketplace for ethical styles, Urban Kissed has a wide range of underwear to suit almost any personal taste. The range includes comfy briefs, lacy lingerie and much more made from a variety of sustainable materials

In a fashion world inundated with unsustainable brands, Urban Kissed provides a simplified and straightforward way to access ethical and sustainable labels. The marketplace includes features where style can be filtered by ethical and sustainable credentials, materials or practices.

Girl in red sustainable bra UK
Photo by Oleg Ivanov on Unsplash

13.

the nude label

Based: Spain   Ships to: International
Made in: Spain, Portugal, Germany
Sustainability creds: Vegan, GOTS certified cotton

Knickers from: £17
Bras from:
£24
Materials:
Organic cotton, elastane

Spanish brand The Nude Label creates an eclectic range of underwear that are comfy and colourful. Perfect for any animal lovers out there, the entire range is vegan and the brand uses eco-friendly materials. GOTS certified cotton is a common feature of this stylish underwear.

With underwear and swimwear styles for both men and women on offer, you can’t go wrong with some colourful new underwear from The Nude Label.

14.

knickey

Based: USA    Ships to: International
Made in: India
Sustainability creds: Climate Neutral certified, recycling program, GOTS certified suppliers, Fairtrade suppliers

Knickers from: £17
Bras from:
£48
Materials:
Organic cotton, elastane, nylon, Tencel, recycled nylon, polyester

Knickey is the champion of making quality underwear that boasts comfort without compromising on environmental sustainability. The brand’s range of mostly organic cotton underwear are made sustainably, with ethical manufacturing, and designed to always sport the perfect fit.

Knickey donates 1% of every purchase to non-profits. It runs an underwear recycling program to encourage a conscious consumer approach and reduce fabric waste. This impressive recycling program has already saved 500,000 items from landfill.

15.

girlfriend collective

Based: USA    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Taiwan, Vietnam
Sustainability creds: Use of recycled materials, recyclable through the ReGirlfriend program, SA8000 Certified factory

Knickers from: $18
Bras from: $28
Materials: Spandex, Recycled plastic water bottles (RPET)

One of the big players in activewear, it’s no surprise that Girlfriend Collective’s range of bras and underwear is designed with comfort and movement in mind. The brand’s range of styles incorporates everything from thongs to full coverage briefs, are breathable, comfortable, and include features such as bonded waistbands to keep them in place all day long.

Photo by Kristen Plastique on Unsplash

16.

pantee

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Bangladesh
Sustainability creds: 1% for the Planet, use of deadstock fabric, small batched and limited quantities manufacturing, sustainable packaging

Knickers from: £18
Bras from: £38
Materials: Cotton, elastane

All sustainable underwear from UK brand Pantee is made from deadstock fabric, supporting a circular fashion approach that reduces textile waste. The label creates a variety of bras and underwear, using both monochromatic palettes and more vibrant hues.

The brand is taking a proactive approach to improvement, identifying sustainability issues within its business and production model. It is working on plans to increase sustainability those areas identified.

17.

pico

Based: UK    Ships to: International
Made in: India
Sustainability creds: GOTS certified products, Fairtrade International certified

Knickers from: £18
Bras from: £34
Materials: Organic cotton, elastane

A sustainable UK underwear brand, Pico is the home of sustainable undergarments that can be worn day after day and are super comfortable.

Using a high percentage of GOTS-certified cotton, Pico garments are soft, simple and reliable. The pared-back approach of Pico creates a product that focuses on the simple details to make truly comfortable essentials that we all deserve.

18.

organic basics

Based: Denmark    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Portugal, Austria, Turkey, Italy, Scotland
Sustainability creds: PeTA Vegan Approved styles, use of sustainable materials, B-Corp certified, GRS certified, GOTS certified, 1% for the Planet

Knickers from: £20
Bras from: £24
Materials: Organic cotton, recycled nylon, TENCEL

A Danish addition to our roundup of UK sustainable underwear brands, Organic Basics specialises in ethically made, sustainable basics. The label’s range of underwear embraces a neutral colour palette and materials that are soft and comfortable for all-day wear.

Organic Basics includes sustainable materials in its collections, and shares information on the ethics in its supply chains. It also supports give-back programs through 1% for the Planet.

Photo by Viktoria Slowikowska from Pexels

More expensive styles

If your underwear drawer really needs an update and you want to splash out on some new styles, these ethical brands are worth a browse. 

While some of these brands do have some cheaper styles, the overall price range of these brands is higher. 

19.

heist

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, Italy
Sustainability creds: Use of recycled materials

Knickers from: £25
Bras from: £35
Materials: Micromodal, elastane, recycled nylon, polyamide, cotton – Recycled polyamide and recycled elastane in Sustainable Collection

The self-proclaimed maker of tights and underwear that stay in place all day, Heist has a range of quality bras, underwear, shapewear and tights on offer. The brand makes quality pieces, reducing the need for rapid replacement. It uses some recycled materials in its production.

Heist has made some sustainable steps. However, there is little evidence available through the brand’s webpage of extensive sustainable practices.

20.

honest basics

Based: Germany    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Bangladesh, India
Sustainability creds: GOTS certified, vegan, low waste packaging, climate neutral shipping

Knickers from: £25
Materials: Organic cotton, elastane

Made to be comfortable, no-fuss underwear, Honest Basics‘ underwear range is a limited, but a sustainable underwear option. The underwear has no internal labels to avoid irritation and is made primarily from sustainable organic cotton.

The label is refreshingly honest about both the successes and failures in its sustainability journey. Honest Basics is also taking steps to include more recycled materials in its products.

21.

understatement

Based: Sweden    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Europe
Sustainability creds: Eco-friendly packaging, use of econyl, works with organisations promoting women’s causes, no airbrushing commitment

Knickers from: £18
Bras from: £45
Materials: Econyl, cotton, elastane

Made by women for women, ethical underwear styles from Understatement take a conscious approach to design. The brand has everything from lacy lingerie to boy short underwear and its bra range even includes nursing and prosthetic styles.

Understatement has swapped polyamide for Econyl made from plastic bottles in its garment ranges and has adopted sustainable packaging. While there isn’t a lot of information on other environmental initiatives that Understatement is initiating, it is a company built on foundations of inclusivity in fashion.

Photo by Inciclo on Unsplash

22.

bluebella

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Turkey, China, Portugal, UK
Sustainability creds: EcoCart initiative, member of Sedex, eco-friendly collections, 95% of packaging is recyclable

Knickers from: £14
Bras from: £74
Materials: Recycled polyester

With strappy thongs and lacy bras, Bluebella has everything from everyday styles to sexy lingerie sets. The brand has made some steps towards sustainability. It works with EcoCart on carbon offsetting projects and has practices to reduce waste within the company.

However, there isn’t a lot of information on a wide range of specific policies or sustainable practices. While the company does use some recycled polyester, virgin synthetics are still quite extensively used throughout the range.

23.

baukjen

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Europe
Sustainability creds: B Corp certified, vegan styles, sustainable packaging

Knickers from: £19
Bras from: £32
Materials: Lyocell, elastane

Sustainable underwear from UK brand Baukjen comes in simple styles with an understated colour palette. The brand uses sustainable materials, primarily lyocell, in its underwear and bra range.

Baukjen states that it manufactures its underwear in Europe. However, more information on the supply chain would create a clearer picture of its overall ethics and sustainability practices.

24.

underprotection

Based: Denmark     Ships to: International 
Sustainability creds: OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, B-Corp certified, PETA approved vegan

Knickers from: Є35
Bras from: Є50
Materials: Organic cotton, recycled polyaminde, recycled elastane 

Danish brand Underprotection creates underwear and loungewear that embodies an understated elegance. Made from high-quality materials, including recycled and plant-based fabrics, the Underprotection range is luxurious without sacrificing comfort or durability.

Underprotection works with certified suppliers, with many holding WRAP, BSCI or Sedex certification meaning that their workers are ethically treated. It uses biodegradable packaging and promotes the use of sustainable materials and environmental protection throughout the supply chain.

Selection of sustainable underwear
Photo by Fahad Waseem on Unsplash

25.

nisa

Based: New Zealand    Ships to: International 
Made in: New Zealand
Sustainability creds: Participates in carbon offsetting, recycled packaging

Knickers from: NZ$35
Bras from:
NZ$79
Materials:
Organic cotton, elastane, spandex

With a focus on helping both people and the planet, Nisa creates simple, stylish basics. The brand’s range comes in a variety of colours and styles to suit any body shape or personal style. Believing that fashion can work for good, Nisa works with refugee and migrant communities in New Zealand providing employment opportunities.

This ethical underwear brand uses a high percentage of organic cotton that has been knitted in Australian Certified Organic mills.

26.

1 people

Based: Denmark    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Indonesia, India, China
Sustainability creds: Business For Planet program, GOTS, GRS, OEKO-TEX 100

Knickers from: $39
Bras from: $56
Materials: TENCEL Modal, spandex

With underwear designed to invoke feelings of empowerment, 1 People have created women’s underwear in a variety of colours and styles. The Danish label focuses strongly on sustainable materials, in particular Tencel Modal.

The brand is a strong supporter of the idea that businesses should work to help the planet. It has established its Business for the Planet program. This provides free educational content to entrepreneurs on responsible entrepreneurship practices.

27.

la fille d’o

Based: Belgium    Ships to: International 
Made in: Europe
Sustainability creds: Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified, repair service

Knickers from: Є105
Bras from: Є135

La fille d’O is a sustainable lingerie brand with attitude. Focusing on an avant-garde approach, it fearlessly pushes the boundaries of what modern lingerie should be. With a focus on neutral and monotone colours, this slow fashion brand makes underwear that is designed to last. This unusual brand works with the aim to empower and inspire. 

La fille d’O works to limit its overproduction risk by implementing a limited production model that focuses on only producing the number of items that are likely to be sold. 

Sexy bra with flowers
Photo by Nati Melnychuk on Unsplash

Sustainable period underwear 

For those looking to reduce single-use items in the feminine hygiene department, period underwear can be a great sustainable option. 

And it doesn’t only serve for time of the month. For leaks after having a baby or at any other time, this underwear is great!

28.

modibodi

Based: Australia    Ships to: Worldwide
Sustainability creds: Give back projects, Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex tested, recycled and natural materials

Knickers from: £14
Bras from: £32
Materials: Recycled nylon, bamboo, Merino wool, organic cotton

Specialising in sustainable period pants, Modibodi focuses on natural materials to create eco-friendly underwear. The label has a range of products to suit a variety of personal preferences and requirements. As well as period underwear, the Modibodi range has grown to include bras, men’s, women’s and kids’ everyday underwear styles

Modibodi could improve by publishing more information or implementing projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain. However, it is helping to reduce single-use products in the women’s hygiene market.

29.

flux

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: China
Sustainability creds: PeTA Approved Vegan, certified factories, give back schemes, recycled and recyclable packaging, Oeko-Tex certified materials

Knickers/pads from: £10
Materials: TENCEL Modal, nylon, elastane, cotton

Making sustainable period underwear, Flux has everything from thongs to briefs that are vegan-approved. The brand prides itself on creating eco-friendly styles that are leakproof and comfortable for all day wear. The brand also has reusable pads on offer.

With disposable feminine hygiene products accounting for exorbitant waste levels, Flux is providing an eco-friendlier alternative.

30.

wuka

Based: UK    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: China
Sustainability creds: Carbon Neutral product, BCI, GOTS, PeTA Approved Vegan, Oeko-Tex, plastic-free packaging

Knickers from: £10
Materials: Organic cotton, Tencel Modal, recycled nylon

Supporting the belief that periods shouldn’t cost the Earth, WUKA creates quality period underwear. Working with sustainable materials and ethical supply chains, the UK sustainable underwear brand is on a mission to make sustainable lifestyles accessible to all.

Wuka has a variety of certifications to back up its claims and offers social initiatives such as NHS discounts as well.

31.

woron

Based: Denmark    Ships to: Worldwide
Made in: Hungary, Germany, Italy, Turkey
Sustainability creds: Use of GOTS certified cotton, non-toxic dyes, PeTA Approved Vegan products

Knickers from: £19
Bras from: £36
Materials: Modal, elastane, polyester, polyamide, polyeurathane, Lenzing MicroModal, organic cotton

With bras, everyday underwear and period pants available, Woron underwear is designed to be an everyday essential that feels and looks good. The brand’s range includes a variety of eco-friendly fabrics and supports slow fashion principles.

While Woron does use materials such as polyamide and polyurethane, it is providing a more sustainable alternative to feminine hygiene products than its disposable counterparts. 

An Ethical Tomorrow

Underwear is something that is often overlooked in the sustainable fashion sector. However, with the global women’s lingerie market expected to grow to over $78 billion by 2027, improving the sustainability of this essential sector is vital.

Steps we can all take, such as buying underwear made from natural and recycled materials and supporting sustainable underwear brands in the UK, all helps to build a cleaner future for this essential industry.

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