Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Boody #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Boody
Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Organic Basics #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics
Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Sokoloff Lingerie #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Sokoloff Lingerie

Sustainable & Ethical Underwear: 14 Eco-Conscious Options For Comfort Of Body & Mind

We all know textile trash is a massive problem.

We’ve certainly done our fair share of dwelling on the horrors of fast fashion, for example.

In fact, EcoWatch says the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries in the world. 

Butt (pun intended) since change starts at the bottom, it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear (no not edible underwear; this is not that kind of site!)…

Although if you are looking for something a little sexier, check out our article on ethical & sustainable lingerie.

And if you don’t have the time to browse all the briefs, Organic Basics and Pact both offer some of the most comfortable ethical underwear while ticking all the right boxes. WAMA is a new feature on our list and unique in that they claim to use the most sustainable fabric, a blend of organic hemp and organic cotton. 

Do scroll to the end of the article for more on what we looked for when researching sustainable underwear.

*This post contains affilate links


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Organic Basics #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics
About Organics Basics

Organics Basics don’t beat around the bush… “The fashion industry is a dirty bastard.”

What an opening…

This hilariously inspiring Danish company started making men’s undies but have since expanded to a range of organic clothing from women’s ethical underwear, sleepwear, eco friendly socks, sustainable leggings and much more.

Their goal is to end the poor life cycle of underwear.

According to these fashion fellows, “We think that buying poor quality, fast fashion is a lot like peeing your pants when you’re cold. It feels nice at first, but it’s not so good later on.”

Organics Basic’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Organic Basics uses primarily 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, which is sourced from Europe where the garments are also made. They also use TENCEL™ Lyocell and like most on this list, a small amount of elastane for stretch.

Otherwise, really cool stuff here! To make some of their garments long-lasting and in need of less frequent washing (washing and drying accounts for 2/3 of clothing’s environmental impact), they spin them with real sustainably-sourced silver.

Sounds scary, but this well-tested EPA and Reach Act-compliant and Oeko-Tex 100-certified silver thread is spun in mere trace amounts with USB and GOTS-certified organic cotton to create SilverTech.

What’s the benefit?

Other than the fact that you can say there’s silver in your skivvies, it’s heat-regulating anti-bacterial, and odor-controlling.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

OB definitely gets the award for workplace transparency.

You can check out an exact numerical breakdown (vacation days, hours worked, etc.) for every one of their factories.

They personally visit these factories regularly sit down with workers to ensure job condition satisfaction. Finally, they’re BSCI-compliant and a member of Sedex, a non-profit that empowers ethical supply chains.

Green business practices: 

Organic Basics offers (free!) carbon neutral shipping worldwide.

They purchase from some of the best carbon offset programs through Chooose to fund the Koru Wind Farm in Canakkale, Turkey (which is a UN verified CO2 reducing project).

For exact numbers, check out their published Impact Report. 


Sizes range a full XS-XL and OB use a wide range of models.

Community & charitable giving: 

Through the Organic Basics Fund, OB provides biannual grants to two environmental grassroots activists or organizations that submit proposals. See their past supported projects here.

Available: Organic Basics


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by WAMA #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by WAMA
About WAMA

WAMA is something of an underwear guru, with every basic cut and shape possible for men and women. 

Buy your skivvies either solo or in extra sustainable packs. 

And since they’re made of sustainable materials AND manufactured in ethical environments, you could say they’re a bit of a double WAMA-my.

Founded by Shakib Nassiri on Kickstarted in 2017, this Los Angeles brand has grown tremendously in three years with even bigger green growth on the horizon. They told us: 

“We are still a very tiny brand but as we grow we plan on working on many more sustainability initiatives like becoming a B Corp [and] offsetting carbon footprint with a one underwear purchased = one hemp tree planted initiative.”

WAMA‘s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  


WAMA underwear is a blend of 53% organic hemp, 44% GOTS organic cotton, and 3% spandex.

While hemp cannot actually be certified by GOTS (meaning no hemp brand in the world is fully GOTS-certified), it is still grown without chemicals and WAMA calls it “the world’s most sustainable fabric[…] to protect your privates, naturally!” – potentially the best sustainable underwear on this list?

Supply chain & labor practices: 

While still too small to boast any Fair Trade or WRAP accreditations, their Chinese factory is BSCI-certified and monitored for fair conditions by a team member permanently stationed there. 

They also have a supplier code of conduct for all entities, including the family-run hemp farms also in China.

Green business practices: 

WAMA ships using 100% recycled and recyclable poly mailers from EcoEnclose (which are also designed for reuse before recycling).  Larger 10 packs orders come in recycled cardboard boxes. 

Inside these bags or boxes, their sustainable underwear packs come wrapped in post-consumer & post industrial recycled content tissue paper (which is also fully compostable, save for the recycled paper logo sticker). 

While you may not be able to compost these stickers, they offer a take-back program to “consolidate and recycle the hard to recycle liner.”


With mens sizes ranging from S to 3XL, and women’s similarly from XS to 2XL, WAMA is fully inclusive, both in their sizing and their use of body inclusive models.

Available: WAMA


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Pact #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Pact
About Pact

Pact, based in Boulder, Colorado makes a variety of fair trade underwear from sports bras to bralettes (both padded and unpadded), to comfy undies.

They believe “you should never show your underwear…unless it makes a really good point”.

Pact’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Every product is mostly GOTS-certified organic cotton, specifically long staple cotton, which makes everything super soft. Their organic underwear also contains elastane, a far more eco-friendly provider of stretch than the standard spandex. No toxic dyes or pesticides.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

They are Fairtrade certified and employ water and energy efficient production methods, as per their latest impact statement. In fact, each product page specifies water saved in production of that one garment.


On their website, they show off their products on models of all shapes and sizes. Being comfortable in one’s own skin is a core part of their company values, which is why they started #justwearyou.

Available: Pact  


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Boody #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Boody
About Boody

Boody is an Australian company who create everyday essentials, designed with all-day comfort in mind: no clasps, underwire, or other pinchy components.

Boody’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Boody uses rayon made from organic bamboo, created using a closed loop process (so no chemicals used during processing are released into the environment). This bamboo is certified Oeko-Tex, ECOCERT, and PETA approved vegan.

Note that like pretty much all brands on this list (with the exception of The Very Good Bra), Boody also uses other synthetic fabrics in their products like nylon and spandex (which are not compostable).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

In terms of production, Boody’s objective is as follows: “maximizing positive outputs and minimizing negative ones through the entire supply chain”. They believe in equal opportunity employment, both in workers and customers.


Boody fits who you are, naturally”. Their goal is to create affordable ethical underwear because everybody should have a pair of eco intimates, which is why they employ a 4-installment afterpay program so cost and budget can’t stand in anyone’s way.

Community & charitable giving: 

Giving back is one of Boody’s 4 pillars of business, and they currently donate (either time, money, or products) to several different charities as well as being one of over 14,000 companies now participating in the 1% for the Planet program.

Available: Boody US  |  Boody Australia 


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Groceries Apparel #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Groceries Apparel
About Groceries Apparel

Shopping for fashion should be like shopping for groceries: complete with easy to read ingredients lists and nutrition labels. 

In the words are Groceries Apparel:

We are redefining transparency and human responsibility by supporting family farms, localized manufacturing, living wages, and Monsanto-free post-consumer ingredients. […] We are the future of our industry and we are here to create a demand for our values and would rather go out of business than compromise.”

Their line of ethical women’s underwear is made specifically for your top, with a host of organic bras and bralettes for just about every kind of activity.

Groceries Apparel‘s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  


Groceries Apparel bras are made of three different blends: 1) 90% Organic Cotton and 10% Spandex; 2) 92% Eucalyptus Tencel lyocell and 8% Thiuram and Caba-free spandex; and 3) 87% GMO-free Organic Cotton and 13% Thiuram, Caba-free spandex.  

While none are totally compostable thanks to the small amount of spandex, they are built to last.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

This brand is a Californian brand, through and through. Meaning they source only California-grown GOTS organic cotton, get 98% of their other materials from fellow Los Angeles vendors, and make their products in their own Californian factory.

All employees receive well above Californian minimum wage. 

They call themselves Seed to Skin certified – fitting! 


Groceries Apparel’s bras are available in sizes XS-XL.

Available: Groceries Apparel


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Everlane #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Everlane
About Everlane

Everlane is one of the top names in sustainable and ethical fashion.


Two words: radical transparency. That’s what Everlane sought to achieve upon founding in 2010. 

And while we may not want our underwear to be transparent, we sure want the processes behind making them to be so. 

Everlane delivers on this promise, time and time again, both with their large selection of sustainable panties, bras, and bodysuits, and with the rest of their substantial line.

Everlane‘s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  


Most of their ethical cotton underwear is made of an ultra soft barely-there feeling blend of 92% Supima cotton and 8% elastane. Supima cotton is similar to Pima cotton, but it comes from the USA.

It’s an extra-long staple fiber making it softer and far more durable than regular cotton, but it makes up less than 1% of cotton grown in the world. 

Everlane’s newest undies are from their ReNew range, made of 87% recycled nylon and 13% elastane. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Remember that whole “radical transparency” promise?  Everlane publishes the place of manufacturing (down to the factory itself) for every single item in their huge collection. 

Their site even has an interactive factory map that links to more info on each one, like their code of conduct and certifications.

Green business practices: 

 Everlane’s ReNew line, in which you can find some undies, is the product of the brand’s admirable (and necessary) goal to remove all virgin plastic from production by 2021. Soon, all their synthetics will be fully recycled ones!


As another great go-to for women of all shapes and sizes, Everlane’s underwear fit sizes XXS-XL. We looooove how they aren’t afraid to show the curves in their model images either. 

Community & charitable giving: 

The Thanksgiving season Black Friday Fund organized by this brand is a winner year after year. And the beneficiary of the contest?  Why, Mother Earth of course!

Everlane donates $15 for every order placed to Oceana to help in their fight to clean up the oceans.  Last year, they funded an entire year of Ocean projects by raising $300,000.

Available: Everlane


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Azura Bay #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Azura Bay
About Azura Bay

Although Azura Bay is not actually an independent fashion label, they are one of our favorite sustainable brands because they curate the most ethical underwear options (and more) from all the best brands out there.

So if you’re looking to find all the choices in one convenient place (that have already been vetted for sustainable fashion criteria), Azura Bay is it. 

Their selection of sustainable lingerie from a host of many great brands is epic, and their more basic underwear selection is just as impressive.

Azura Bay is based in Canada (shop the Canadian site here), but they also ship globally from their US site.  

Azura Bay‘s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  


Azura Bay hand picks only the most sustainable offerings from the most sustainable brands, meaning all their ethical underwear are going to be made of things like GOTS-certified organic cotton and TENCEL Lyocell. 

Their dressier, lingerie undies are made of recycled lace and other recycled synthetics. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Because they don’t manufacture anything themselves, they don’t have any factories to assess, but we can consider the brands that supply their products. 

Here, they choose only the most ethical brands with clearly defined sourcing policies and certifiably ethical manufacturing practices. 

The majority of the products they pick are made in strict labor law countries like the US, UK, or Canada, or in Fair Trade certified factories elsewhere.

Green business practices: 

All these boody-licious basics are shipped in basic materials, too (which is to say mostly biodegradable ones!). This includes recycled boxes, Better Packaging Co compostable mailers, and recycled tissue paper. The only non-compostable items are their EcoEnclose poly mailers, which are both recycled and recyclable.


Azura Bay is perhaps one of the most inclusive, plus-sized ethical fashion brands we’ve come across. Which is great for this category especially! Because everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their underwear.

They actually offer expanded sizes from the brands they carry and even do their own plus-size model photoshoots of the items so women of all shapes and sizes can see themselves while browsing. Pretty darn empowering.

Community & charitable giving: 

Azura donates a percentage of profits to Because I Am a GirlWorld Wildlife Fund, or the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Available: Azura Bay


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Reformation #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Reformation
About Reformation

From solid basics to flirtatiously transparent lacy numbers, Reformation has a selection of sustainable underwear and intimates that is small in all the right ways.

While there aren’t a ton of options, you can find some seriously cute thongs, cheeky panties, bras, and bralettes.

It’s tough to say which will make you feel sexier: your floor length Reformation dress with a split to the hip, or what’s underneath.

Reformation’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  


This fast fashion alternative uses mostly recycled synthetics (namely nylon, polyamide, and elastane), though they are sometimes blended with their virgin counterparts. 

The best options are their stretchy solid bralettes and panties made with TENCEL Lyocell derived from sustainably managed forests.

Since these fabrics are all either Bluesign or OEKO-TEX 100 certified and tested for many restricted substances, you can put them on with peace of mind. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

 Reformation manufactures 65% of their products in 32 self-owned factories in downtown Los Angeles. You can view more about them here or stop by for a tour if you’re in the area.

The remaining factories are located across Morocco, Turkey, and China. They hold these to the Global Social Compliance Programme’s (GSCP) Code of Conduct, as are their suppliers, which they rank in a Sustainable Partners Guidebook.

Green business practices: 

Being both water neutral and Climate Neutral since 2015 (though they’re just now getting their certification), Reformation is big on purchasing carbon offsets. So big, they even sell them and incentivise customers to switch to a wind energy in exchange for $100 store credit. 

Here they lead by example by having wind-powered Green Business certified office buildings.

That’s on top of other cool green movements like having impact counters on each product page, using biodegradable packaging, and having eco-friendly office supplies.

One last thing, they’re moving toward being more zero waste by joining the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment. In 2019, they set the goal to recirculate 500,000 garments by 2025 and less than a year after pledging, they’re way over halfway there!


Reformation isn’t the most inclusive, size-wise, as some of their stretchy items are only available in two sizes: S/M and M/L. Others come in XS-XL.

Community & charitable giving: 

Part of reforming the fashion industry means being out for more than just profit.  That’s why Reformation appropriately gives back to LA’s Tree People, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation,  ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and more.  

They even donate their time through company volunteer days and by providing each employee a paid day off to volunteer each month.

Available: Reformation


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by The Very Good Bra #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by The Very Good Bra
About The Very Good Bra

Don’t let the name fool you: they make very good ethical panties and sleepwear, too (all of which are compostable underwear!).

After creator Stephanie Devine’s breast cancer diagnosis, she sought to make non-toxic bras actually good for breasts and launched a 2018 wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.

The claim to make the “only zero waste bra out there in proper bra sizes”. So far they’re the only zero waste underwear brand we’re aware of!

The Very Good Bra’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Australian-made with a combination of wood-based TENCEL fibers, organic tree rubber, and organic cotton elastic. Every component (soy ink labels to special organic cotton hooks) is 100% biodegradable.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Lots of transparency about their suppliers, right from the Kickstarter. They ship in entirely compostable mailers, mostly through Australia’s Sendle, a carbon-neutral company.


These bras come in 24 proper sizes available to fit a range of breasts, butts, and bodies!

Available: The Very Good Bra


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Sokoloff Lingerie #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Sokoloff Lingerie
About Sokoloff Lingerie

Canadian based brand, Sokoloff makes a partly recycled underwear line of bras, bralettes, underwear, lingerie, sleepwear, and some really unique pieces, like bodysuits! 

The company motto is still, “because… there is no planet B”:

Sokoloff Lingerie’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


They use primarily three fabrics: organic cotton (the lining of every panty), recycled spandex, and Oeko-Tex-certified bamboo. We especially love the look of their Responsible Sourcing Collection, which are made only of recycled materials (so no underwire in the bras).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

They are careful to choose suppliers who are conscious of their water and energy consumption.

Most their products are made and dyed (under Quebec’s strict environmental standards) right in Montreal, but they did recently start working with a new carefully selected Peruvian manufacturing partner.


Again, a lot of diversity in the models on their website.

Community & charitable giving: 

Sokoloff donates all their fabric scraps to the Montreal paper-making studio, Retailes, so they get recycled into beautiful stationery.

Available: Azura Bay


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Thunderpants #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Thunderpants
About Thunderpants

Twenty years in the ethical underwear business and Thunderpants – a family-owned New Zealand business has it dialed (they have a separate USA branch now). 

Their “ultimate undie” comes in all sorts of super fun prints. Plus they promise no wedgies or underwear lines and we are ALL about that.

Thunderpant’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Thunderpants uses SKAL (International Standards for Sustainable Textile Production) organic cotton dyed with water-based, non-toxic inks.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Thunderpants believes in traceable production.

They grow their fairtrade cotton in India, knit in a mill in Australia, near their headquarters in New Zealand, and sew in their New Zealand or Portland, Oregon (for the USA branch) factories. Their NZ operations are also dog-friendly! “Always put people before profit” is their motto.

Green business practices

Thunderpants does an awesome job of this. Their factories buy in bulk where possible, compost, repurpose fabric offcuts, and use recyclable Eco-enclose mailers.

In 2018, the pledged to the NZ government to be carbon neutral by 2050; until then, they offset their emissions through Ekos.


This is one of their core values: “Thunderpants stands by inclusivity, championing minorities and supporting other organizations that do the same.”

Community & charitable giving: 

Just call this company Philanthropants! We wish we came up with that name, but we can’t take the credit. Thunderpants created this extension of their company to support local schools, create community initiatives, and work with a seriously impressive list of charities.

Available: Made Trade  


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Tomboy X #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Tomboy X
About Tomboy X

A tomboy can be a lot of things, namely:

A girl or a woman or person who […] is utterly, completely, and unapologetically themselves, who is not afraid to stand up, stand out, be heard, be seen […] A person who is damn okay with who they are.”

Let’s all aspire to be tomboys, then!

Tomboy’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Their sustainable underwear is mostly created with MicroModal (an eco-friendly renewable fabric made of Beechwood fiber) and Oeko-Tex organic cotton.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Seeking to end “fast fashion” and mass production, they work with women-owned factories located in Los Angeles, Vancouver, and China that are well lit, safe, clean, and fair in payment. They regularly visit to ensure they adhere to these standards.


 Tomboy X’s slogan is “underwear for all” and their line is fit for all sized bodies (4S-4X).

Community & charitable giving: 

Activism for social justice, LGBTQ, and women’s rights are at the core of this company: “Our #humanagenda is not just a gay agenda, or a feminist agenda… It is all of those things.”

Available: Amazon |  Tomboy X


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by AmaElla #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by AmaElla
About Amaella

Started in 2016 by two friends Julie Kervadec and Lara Miller by crowd-funding, this all-female powered U.K. company creates sexy, vintage-style intimates.

Amaella’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


Their SmoothSilk is crafted from GOTS and Oeko-Tex organic cotton and occasionally elastane for waistbands.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Their products are first designed in the UK by training designers. They’re then crafted in an ILO & UN-certified Portuguese factory that employs local women. Their goal is to combine ethically vintage designs with the rich textile heritage of the Portuguese culture.

Community & charitable giving: 

AmaElla partners with a UK non-profit that helps young women hone their skills in the fashion industry.

Available: AmaElla


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Anekdot Boutique #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Anekdot Boutique
About Anekdot

Anekdot is recycled underwear specialist. They call themselves an “upcycle brand”.

All their bras and underwear are made with entirely recycled materials, which makes all their pieces unique and limited.

Anekdot’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices


They use pre, not post, consumer (i.e. never worn) production leftovers like fabric trimmings and manufacturing miscalculations. When they source pre-consumer waste directly from the supplier, they know that it is Oeko-Tex 100 or GOTS.

They also use recycled nylon and organic cotton for our crotch linings.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

All pieces are hand-made, fairly, in Berlin, Germany or in Poland, but their suppliers are always changing; whoever has unwanted materials laying around!

On one hand, we know this means the materials might not live up to some of our standards (just because we don’t know their history prior to arriving at Anekdot). Still, we like this concept of repurposing fabrics in such a unique and utilitarian way

Available: Anekdot Boutique  |  AA Collected (UK)


Like our approach to sustainable beauty, we use key sustainable fashion criteria to help sort through the plethora of panties on the market.

First and foremost, each eco underwear must be made from ethical and sustainable materials.

Basically, we want something with a good “end of life” outcome (ideally compostable not trash-able). Fabrics from the earth (cotton, hemp, and bamboo) can go back to it; synthetic fibers, like polyester, can take 200 years to break down.

We also look for fabrics that are:

  • organic
  • vegan
  • naturally dyed
  • renewable

But we don’t just focus on environmentally friendly fabrics, it’s also very much about the companies and brands – they should employ:

  • ethical and transparent labor practices (#whomademyclothes)
  • ethical supply chains (Fair Trade certified and supportive of local communities)
  • sustainable operations (low waste, use renewable energy, carbon offsets, optimized shipping, low waste/no plastic shipping)

Handcrafting is a pro, too, because it creates local jobs and eliminates carbon emissions from machine use. Ideally, they’ll also be involved in charitable giving, promote a positive body image, and be all people inclusive.

We know that’s a lot of things to consider and we haven’t been able to hit all of them for each pair of eco undies but we think it’s still a pretty damn good list from some ethical underwear brands to choose from!


As mentioned above, the kinds of fabrics used are crucial to ensuring your eco friendly underwear (and ethical activewear) are in fact eco friendly. On this list the most common fabrics you’ll come across (which also happen to be some of the most sustainable around) are:

  • Organic Hemp: Used as a fiber by humans for thousands of years, similar to linen in feel and able to keep you warm when it’s cold, cool when it’s hot and even protect you from UV rays. Hemp may be one of the most eco-friendly fabrics: it uses 50%+ less water than cotton, requires no pesticides and can be converted into fabric sustainably
  • TENCEL (Lyocell/Modal): There are two types of TENCEL, another biodegradable / compostable fabric. Both Lyocell and Modal are derived from renewable raw material wood and turned into fibres through an entirely closed-loop,solvent-spinning process, which recycles process water and reuses the solvent at a recovery rate of more than 99%. The fibres are 100% compostable (provided they have not been combined with a synthetic non-compostable material)
  • Organic Cotton:  How is it different from regular cotton? It’s grown without chemicals, making it better for you, the farmers, and the environment. Working conditions are safe and hygienic, pay is fair and raw material and final textile products meet stringent waste limits, among other things…
  • Recycled synthetics:  Sometimes, natural doesn’t quite cut it, unfortunately. Things like stretchy waistbands must be derived from something else, but we like when that something else is at least recycled. Recycled (sort of) eco friendly nylon, for instance, produces fewer CO2 emissions than its virgin counterpart.
  • Bamboo:  Made from the fiber of one of the fastest renewing plants on earth. Bamboo requires only natural rainfall to grow, can be harvested without killing the whole plant, and consumes more carbon dioxide than hardwood trees. It’s an ideal activewear fabric because it’s soft, antimicrobial, breathable, moisture-wicking, and durable. However, how the bamboo was made matters.


There are a few terms you may come across in the list above. We want to take a second to explain what they mean.

These are basically third party certifications that brands can receive in order to verify that their claims are accurate. Anyone can claim to be organic or Fairtrade, but these stamps of approval provide some extra reassurance.

  • Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS): Holds fabric production to strict ethical and ecological criteria. Basically, fibers must be produced organically, so no chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, or even machine harvesting. To get this cert, all companies involved at any stage, all the way to packaging and labeling, must meet these criteria. Think of this as seed to shelf.
  • Oeko-Tex 100: Ensures the fabrics (either raw or finished) and devices used to process them do not contain any harmful chemicals. This includes heavy metals (i.e. nickel and cadmium), colorants, formaldehyde, and other fabric preservative agents. It also keep everything at a skin-friendly pH.
  • Fairtrade: Upholds standards of workplace ethics, including fair wages, safe/hygienic workplaces, proper training, and reasonable/limited work hours. It prohibits child labor, discrimination, forced labor, harassment, and abuse. Similar certifications are those by International Labour Organization (ILO) and Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI).


Eco conscious underwear brands (and sustainable fashion in general) are the future of fashion, and we encourage you to employ some conscious consumerism of your own!

Let’s up the undue ante and give changing our undies new meaning. It just goes to show that sustainability is about so much more than what’s meets the eye. 

What’s underneath counts, too!

In love with any ethical underwear brands not on our list? Let us know in the comments below!

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Organic Basics #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle

5 thoughts on “Sustainable & Ethical Underwear: 14 Eco-Conscious Options For Comfort Of Body & Mind”

  1. The antimicrobial silver typeset thread label in my nylon / elastane underwear caused a serious burn on my lower back after wearing during an MRI. The label looks benign, but on sensitive individuals it can cause MRI burns

  2. Hiya, I was quite disappointed to find that regardless of being totally “organic” or made from bamboo (which is ethically questionable due to chamically intensive processing) many of these brands still put actually plastic in the form of nylon or elastane into their products. Some have more of these in them than what you find at kmart! Maybe I’m missing something here but switching to an organic cotton just to have 10%of it replaced with nylon as well as the standard 5%elastane and shipping in an individual packet just looks like green washing to me.

    • Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for this comment. It certainly is timely, just in the last few days, I have gone quite deep into this topic, having been made aware of the various problems with bamboo in particular. It’s a work in progress for me and I plan to write a very detailed article on it soon (and to update this page with my findings). In the meantime, I’ll add a couple of further thoughts to your two points:

      – Bamboo: Agreed, the ethics here can be super questionable. Here are a few articles I’ve read that I’ve found very helpful to try and untanlge this:

      However, it seems bamboo that’s gone through a closed loop process is still viable from an ethics perspective, much like TENCEL (i.e. all the chemicals are recycled over and over again – not added to waterways and removed from the final fibre output) – see for example the Good on You’s assessment of Boody (on this list and very much promoting their products as “bamboo”) – – see the point about the closed loop process (also the closed loop process is mentioned in the link above from Biome)

      – Plastic derived fabric inclusion (nylon, elastane, spandex, etc.): This seems to be very difficult to avoid if you want to have any stretch in your undies. The only brand on this list that is fully compostable with no plastic included is The Very Good Bra (they make bras and bottoms), which are absolutely the most ethical as far as their materials go on this list. However they are still very new on the market, so if they are difficult to find in your area, my current view is that the next best thing is where the brand uses recycled plastic to make the fabric (e.g. they’ve used fabric made from ocean waste to make the nylon). There are a few on the list that use recycled material (e.g. Solokoff, Only Hearts, Proclaim, Anekdot, Organic basics).

      I do plan to research this a lot more and update this article to reflect more clearly which brands are compostable and which use recycled fabrics. Let me know if you learn any more on this, it’s always helpful to get more information!

      Thanks again,

  3. Thanks for this great guide, that proves that a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is possible without comprimising on quality and style. There are plenty of ethical brands already, and I think the number of options will grow over the next few years


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