9 Sustainable Underwear Brands

9 Sustainable Underwear Brands

Underwear is one of the few things I won’t buy second-hand. I think it’s important to note that when I post articles about brands that I support, I’m not saying I shop from them often or saying that you should. Purchasing anything new is bad for the environment, but there are many times when second-hand is not an option or accessible, so for those cases blogs like this are designed to give you other options. These lists are for when you’re going to buy new but want to avoid fast fashion or at least support companies that are making conscious choices. For things that you have to buy new (or want to), like underwear, what are the best options? 

Two years ago I found a pair of underwear from Aerie that I loved. I went back to Aerie and bought 12 pairs of that underwear – I know I’m not the only one with a “favorite” pair. There’s something different about waking up in the morning and putting on your favorite pair vs. waking up and realizing all the good pairs are in the wash.

Over the course of the past few years, those pairs have all gotten holes that slowly got larger and subsequently became uncomfortable. Now I’m left with 12 pieces of cloth that can’t be donated for sanitary reasons, but also, I don’t even want them so why would someone else? (keep reading to find out what I’m doing with them).

Today’s blog is a list of all the sustainable underwear brands I support. These brands live up to the hype – no green washing. And, since I know how hard it is to find a pair of underwear you actually love, I’ve tried to link as many brands as possible so each person can find a brand that fits their individual needs. 

  1. Knickey Official

    One of the top reasons Knickey is #1 on this list is because of their recycling program. Knickey will take old underwear (of any brand) and recycle the fabric, breaking it down, to make it into things like insulation and rug pads. Plus, when you send them your old undies, they will give you a free pair on your next order.

    All of their underwear is made of 100% certified organic cotton. If you’ve been reading my blogs or Instagram posts, you know sustainability is not just about using natural materials like cotton. It’s about where the cotton is grown, how it’s grown, the workers who grow and harvest it, and the whole process of manufacturing the item. Knickey is very transparent on their website listing information about their materials, impact, supply chain, and their yearly impact report from the year previous. Knickey – you’re doing great sweetie.

  1. Underprotection

    Another brand that is high on the list is Underprotection. As a Certified B Corporation, their materials, productions, and packaging are all sustainable. They go into a lot of detail on their website about their manufacturing, processes, and efforts to be the most sustainable they can be.

    On top of being extremely transparent, they sell more than just underwear! They sell swimwear, maternity and bridal undergarments, lingerie, lounge wear, and accessories. This is a great brand to support instead of going to a big box store.

  2. Thunderpants USA

    This brand has a funny name and funny patterns, but there’s nothing funny about their dedication to sustainability. Their cotton is Fairtrade Certified and Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. The prints are dyed using water based ink and sewn at a minority, women-owned factory in Oregon.

    Even better, every step of the manufacturing process is traceable. They are transparent about paying living wages and where each and every material is sourced and processed.

  3. Boody

    Boody is made of bamboo, and they practice the ethical and environmental practices that I look for in any clothing brand I buy from. They are transparent about their labor practices and have several certifications, including the WRAP certification that ensures they have no child labor, regulations on work hours, compensation, benefits, and more. This certification is something that comprehensively ensures workers in foreign countries are being treated with the same standards as someone in an American working facility.

    Added benefit – they also sell workout clothes! I didn’t look too much but the biker shorts caught my eye for a second.

  4. Thinx

    While this brand is not an everyday option, it is the best of the best for anyone who has a period. These make a more comfortable, sustainable option for anyone on their period. The brand sells inclusive sizes and a variety of options depending on each person’s preference and activity level.

    The brand is vocal about their ethical and sustainable factories in Sri Lanka. While they’re definitely not the most transparent about each detail of their sustainability goals and ethical conditions, you can tell both are important to the brand and they’re continuously improving those efforts.

    With that being said, I still support this brand because of the impact one pair can have over time. 1 purchase from this brand means diverting other waste from existing and diverting money from an industry that can never be sustainable (traditional period products).

  5. Pact

    This brand is pretty popular, I would be surprised if you haven’t heard of them. They use certified organic cotton that is milled, processed, and manufactured in fair trade certified factories. They are transparent about who is making your clothing and how they are treated. In addition, they even offer the ability to offset your carbon emissions at checkout. While this is controversial to many, It’s rare to see a brand that offers the option.

  6. Mary Young

    Founded in 2014, this Canadian owned and manufactured business sells a wide variety of undergarments for all sizes. Sustainability and inclusivity were the two beginning foundations of this company. All garments are produced in Montreal where the workers receive a living wage and healthy working conditions. The fabrics they use are OEKO-TEX certified, free of harsh chemicals and good for your skin.

    Sporting much more than just underwear, they sell bodysuits, bras, boxer briefs, and more. They even have limited collections like a bridal edition and loungewear collection.

  7. Organic Basics

    When a brand has their impact report, sustainability report, or really any yearly report listed directly on their website – nine times out of ten, you can support them. This level of transparency is hard to come by, but there are several brands leading the way. Organic Basics is one of them. They not only have a low impact website (yes, website’s use energy) but they share all of their yearly information directly to consumers.

    Their impact report isn’t the best of the best – but it’s honest. I think honesty is incredibly important to start a conversation about the textile industry. They clearly show the percentage of known suppliers, making it clear where they need to improve.

    They go into depth about soil erosion, a serious problem caused by the industry, which most fail to even acknowledge. They are part of 1% for the planet, their office space in Copenhagen is almost zero waste (COVID-19 put a wrench in this, but they’re still almost there), and they are incredibly specific about the company goals.

    If you’re looking for basic clothing pieces and essentials like underwear, this is a brand I would highly recommend.

  8. People Tree

    Ending on a high note – People Tree is amazing. Their website doesn’t have just one page about sustainability, but fourteen pages that detail their sustainability initiatives, factories, fabrics, makers, certifications, and more.

    The detail they provide is something that every company should make note of. They have specific percentages for their traceable materials so you know when and if they’re falling short. The five certifications they discuss on their website are, PETA approved vegan certification, Fairtrade Cotton Certification, World Fair Trade Organization Certification, Soil Association Organization Certification, and the GOTS Certification. If you want to learn more about each of these and why they’re important, visit their website!

    And like many of the other brands, they sell more than just the essentials, so if you’re in need of a cute dress or jumpsuit, they’ve got you covered. 

When I look at a brand’s ethics and sustainability, I am NOT looking for a statement on their website. Those statements essentially mean nothing if there isn’t evidence to prove it. There are many brands out there that release all of their financial information, factory information, material information, in the form of gigantic PDF documents you can read through and see hard evidence. Those are the companies that are truly not greenwashing and the companies you can trust as a consumer.

On the other hand, there are many companies that seem like they’re doing everything right, but don’t provide any evidence. I don’t like to discount these brands automatically because many small brands don’t have the resources to provide that information. Although, there is a very good argument here that if a brand, regardless of size, is putting in the effort to be sustainable and ethical, they should want to display that information.

While organic, natural fabrics and dyes are so important to the environmental portion of sustainability, I personally believe the most important part of sustainability is the manufacturing portion, specifically if the factories are overseas. If a company does not pay their overseas workers a fair wage and give them positive and healthy working conditions, I don’t want to support them. For that reason, all of the brands I have listed in the blog today either have proof of fair working conditions or have (at the minimum) mentioned it on their website. These brands are the brands that I believe have shown the hard evidence, aren’t greenwashing, or only have domestic resources. But – always do your own research.

Here are a few additional brands that I’m on the fence about. I honestly don’t know enough about them to say 100% that I would support them, but I think they are wonderful alternatives instead of going into Target and buying something you think is “not that bad”. These brands all talk about inclusivity when it comes to size and models, ethical working conditions, environmental focused fabrics and practices, and more. The only reason they’re not included in my top 9 is because I felt they lacked the evidence or proof of the words they were saying. While I hope none of them are greenwashing, you can never be too careful. If you’re considering ordering from one of these brands, try reaching out to them to ask for more detail about their sustainability initiatives.

  1. Modi Bodi
  2. Hernest Project
  3. Brook There
  4. Proclaim
  5. Nude label
  6. Sustain by kat
  7. Lara intimates
  8. Huna