Bra shopping; the most frustrating part of my year. As a woman with a G cup, my options are severely limited. Since giving up fast fashion, these limited options have now been halved. While I’m passionate about sustainable fashion, there’s still a long way to go. I discussed this previous in “what I want from the sustainable fashion industry“.
As amazing as these sustainable brands are and as much as I want to support them, anyone over a size 14-16 can pretty much forget about it. In my A-Z list of sustainable brands, only TWO of the lingerie brands I listed cater to above a D cup. Whenever I see sustainable lingerie recommendations from other sustainable bloggers, I run into the same issues. I can’t help but feel a little let down.
I know there’s got to be other people like me out there. People with large breasts who want to try and shop ethically and sustainably. So I took the time to research some sustainable bra manufacturers and lingerie brands who can cater to myself, and anyone in my situation. Because bra shopping is hard enough already.
I feel like Lara Intimates is slowly becoming more and more mainstream, but that may just be because a lot of the people in my circles know of them. They’re an independent brand who make bras out of reclaimed and dead stock fabric in their East London studio. So for those living in the UK who’re worried about the carbon emissions of ordering from overseas – this is the brand for you.
What I love the most about Lara is that they often show clips from their studio in London over on Instagram, it’s a level of transparency you don’t often find with other brands. Their size range is the most extensive out of all the sustainable bras I’ve found; ranging from a 26A-36I. I personally feel like their band sizes could still include a broader range of plus sizes, but it’s definitely at a good starting point.
Neon Moon are the best independently-owned brand for body positivity in the UK right now. In my humble opinion anyway. They have an incredibly diverse model range and stock sizes from a XS – 6XL! Now, I’m usually the first to roll my eyes at bra sizes which are listed as S, M, L. Don’t get me wrong, it’s annoying. I have a hard enough time trying to find my size already without having to measure every inch and angle of my body in the process. HOWEVER – in the name of body positivity, I’ll put up with it. Their size guide makes it 100x easier to find the right fit for you.
Onto the sustainable bit. Neon Moon are definitely not perfect. I ordered a few bras from them and they all came individually wrapped within branded plastic bags, which I feel is avoidable. But they produce their lingerie in two factories which both have OKEO-TEX certifications. This means their materials are 100% safe for your body. Their fabrics are also sustainably sourced and ridiculously soft to the touch. As for the bras, I’ve read reviews from women who love them for everyday wear. For me personally, they’re definitely more of a “lazy day” bra.
An independent NYC-based brand, Uye Surana use recycled materials to produce their lingerie which are released in small, often limited edition batches. No designs are over-produced, meaning that they’re not left with excess product or materials. They also have one of the easiest size ranges I’ve ever navigated when it comes to sustainable bras. Their size charts are colour coded so you know exactly what size you should choose from.
Their ‘Easy Fit’ bralette range also offer multipacks, meaning you can get two bra styles for around $50-$60 which works out to approximately $25-$30 per bra. That’s exactly the same price as I would pay for a bra from a fast fashion retailer. They hand-make all their products and even cater to the plus-size community, which is SO hard to come by in the sustainable/ethical fashion market!
This Australian sustainable lingerie brand was founded by designer Madonna Bain. Not all of the bras they produce cater to larger sizes, with their XL being an equivalent to a UK size 12 (what the fuck?!) However their Ava bralettes are designed to fit a DD-G cup and a 28-36 band size. While it’s not perfect, I thought I’d include them as a possible option, in the hopes they improve their sizing options.
On their Ethics page, Eco Intimates describe their production methods in great detail. From their fabric sourcing to production methods, they aim to provide as much transparency as possible. They partner with Green Square Apparel and Certton Organic Jersey in Australia to produce their exclusive product ranges.
I am ridiculously excited about this brand! Not only do their products range from a size 6-28 but their bras range from a 26AA-42N! This. Is. Amazing! Their designs are also vibrant, colourful, and super fun. They’re space print bra with the orange trim is my absolute favourite. They offer everything that us big boob gals normally don’t get offered, ever. Their size chart is super easy to navigate, and has a similar colour-coded setup to the one used by Uye Surana.
Their bras are within the average price range I’d usually pay when I shopped fast fashion; £32-£7. They’re committed to sustainability, donating all scrap material to Remake Scotland. They’re also working towards being an accredited Living Wage Employer. While they’re not fully sustainable, they’re working towards decreasing their plastic use and are committed to standing against fast fashion.
Buttress & Snatch offer bespoke handmade lingerie and swimwear. However they’re at a slightly higher price point due to being bespoke products. Their vintage-inspired looks are available in all sizes, with quirky one-off designs such as their Queen of Clover set. Their dedicated team have over 20 years experience in making lingerie. So you know you’re in safe hands with their creations!
Their Hackney-based factory is set in an old Turkish Delight factory, you can even get your lingerie delivered in an old Turkish Delight tin upon special request! It’s the details that make a brand recognisable, and this one is hard to miss. They have an extensive lingerie range available – even offering a bridal range. While they’re not the most affordable option, Buttress & Snatch pay all employees a fair wage and are all ethically made in the UK.
I’m hoping to add to this list over time, so make sure you keep it bookmarked for future reference! I hope this post was useful to people out there who’re in a similar situation to myself. Sustainable fashion should be accessible to everyone no matter what shape or size. Hopefully the industry will evolve and change the sizing imbalance that we see today.
Something I’ve noticed is that a lot of sustainable bra companies don’t use underwires in their products. While I agree that underwires are uncomfortable, I feel more secure with one. I feel like it helps to separate and lift, which is something I look for. Hopefully there’ll be more options for larger fit sustainable bras with underwires in the future!
Hello! I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for sustainable living & travel tips!