Silk Free Luxury Ethical Lingerie
Delicate, lacy, elegant lingerie that is made from kind materials? Yes, that's what we're hunting for too.
Silk is a fabric that people often associate with luxury, but delve a little deeper into silk production & it's hard to avoid the association with cruelty, because to harvest the silk fibre, thousands of silk worms are killed in the process. Even "peace" or "ahimsa" silk, whereby the silk fibres are harvested after the silk worms have left their cocoons, & which is often marketed as being a cruelty-free silk, raises ethical questions such as "what happens to all the silk moths next?" Reality is life isn't too good as a spent silk moth worker. We're not going to dwell on the process here, but we do want to shine the light on kinder options.
So we got busy hunting to find alternatives which are much kinder to the silk worms, to the farmers, to the makers and of course to you - the wearer.
Where to Find
Ethically Made & Vegan
Do You Green's organic lingerie are made from pine trees (which require less water than cotton plants). Their pieces, as well as their fabrics, are all made in France and are OEKO-TEX certified with a 100 rating (ensuring all dyes used are non-harmful to the skin).
We love Do You Green's bold and fun take on making sustainable fashion sexy, like in this video they shot of a model strutting through the streets of Paris, wearing nothing but her organic underwear.
Fortnight's ultra chic collection of lingerie and swimwear is made in Toronto, Canada, using materials sourced from Italy, France and across Europe.
We love that their pieces are functional - enhancing both our curves and our clothes - whilst still being glamorous.
Feminine, sexy and creative is what comes to mind when we think of Sokoloff's pieces.
Many of their Montreal designed and made garments are considered halfway between lingerie and a piece of clothing, as they can be worn both intimately and on the street. (Like the beautiful Lucette lacy body suit teamed with jeans, shown below).
It's fantastic to see that Sokoloff also promote body image love, by using models in a range of different sizes. On their website, each product is shown worn by a couple of different models, with varied body shapes.
From humble beginnings in 1978 in NYC's garment district, this mother-daughter run label has now become an iconic New York brand, and is favoured worldwide by celebrities and everyday women the like.
Most of their garments are still made in the NYC garment district (using local, deadstock and eco materials), with the exception of their organic cotton range, which is made ethically in Peru.
Note: some of Only Heart's pieces do contain silk, but the majority of them are vegan-friendly.
This ethical lingerie brand is one of our absolute favourites, as it ticks all the boxes. Not only are its pieces absolutely stunning, but they also come with an incredible back story.
Naja empowers marginalized women by employing single mothers and female household heads, and provides them with above-market wages, healthcare benefits, flexible working arrangements and even aids their children with school supplies.
Their Underwear For Hope program also allows Columbian women in remote areas to work from home and make the lingerie wash bags included with each Naja purchase. 2% of Naja's revenue is also used to help educate these women.
This brand is planet-friendly too, as it uses digital printing to reduce water wastage, and also sources fabrics made from plastic bottles.
Related post: Naja - eco-friendly lingerie with social impact
Australian label Nico make minimal, everyday underwear using the eco-luxe material Lenzing Modal. This material is sustainably sourced from the naturally propagating Beechwood tree, which doesn't require irrigation or planting.
A closed loop system is used in Lenzing Modal's production, meaning 95% of production materials are recovered in the factory.
Nico's underwear collection is made and designed in Melbourne, Australia, and is accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia.
Luva Hava's feminine and pretty collection of lingerie and loungewear are handmade in Brighton, UK.
The label embraces slow fashion by only keeping a small amount of stock on hand at a time, and uses natural, eco-friendly materials such as bamboo, hemp, organic cotton, soy and tencel. Limited edition ranges are also made uses end of line and off cut fabrics.
Californian label Style Saint not only make beautiful pieces, but they also put ethical transparency at the forefront of everything they do.
They're shaking up the fashion industry by specifying exactly how many hours go into each piece, and sell only direct to end-customers to avoid the need for retail mark ups.
We love Style Saint's bold and daring label, but they do have a collection of silk garments (scarves, tops & dresses), which aren't so great for the silk worms.
All of their lingerie do appear to be vegan-friendly though.
Up-cycling is one of the most sustainable approaches that can be taken when creating garments, and this is the model that Anek has chosen.
The Berlin-based label takes materials from production left overs, end of lines, off-cuts, deadstock and vintage trimmings, and transforms them into beautiful, eco-friendly intimates. We love it!
Each of their garments tell their own unique story, or 'anecdote'. Take this Earth Cheeky Triangle set shown above. It's made from:
- Detailed lace hand picked among unwanted luxury textiles from factories in Sri Lanka.
- Stretch polyester reclaimed from Speedo‘s production leftovers.
- The elastic trimmings are high quality production leftovers from big runs, originally made for UK brands in the 80s. Bought in London.
- Organic cotton (gusset) bought in Berlin from Lebenskleidung's end-of-lines and remnants.
- Bra strap elastic, hooks and sliders bought local and ‘Made in Germany’
What an amazing piece to own!
Anek also create up-cycled swimwear, loungewear and accessories (such as hair ties made from leftover Speedo's material).
As we discover more ethical and vegan-friendly lingerie brands, we'll keep adding to this list, so you can keep checking back!
Do you have a favourite label you think we should know about?