Whether you prefer to wear bras, bralettes, or sports bras, bra shopping is probably not your favorite activity in the world — especially if finding affordable, sustainable bras is just as important to you as finding bras that fit well. For most clothes, shopping secondhand is a great hack for saving money and reducing your closet’s impact; however, when it comes to bras, most shoppers would probably prefer to buy something new.
Fortunately, as more fashion brands dip their toes into the world of using sustainable materials, ethical manufacturing, and low-impact shipping, more affordable options emerge. Here’s a look at eight brands making affordable, sustainable bras, bralettes, and more — all of which offer bras under $50 (some are just $11!), and few of which offer inclusive sizing and a wide range of “nude” tones, too.
It's important to note that these brands may not check off every single box on your list for a fully sustainable, ethical purchase. Every new fashion item has some sort of impact — but these brands all check off a lot of boxes while maintaining decent prices.
Parade’s bralettes come in three shapes (triangle, scoop, and plunge), in sizes ranging from XS to 3X, in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and ranging in price from $28 to $36 per bralette. The brand is carbon offsetting 100 percent of its newest collection, Summer Daisy, which launches today, Aug 17.
Parade’s factory is in China, but it is certified by both Oeko-Tex's Standard 100 and Sedex, which the brand says means its products contain “no harmful chemicals” and are “produced at the highest ethical standards.” Parade makes its stretchy, silky, soft bralettes (and underwear) primarily out of recycled nylon, and most of the company's shipping materials are recyclable or compostable. The company also donates 1 percent of revenue to Planned Parenthood. This is all part of Parade’s goal of achieving “Carbon Positivity” by 2025.
In July 2021, Gelmart launched Kindly, a new plant-based bra and underwear line. The brand claims to make the first-ever sugarcane-based bra cup (to be precise, the cups are 80 percent plant-based, and made from a blend of sugarcane, recycled nylon, spandex, and elastic). Kindly is offering a bra, wirefree bra, and bralette in sizes 34A through 40DD, in a variety of colors and patterns.
Kindly’s mission is “to make sustainability accessible to everyone” — and for that reason, the brand is sold exclusively at Walmart, with products ranging from $11 to $14. The products are made in China, and Kindly provides little transparency on the factory, which is unfortunately a common trade-off for an affordable piece of clothing — but we love that the line is introducing a more eco-friendly option to Walmart's customers.
Naja is a women-owned, Latinx-owned, vegan, and sustainability-minded intimates brand that often uses recycled and upcycled fabrics, digital printing, and other techniques to keep things low impact. The brand’s bralettes and bras come in many styles (including varying “nude” tones, funky patterns, and delicate lace options), and start at $48.
In addition to using fairly eco-friendly manufacturing techniques and fabrics, Naja’s clothing is made by garment workers who are single mothers and women heads of household, who are all paid with fair wages and benefits, and given flexibility and resources to help their children succeed at school.
Popular underwear brand Knickey rolled out its first bralette collection in the summer of 2021, featuring four styles, each of which is made from organic cotton and priced at $48. So far, they are only available in various nude and neutral colors, and range in size from XXS to XXXL.
Knickey is third-party certified by GOTS, Fair Trade, and Oeko-Tex, and the company provides information on its India-based factories on its website. The brand also made its detailed impact report available to the public. Plus, Knickey has an awesome recycling program — mail the company your old bras, underwear, tights or socks (from any brand) in exchange for a free pair of undies with your next order.
Majamas Earth manufactures all of its clothing in the U.S., using materials like organic cotton, recycled polyester, modal, and deadstock fabric. Majamas makes its bras and bralettes in a wide variety of funky patterns, but sizes only range from S to XXL; the company also makes nursing-friendly bras for people who are breastfeeding. Bras start at $43, with some patterns on sale for $29.95 at time of publication.
Pact’s bralettes are made of 95 percent GOTS-certified organic cotton in a Fair Trade Certified factory, and they come in a variety of styles, colors, and patterns. Sizes only range from XS to XXL, and prices start at $25. Pact makes a variety of other items out of organic cotton, ranging from bedding to dresses to baby clothes.
Boody’s bamboo bralettes, padded bralettes, and sports bras are designed to get softer with each wash, they’re supposed to last for years and years, and they are pretty affordable — prices start at $16.95, but you’ll save a few dollars if you opt for a two-pack. Sizes only go up to XL, but Boody offers a wide range of skin tones as well as a few funkier colors.
Boody makes its bralettes (and other products, which include bodysuits, baby clothes, and men’s activewear) out of organic bamboo viscose; all the bamboo is grown in FSC-certified forests, certified by Oeko-Tex’s Standard 100, certified by Ecocert, and PETA-approved vegan. The brand uses bamboo because it is one of the fastest-growing crops in the world — in fact, bamboo can grow as much as three feet in a day.
For more variety, we recommend checking out Azura Bay — an online marketplace that exclusively sells sustainable intimates, including bras, bralettes, and undies. You can filter the site to only show you specific styles or values, such as only vegan, organic, or curvy options.
The only bras currently listed on the site for under $50 are Wama Underwear’s bralettes, which are a blend of hemp, organic cotton, and spandex; range in size from XS to 2XL; and go for $49. Other sustainable bra brands available on Azura Bay include Cosabella, Groceries Apparel, the Nude Label, and Underprotection.