This Breast Cancer Survivor Is Launching A Line Of Zero-Waste Bras

After struggling to find a bra that suited all her needs during treatment for cancer, one woman has been working to make a bra that supports both her body and the planet.


May 21 2019, Updated 4:34 p.m. ET

Stephanie Devine is a designer launching a line of "eco-underwear" that promises it's so clean, it could be "buried in the garden after use," according to Devine's interest in her product comes from her interest in reducing waste and pollution, but also her experience of battling breast cancer. While going through treatment, Devine found it incredibly difficult to find a product that suited her needs. Hence her brand, The Very Good Bra.

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“Since a breast cancer diagnosis 10 years ago, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of designing the perfect non-wired bra for women of all sizes and shapes,” Devine told Collective Hub.“I’ve always lived by the mantra, ‘buy less, buy better.' Statistics show that women on average own nine bras each, which are making their way into landfill. I knew I had to help in changing the way we manufacture and consume going forward.”

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The Very Good Bra is launching a Kickstarter campaign in April. They're touting their innovation and the introduction of a special new fabric called Tencel. Tencel is made from eucalyptus, which is a far more efficient crop than cotton—it requires less water to grow and process. The fabric is then dyed to meet Global Organic Trading Standards; the bra also contains rubber for elasticity, which is all sourced from sustainable forests.

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Devine's goal is to make the whole product entirely compostable. She says the most challenging part that is still being tweaked is the "hooks and eyes" of the bra. They've also been considering things like using zero-waste sewing thread, and label printing with organic, toxin-free inks.

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"It’s been hard work to track it all down from Australia when the hub of this stuff is Europe and the US, but I have left no stone unturned. I have literally had to turn up at offices in remote parts of Europe to get people’s attention and show them I am serious,” said Devine. Despite her obsession with the details, Devine isn't necessarily advocating that everyone ditch their current wardrobe and go full "zero-waste" with every item they wear.

“But if we can incorporate good solid basics into our daily life, it’s a good start. We all need to be more aware and more conscious of what we buy and wear, and think twice before a quick fashion fix," she said. She also hopes to expand into a men's underwear line, too. No more excuses for wasteful basics.

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