Ethical underwear UK: the best underwear, lingerie and sleepwear brands laid bare

Underwear, knickers, pants, lingerie, briefs: no matter what you call it, it’s very likely you wear it – and if you don’t, well, you do you. You’re fabulous. But, our smalls can make a big difference – and choosing ethical underwear has a surprisingly big impact on everything from personal comfort, to the planet and the people who make it.

We know that sustainable underwear feels great. Did you know it can’t look great, too?

Below are twelve brands who prioritise beautiful design and comfort alongside ethics, whether they choose to work with only surplus fabrics, source organic materials, or partner with charitable organisations that empower vulnerable women.

You might prefer sexy silks, or you might be more of a super-soft cotton gal – but whichever you’re after, we’ve got both cheeks covered.

The Live Frankly seal of approval:

Those featured here are really good brands, doing good things. To be included in this list, each brand has been given the Live Frankly seal of approval. We are not a certification, but we talk with every brand and ask them to complete a comprehensive questionnaire about their ethical standards before we feature them. No brand is perfect – we’re all operating in an imperfect world – but only purpose-driven brands that are working to change things for the better will be featured on Live Frankly.

We ask that workers’ rights and pay are ensured across the supply chain, that brands use sustainable materials and want to know about their governance structures. This means you can be confident these brands are some of the most ethical and sustainable around. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Best sustainable underwear brands at a glance:

Ethical underwear: brands to look out for in the UK

Olly Lingerie at Shop Like You Give A Damn

Why we love the underwear:

  • Olly is a women-owned French label, created by Mathilde & Clémentine.
  • It’s all about beautiful, feminine and modern lacy styles in great designs and colours.
  • Think lacy bralettes, simple triangle bras and lacy briefs that can be worn everyday.
  • Anyone who loves black underwear with plenty of eyelash lace will love this brand.
  • If you love their underwear, try their swimwear too which follows similar cuts in bold colours.

Olly Lingerie’s best-sellers:

Bra Liao lace bra in black

£44.72

Briefs dawa in terracotta

£26.66

Briefs Liao in light pink

£30.10

Why Olly is a better choice:

  • Olly uses a range of materials, including GOTS-certified organic cotton, which also means the people growing the cotton are paid a fair wage. 
  • Its lace is recycled Italian lace recovered from scraps, while bodysuits are made from Tencel (created from FSC-certified wood pulp).
  • Also within the production process, dyes don’t contain any harmful products and bra clasps are sourced within Europe too.
  • Everything is made in factories in Hungary. 
  • Sizes: XS-XL
  • Colours: A range including Black, Pink, Terracotta, Blue, Red and White
  • Shipping and taxes: As the brand ships from Europe, there may be additional taxes added on

SHOP OLLY LINGERIE NOW

Thine Organics, The Revivas

Why we love the underwear:

  • Born out of being fed up with compromising on quality underwear, Thine Organics is simplicity at its best.
  • Made with organic cotton which is kind for sensitive skin as it is naturally hypoallergenic. 
  • Briefs are available to buy in packs of up to five. 
  • The fuller brief design suits people who prefer more coverage.

Thine Organics’s best-sellers:

Everyday boxer

£32

Everyday cami

£36

Everyday brief

£29

Why Thine Organics is a better choice 

  • Everything is made from organic GOTS cotton. 
  • Products are made in factories where more than 70% of energy is solar and they only use electric vehicles and boats to transport the goods.
  • Thine Organics donates 5% of sales to Endometriosis charities.

Sizing: XS-XL
Colours: Black only

SHOP THINE ORGANICS

Peachaus

Why we love the underwear:

  • Selling cute and comfy everyday underwear, sleepwear and leisurewear, Peachaus is an all-round women’s lifestyle brand. 
  • Their designs are contemporary takes on feminine style. 
  • Each lingerie design works as everyday underwear, ranging from casual crop tops to elevated sheer lacier sets.
  • Everything is available in a range of understated colours.

Peachaus’s best-sellers:

Sakura recycled tulle front close bra

£55

Ume recycled tulle mid rise briefs

£18

Betula recycled tulle underwired balconette bra

£60

Why Peachaus is a better choice:

  • Peachaus’ garments are consciously made using responsibly sourced fabrics 
  • Their manufacturers are committed to sustainable production, minimising their environmental impact, and producing high-quality products made to last. 
  • All Peachaus employees and in the supply chain are paid a living wage.
  • Peachaus’ innovative Simple Sized system means their garments are designed to have an enhanced, fluid fit – making it easier to find the right fit.
  • Their first bricks and mortar shop in London’s Covent Garden offers free bra fittings, so you can find the exact right size for you.
  • Sizing: Bras: 32B – 36DD, briefs XS-XL
  • Colours: Black, white, blue, peach and coral

SHOP PEACHAUS NOW

Pantee

Why we love the underwear:

  • It’s all about the comfort with Pantee as the whole range is free of underwire or straps that are so renowned for digging in, so forget those familiar aches and pains.
  • Pantee also understands the needs of versatility, so everything in the collection can be mixed and matched, including thongs, boxers, bikini or high-waisted briefs and double-layered, underwire-free bras.
  • It’s soft, comfortable and easy to wear under everything in your wardrobe.

Pantee’s best-sellers:

High waisted boxer briefs

£18

High waisted briefs

£18

The bralette

£30

Why Pantee is a better choice:

  • Pantee makes its underwear from upcycled deadstock fabrics.
  • Since launching in November 2021, they have upcycled over 1,500kg of deadstock materials into bras and knickers. 
  • Items are cut and sewn in a small sample room in Bangladesh. Its workers are guaranteed safe working conditions, paid above average living wage and earn bi-yearly bonuses. 
  • Pantee is a 1% For The Planet member, committing to giving one per cent of gross annual sales to certified non-profit organisations.
  • Sizing: XS – XXXL
  • Colours: Black, White, Grey, Turquoise, Red and Navy

SHOP PANTEE NOW

Troo Lingerie

Why we love the underwear:

  • If you’re looking for a slinky set of underwear, another great collection to browse is Project Cece‘s curated selection of lingerie from Troo.
  • Troo was created in 2016 and specialises in pretty embroidered lacy sets that will make you feel as good as they look.
  • It is a beautiful, timeless, and sexy Swiss lingerie brand with roots in South Africa.

Troo’s best-sellers:

Clover brief

£30.10

Juniper cup bra

£60.20

Millie bodysuit

£60.20

Why Troo Lingerie is a better choice:

  • The women owned brand was created by sisters, Nic and Steph Fitzgerald.
  • Troo partners with young, inspiring designers.
  • Their slow fashion products are all made ethically with responsibly sourced materials. 
  • Troo works with several like-minded labels.
  • Sizing: XS-XL
  • Colours: A range from pastel pink to black
  • Shipping and taxes: As the brand ships from Europe, there may be additional taxes added on

SHOP TROO NOW

AYA

Why we love the underwear:

  • Lifestyle brand AYA specialises in a minimalist range of high quality yet affordable underwear and staple tops for men and women. 
  • Made from organic pima cotton, which is native to Peru, the products are very high quality and best of all, they’re luxuriously soft on skin that’ll you’ll never want to take them off. 
  • Both their Organic Pima Cotton Bralette and Organic Pima Cotton Panties are available in four colours.

AYA’s best-sellers:

Organic pima cotton thong

£10

Organic pima cotton bralette

£28

Organic pima cotton panties

£17

Why AYA is a better choice:

  • This clothing brand is all about putting people and the environment first.
  • Unusually, from the fibre to the finished garment, everything is made in just one country – Peru.
  • Even cooler yet, their garments are made in AYA’s own studio in Peru which allows for more innovation and traceability in their production.
  • They’re working towards making their supply chain free of petroleum. 
  • AYA only uses natural materials, including 100% organic cotton fabric and cotton threads. 
  • All labels are made from 100% cotton and the elastic bands are made from tree rubber. 
  • The products are well made with quality materials and so last longer.
  • Sizing: XS-XXL
  • Colours: Seven including Black, White, Grey and Navy
  • Shipping and taxes: As the brand ships from the US, additional taxes are added on at checkout

SHOP AYA NOW

Juliemay Lingerie

Why we love the underwear:

  • If you’ve got extra sensitive skin, where even your underwear can feel uncomfortable, allow us to introduce you to Juliemay Lingerie which specialises in making ultra-soft, super breathable, naturally hypoallergenic bras and briefs.
  • The brand is all about helping women to feel comfortable, not only in their own skin, but in their undies too.

Juliemay’s best-sellers:

Non-wired bra in champagne

£48

Debbie brief in black

£23

Floral supportive bra

£72

Why Juliemay is a better choice:

  • They make their supportive and stylish lingerie from certified organic pima cotton and silk.
  • AllergyUK has accredited Juliemay suitable for people with skin conditions such as eczema and those allergic to synthetic fibres.
  • They make a range of post-surgery bras which are lined with 100% pure silk, helping to keep scar tissue dry and cool. 
  • Juliemay’s products have a real sensitive touch and don’t use synthetics, harsh chemicals, exposed elastics, latex or nickel. 
  • The brand works with The Bra Recyclers charity to ensure preloved bras aren’t sent to landfill and are instead reused and recycled.
  • Sizing: 8-18, 30B-40G/42DD
  • Colours: A range from Black, White, Champagne and Red
  • Discount Code: NEWS20 for 20% off

SHOP JULIEMAY NOW

Understatement, Shop Like You Give A Damn

Why we love the underwear:

  • Found on Shop Like You Give A Damn‘s platform, this Swedish brand, created by women, really knows what customers want from their underwear and is redefining what underwear should be. 
  • Bra shapes include triangle, plunge, extra support or balconette, understanding a style of bra shouldn’t only exist in one colour or pattern.
  • It’s all about modern designs in its signature sheer mesh in bright colours often with fun patterns that create fun and flirty pieces. 
  • There’s always matching knickers to the bras, often in a few different cuts. 
  • There’s no underwire, itchy fabrics or annoying tags. 
  • The same rules apply to their swimwear and nightwear too which follows similar cuts in bold colours.

Understatement’s best-sellers:

Mesh balconette black leopard bra

£55.90

Mesh cut out triangle bralette in fiery red

£50.74

Mesh thong in black

£21.50

Why Understatement is a better choice:

  • It’s a women owned brand dedicated to making comfortable, fun and workable underwear.
  • Everything is made in women-run factories in Latvia.
  • All of the packaging is plastic free, and bags, boxes and tags are made from FSC-certified recyclable materials.

  • Sizes: XS – 2XL
  • Colours: Black and bright tones including orange, pink, turquoise
  • Shipping and taxes: As the brand ships from Europe, there may be additional taxes added on

SHOP UNDERSTATEMENT NOW

Lora GENE

Why we love the underwear:

  • Lora GENE‘s designs are timeless and there’s little more luxurious than silk underwear, whether that’s a bra made from offcuts from the brand’s silk dresses, or a universally flattering silk slip dress.
  • Their classic and elegant 100% Mulberry silk slips, complete with a satin finish, are made to compliment all body shapes and sizes. 
  • These are the type of nightgowns you want to leisurely lounge about in during the mornings, with coffee and a book in hand.
  • The two bra designs of bras have been thoughtfully created to fit different cup sizes, and come in a wide range of colours.

Lora GENE’s best-sellers:

Jolie triangle silk bra

£69

Azalea printed silk slip dress

£359

Fleur silk triangle bra

£69

Why Lora GENE is a better choice:

  • Lora GENE founder, Lora Nikolaeva, truly believes the people who make the clothes are the core of the brand.
  • They prioritise minimising their use of resources, so around 90% of the collection is made to order meaning there’s no surplus stock.
  • 98% of the materials are natural, with more than half being made from pure silk.
  • Silk is sourced from local London silk suppliers, which also helps reduce waste and their carbon footprint. 
  • The brand has worked with the same factories and workshops for at least five years, and Lora Nikolaeva visits the factories it uses in Bulgaria every three months.
  • The factories are independently audited three times a year.
  • All of the tailors working for Lora Gene earn a living wage.
  • Sizing: 6-26. Plus, the added option of longer lengths 
  • Colours: Available in 10 tones, including Emerald, Rose and Lavender

SHOP LORA GENE NOW

Wellicious

Wellicious sustainable yoga clothing in blue

Why we love the underwear:

  • Wellicious is a circular, Cradle to Cradle Certified® brand specialising in stylish and sustainable yogawear, including everyday sports bras.
  • If you’re in need of a trusty new sports bra that’ll look, feel and perform fantastically, Wellicious is here to help. 
  • Their flattering modern, minimalist designs are crafted with care and their attention to detail means your sports bras will hold their shape, wear-after-wear, season-after-season.  

Wellicious’s best-sellers:

New ¾ crop top in caviar black

£79

Fresher cropped tank in sea green and blue

£99

Fresher tank in diamond white

£99

Why Wellicious is a better choice:

  • Wellicious’ Cradle to Cradle certification means is a framework to assess the safety, circularity and responsibility of materials and products across five categories of sustainability performance including material health, product circularity, clean air and climate protection, ater and soil stewardship, safeguarding clean water and healthy soils.
  • The brand uses GOTS certified organic cotton from Peru. 
  • Their latest sustainable yoga collection uses an innovative biodegradable elastane from Germany.
  • All colour pigments which are skin-friendly and safe for water and soil.
  • Made from ethically sourced lightweight yet strong silhouette-smoothing fabrics that are gentle on the skin, their bras let you move freely while making you feel confident and secure. 
  • Sizing: XS- XL
  • Colours: White, Black, Blue and Navy

SHOP WELLICIOUS NOW

Rapanui

Rapanui | women's cotton pants

Why we love the underwear:

  • Rapanui’s underwear is as simple as it comes, but that’s not a bad thing, because with pants this well made, nothing else really matters. 
  • Like many things at Rapanui, they’re available in a range of saccharine hues like mint and lavender.
  • Both the crop top bra and knickers are super soft and comfy thanks to wide elastic waistbands and can be worn as everyday underwear, or for activities.
  • They’re also moisture wicking and odour resistant too.

Rapanui’s best-sellers:

Organic cotton pants

£6

Organic cotton bralette

£8

Why Rapanui is a better choice:

  • Based on the Isle of Wight, Rapanui makes all of its items in the UK using organic materials and in a factory powered by renewable energy. 
  • The company’s factory manufactures orders in real time when the item gets sold, so there’s no waste.
  • Worn-out items can be sent back and get recycled into new products – something that’s only possible with the purest materials.
  • Rapanui understands the bigger picture as it shares its supply chain and its technology with everyone. This means anyone can use that information to start their own brand – that’s what we call selfless.
  • Sizing: Small to Large
  • Colours: Available in 10 colours including Black, Navy, Grey, Sand, Violet and Rust

SHOP RAPANUI NOW

About the author

Live Frankly Team

Live Frankly Team

When the author is listed as "Live Frankly Team" it means various members of Live Frankly have joined forces and combined areas of expertise to create the article. Typically this involves spending many hours together - often laughing, occasionally crying, constantly discussing and debating.

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