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Solution: Aussie Designer Launches World's First Zero-Waste Bra

Business
Elise Lockwood

If you wear bras, chances are you haven't thought too much about their environmental impact. But bras can be made from a variety of unsustainable materials, from water-intensive cotton, to spandex, to petroleum-based polyurethane foam for padding. So once they're tossed, these synthetic fabrics will sit in landfills and take forever to disappear.

It's no wonder Australian lingerie designer Stephanie Devine launched The Very Good Bra, the world's first zero-waste bra.


The biodegradable bra, Devine claims, is so Earth-friendly that "you could bury it in your garden at the end of its lifespan and it would leave no toxic waste."

The bra comes with no wire and is made of Aussie-made tencel, a sustainable textile made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus trees, which requires a fraction of the water used by cotton. Tencel, as it happens, is also ideal for lingerie due to its soft, absorbent and durable qualities.

Devine's bra features elastic made from sustainably farmed rubber trees, organic cotton for sewing thread and is dyed to meet the Global Organic Trading Standard. She even thought of organic inks for labeling and completely compostable packaging to make sure it's as clean as possible.

The designer crunched the numbers and determined that if the two billion women currently on the planet own, on average, nine bras each, that means 18 billion bras are headed for landfill. In her native country, Australia, 6,000 kilos of clothing and textile waste ends up in the landfill every 10 minutes.

A Kickstarter for the product was launched May 19 and fulfilled its AUD $20,000 (US $15,300) fundraising goal within 48 hours.

The Very Good Bra is available on the crowdfunding site for roughly US $65 and comes in 24 cup sizes. Early bird delivery expected for this August with another run in October.

Additional funds raised during the Kickstarter campaign will go towards completing Cradle to Cradle certification, which would make The Very Good Bra the world's first lingerie label and the first Australian fashion product to do so.

Devine hopes to continue to design more zero-waste products following her current campaign.

"For me this isn't about one bra, I want to develop a brand to cover a broader, inclusive range of zero-waste, low waste and recycled basics for both men and women," she said.

"Together we can start cleaning up the fashion industry and help protect our fragile planet for future generations."

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