No wire, no toxins, no waste. This is the strap-line of The Very Good Bra – a revolution in eco-underwear created by breast cancer survivor Stephanie Devine, who was fed up with the mark her lingerie was making on the planet.
“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,” says Stephanie, who previously had a long career in financial services.
“I’ve always lived by the mantra, ‘buy less, buy better’”, she says. “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.”
In April, her venture will take the next step when a Kickstarter campaign launches to fund production of the product (you can already support The Very Good Bra through its website).
Paramount to The Very Good Bra is the introduction of the botanic fibre, Tencel, sustainably farmed from Eucalyptus trees, which require a fraction of the water cotton does to grow and process. The bra also contains tree rubber elastic sourced from sustainable forests. These are dyed to meet Global Organic Trading Standards.
The outcome? The Very Good Bra is not only comfortable, but completely compostable.
“The hooks and eyes have honestly been the toughest thing, and we are still finalising that component with our factory,” says Stephanie. “The Cradle 2 Cradle Fashion Positive organisation helped me source zero-waste sewing thread, and organic, toxin-free inks for label printing. 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.”
Her aim with the Kickstarter campaign is to bring down the pricing on their first production run (the sustainable elastic they source costs 100 times what normal bra elastic does) and increase awareness so they can keep bringing down the price by making it more mainstream.
“I’m not advocating entire zero-waste wardrobes,” says Stephanie, who would love to expand into men’s underwear too. “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.”