Ethical + Sustainable Underwear Review

My underwear drawer is probably the most neglected area of my wardrobe. It consists of a collection of “free” underwear from Victoria’s Secret that I acquired over the years plus maternity underwear that’s starting not to fit me anymore. Considering that I wear underwear everyday (obviously), there’s really no reason why I shouldn’t invest more money into my collection.

This time around I skipped the trendy pairs from Victoria’s Secret (P.S. I no longer buy underwear/bras from Victoria’s Secret – find out why in this post) and decided to try out underwear basics from brands that are either focused on ethical practices, sustainable practices, or both.

Ethical and Sustainable Underwear Review, Underwear flatlay on bed

Ethical + Sustainable Underwear Review

In my search I was looking for brands that had underwear options that fit my style. I prefer more coverage over the bum and either a bikini or mid-rise option. I was also drawn to brands that have a more minimalist aesthetic. For all the brands below I went with my usual size small.

Knickey Underwear Review

The first brand that caught my attention was Knickey. Knickey uses certified organic cotton in their underwear that’s free from pesticides and toxins. Knickey keeps a close eye on their supply chain and get their materials from organic farms and the underwear is produced in a Fair Trade Factory. Knickey is GOTS Certified, Fairtrade International Certified, and Oeko-Tex Certified.

Underwear Recycling Program

One of the things I love about Knickey is that they have an underwear recycling program! You can send them ANY BRAND underwear to recycle and in return you get a free pair of Knickey underwear in your next order!

sustainable cotton underwear from knickey on the bed, mid rise briefs and bikini underwear

Knickey Underwear Size + Fit

I loved that Knickey had a variety of simple styles to choose from in gorgeous shades. They have a low-rise thong, low-rise bikini, mid-rise hipster, mid-rise brief, and high-rise brief. Sizes run from XXS-XXXL (in some styles). Each pair costs $13 but you can bundle in sets of 3, 5, 10, or 20 you can save some money.

I ordered 2 pairs of the mid-rise brief and 1 pair of the low-rise bikini so I could get the bundle price. I really like both of these pairs. The mid-rise brief definitely provides coverage on the bum (which can be hard to find with underwear) and they hit about an inch below my belly button. The bikini has less coverage but it still feels great. I have a feeling that Knickey will be my go-to for affordable cotton underwear in the future.

  • PROS: Underwear Recycling Program for free underwear, Affordable, Variety of simple styles, Allows for Returns on your first pairs.
  • CONS: No nude shades, A lot of colors sold out at the moment.

Girlfriend Underwear Review

Girlfriend is known for their amazing activewear but they also have underwear too! I love this brand because they are very transparent about how and where their products are made. You can read all about it here. Most of their activewear and underwear products are made from recycled water bottles. So their products are recycled and recyclable!

ReGirlfriend Recycling Program

Girlfriend has their own recycling program for their own used products. When you have worn out your current Girlfriend activewear or underwear you can send it back to Girlfriend for some store credit!

Sustainable Underwear from Girlfriend with wash bag

Girlfriend Underwear Size + Fit

One of the other things I love about Girlfriend is that they are size inclusive. You’ll see their underwear modeled on all kinds of bodies! And their sizes go up to 6XL!

Girlfriend has a sport thong, high rise thong, high rise brief, sport brief, classic thong, and classic brief. Their underwear is made from 80% recycled plastic and 20% spandex. It has a moisture wicking gusset and the material is lightweight and breathable. Each pair is $14 but you can buy up to 7 items to save more on each pair.

I went with the classic brief option because it looked like it had enough coverage without being too high. I ordered the shell shade because it was closest to nude for me. It is a very light and comfortable fabric. This is a good “no lines” underwear option.

I just realized they have a Sport option for each style which has a bonded waistband to help it stay up during workouts. If I were to order Girlfriend underwear again I would probably try the sport style because the “classic” underwear does roll down pretty easily. If you have any sort of “gut” or loose skin on your belly then the waistband is probably going to roll down. I still have some belly flab from giving birth and this underwear does not hold me in at all. My flab kind of rolls over the top…haha. So this is probably my least favorite pair because it’s not really flattering around the tummy area for me.

  • PROS: Size Inclusive, Recycling Program for store credit, “Invisible” underwear, Affordable, Returns are allowed for your first underwear purchase.
  • CONS: No nude shades and limited colors.

Organic Basics Underwear Review

Organic Basics makes eco-friendly underwear, activewear and essentials. They are also very transparent about where their clothes are made and their sustainable practices. They carry organic cotton briefs, high-rise briefs, hipsters, and thongs as well as a TENCEL™ Lite underwear line, and an Invisible Underwear line.

Organic Basics Briefs Underwear

Organic Basics Underwear Size + Fit

I ordered the Organic Cotton Briefs 2-pack in Oak because it seemed like the best nude shade. The briefs are made from 95% GOTS certified organic cotton and 5% elastane. I love that they have a firmer waistband for extra support. They have sizes XS to XL and a limited range of colors. This is the most expensive brand so far with the cost per pair between $19.5 and $27.5 depending on which line you choose.

This might be my favorite pair out of the bunch. I love the thicker waistband and it just feels really high quality. I also like the coverage on the bum and the front rise of the underwear. However, if you don’t like a thick waistband then this style might not be for you.

Organic Basics is based in Europe so the shipping fee was a little pricey ($16) and it took a LONG time for my package to get to me. I placed my order on January 17th and didn’t get them until February 7th. That’s over 3 weeks! I’m not sure if they forgot about my order or what because tracking was kind of confusing.

  • PROS: High quality, “Invisible” underwear options, Returns and exchanges allowed.
  • CONS: Expensive, Slow shipping, Limited colors.

Knix Underwear Review

Knix is an underwear brand that specializes in leakproof underwear especially designed for your period. And while I couldn’t find much info on ethical manufacturing or sustainability I thought I would mention them anyway because I think they will help save my underwear drawer in the long run. Usually I end up having to throw away a lot of underwear because of period leakage. If these help with that problem then they will be more sustainable in the long run!

Knix Period Underwear with wash bag

Knix Period Underwear Size + Fit

I ordered the Leakproof Bikini in black which features leakproof technology that can absorb up to 3 tsp of liquid. It also has a quick dry and anti-odor gusset. Knix offers a Boyshort, High Rise, Bikini, Cheeky, and Thong in a variety of absorbancies. From regular non-leakproof underwear to super leakproof underwear.

I ordered my usual size small but it is a little tight. This underwear is designed to be snug at first but loosen up over time. So I’m hoping it gets a little more comfortable as time goes on. I plan on using this underwear as backup during my heavy period days (when I usually get a lot of leakage from my tampon) and on it’s own during lighter days. This underwear isn’t just for periods though. It absorbs sweat and pee as well! I will definitely be ordering more of these because it feels like regular underwear but has the leak protection – which is what I really need during that time of the month.

This underwear was the most expensive and ranges from $18-$35 a pair. I’m assuming it’s because of the leakproof technology. Knix does offer bundles which can give you a discount. Unfortunately, there are no returns or exchanges on the underwear.

  • PROS: Leakproof, “Invisible” underwear, Lots of colors and nude options.
  • CONS: Expensive, No returns or exchanges.
Ethical and Sustainable Underwear options from knickey, Girlfriend, and Knix

Honorable Mention

I do have several pairs of Everlane underwear and I’ve liked wearing them for the past year. I like the fit of the hipster style. The high rise style is a little too high for me. The Everlane underwear is a very thin cotton, which is comfortable, but I feel like it wears out faster over time. Everlane just came out with an Invisible line of underwear which looks nice. However, they don’t offer the regular hipster style – only the high rise.

If you are curious what bra brands I like to buy from then check out this post: Lingerie Brands to Shop Instead of Victoria’s Secret.

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