Meet The Very Good Bra, the world’s first zero-waste bra, the Kickstarter campaign exceeded its $20,000 goal in around 48 hours and is now sitting at double that, allowing the bra to be put into production in early August. With around two billion women who, on average own about nine bras, that equates to 18 million bras with landfill as their end destination. This bra is something every woman needs and the Kickstarter response is testament to how much we value our environment.
“It’s a great endorsement of the idea, and confirmation that so many people out there are actually prepared to put their money where their mouth is with regard to the environment and sustainability issues.” – Stephanie Devine, founder and designer, The Very Good Ba, on the positive Kickstarter response.
The forward-thinking idea of Sydney based lingerie designer Stephanie Devine is closing the loop within the fashion industry. Dedicated to changing the world one bra at a time, Devine decided to go all or nothing by creating this revolutionary bra which can degrade back into nature.
It’s been no easy ride for the designer, however. From initial concept and product sourcing stage, Devine quickly learned that Australia didn’t have the capacity to produce her garment. So she went further afield, scouring the world for the right combination of eco-friendly materials, all with the intention to create a bra that can be buried in your backyard with no release of toxins and microplastics as it decomposes.
The Very Good Bra is made of eucalyptus Lenzing Tencel that is knitted and dyed in Melbourne; organic, sustainably-farmed tree rubber from the Philippines that is knitted and dyed in Austria and organic cotton from India for the hook and eye. The commitment to sustainability evident even in the organic sewing thread and inks, compostable packaging and cadmium and nickel free clasps and components. “Burying is end of life, so much more of the impact is in the development of the materials for the product and I sleep better at night knowing that Lenzing Tencel production is 99% closed-loop, so the processing of the materials is also low impact,” the designer explains.
Although Devine has created a closed-loop circuit for her garment, she is still looking forward to furthering innovation and improvement, following new research to be undertaken in Sydney on how clothing decomposes and the possibility of a community clothing compost. The Very Good Bra will also act as a case study for further product innovation. She is continually inspired by companies that utilise deadstock fabric to create new garments.
“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,” Devine shares.
Through the support of conscious consumers globally, additional funds raised will also allow the lingerie designer the opportunity to complete Cradle to Cradle certification, making The Very Good Bra the world’s first lingerie label and the first Australian fashion product to do so. Cradle to Cradle certification determines that manufacturers of consumer products are protecting their workers, paying them a living wage as well as assessing production facilities, water usage and renewable energy usage. To meet the strict requirements is a mammoth task in itself as many of the product suppliers are operating overseas, and some in remote areas, many of whom have never heard of Cradle to Cradle before.
“We are still in the Materials Health stage of research and this is taking much longer than expected. There are so many parties in each supply chain for each product that need to co-operate and give product detail.”
Pledging A$70 – $90 will get you your own Very Good Bra, available in 24 real sizes as per below:
10(32) – 16(38) B/C/D/DD/E
To make a pledge, head to the Kickstarter campaign from now until Sunday 17th June.
As many conscious entrepreneurs know and have voiced, it can be challenging starting a conscious label with the high financial outlays involved and long lead times before a fashion business sees any mone. Then there are the many roadblocks in creating products within sustainability and ethical frameworks. Stephanie’s advice is to start incorporating sustainable components where viable and highly recommends the Fashion Positive platform for business resources.
Some advice from the bra expert
How often should we wash our bras? Definitely not after every wash (unless a sports bra).
Hand wash or machine wash? Machine wash, the bra is durable enough to go through a cycle.
Wash bag for wire-free bras? If your machine is a bit rough then opt for an intimates bag if you have one, if not just pop in with the rest of your load.
Dryer? A definite no. The dryer can damage any elastic and foam in a bra. Allow to air dry by hanging via the centre band of the bra.
And what does the conscious queen of bras wear over her Very Good Bra?
Devine is a minimalist in the fact that she rarely shops, utilising what she has in her wardrobe with the mentality of quality over quantity, but when she does go shopping, she looks to locally-made Aussie labels. One of her favorites is Jac + Jack.
To learn more about this revolutionary eco-friendly bra, visit theverygoodbra.com.
Keen to help change the world and reduce your personal impact on our environment? Our free 12-page Sustainable Lifestyle Guide lists 101+ tips on how to live more planet-friendly. Just subscribe to our newsletter here and we’ll email it over!