The first instalment of the “ethical underwear series”!
I wanted to review a series of ethical underwear brands, because for so long I focused on ethical clothing, but I’ve never extended that philosophy to my undergarments. I’ve always bought cheap underwear because it was affordable. I realised cheap doesn’t exactly mean “affordable” in the long run. They seemed to last a month before falling to pieces. They pretty much become see-through!
So, I wanted to dig deeper and research some ethical underwear brands. I don’t mind paying more for something if it will last longer in the long term. It’s more economical that way, and also better for my trash bin. And yes, I have a trash bin which isn’t a jar!
All the brands highlighted in the ethical underwear series have sent photos of their factories or have okayed me using their images of their factories – I think this is so important. If a company promotes itself as being “ethical” then their factory conditions should represent that. And in some part, that’s why we’re spending more – not only for quality, but for better working conditions.
I just wanted to say, that I actually had some ethical brands say yes to sending me a sample, but I never heard from them again when I asked about their factory workers and if they could send over some photos. For me this is a big red warning sign that they aren’t as transparent as they seem or promote to be. So, all the brands you will see in this series are completely transparent. Moreover, they were super friendly. To the extend where I’ve convinced myself we’re best friends. But the reality is I have no friends!
I just also wanted to state, that not all of the items that I owned in my life are “ethical” – I don’t believe this is achievable for everyone. Heck, I have apple products and I know their production lines aren’t the best ethically (f*ckin’ hypocrite – but I’ve had my laptop for 8 years…so quality!). I mostly wanted to do this series to highlight some ethical brands that I feel that you would be interested in – particularly if your on the market for some ethical underwear!
The first brand up is “White Rabbit” – here’s their website: https://www.whiterabbitny.com/
Mariana is one of the owners of White Rabbit New York and started up the company along with Cristian.
I asked her why specifically underwear? After all, we rarely put any effort into our underwear, at least I don’t. So, I’m always curious, why someone enters into the realm of ethics – particularly when it’s not the most financially lucrative “business model”.
Here’s what she said:
“I started White Rabbit because I was looking to upgrade my underwear drawer but I was not convinced by / didn’t identify with existing brands. I wanted a brand that made great quality, simple everyday basics and that had values I could stand behind (fair, environmentally conscious, putting women first). So we created White Rabbit”
To be honest, Mariana was probably the most open of all the companies I dealt with. Big tick! She sent multiple images of their factories and working conditions, which is great. And she offered to send more!
I have an “unboxing” of the garments are on IGTV. Sorry, I deleted the video and can’t seem to add it onto my blog, but it’s still available here: https://www.instagram.com/simpleishliving/ (on IGTV)
Please note that I’m from Australia, so I understand the “carbon footprint” of shipping an item from overseas. But I honestly, wanted to review different brands of ethical underwear, so that people from Australia, North America and Europe could “try-them-out” if they wanted to. (These continents make up about 80% of my readers)
So, now what about the undergarments? Sure they’re ethical but are they any good??
First up, they are so incredibly soft and actually really pretty looking. Comfort along with style, it’s not something you get often. My favourite was the Madison Bikini Set:
Sizes range from XS to XL (in some cases XXL). I’m normally a size 6-8 (Australian). So on the safe side I chose a small, although I could have went with an XS. There’s actually a lot of give in the underwear and it probably runs a little bigger than normal sizes. And I’m Asian, so my booty isn’t very big so I could have gone XS. The great thing is they are in the process of making all their packaging plastic free and extending their sizes range. Bonus!
The first wash test: Before I wear my new underwear, I always wash them. Cause, you know…you know!! Plus it’s a good test to go through. Does it remain in good condition after a machine wash? Please note that I wash all my undergarments in a cloth laundry bag. I just find that the straps don’t get all tangled in the wash. And to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of “hand” washing my undergarments unless I’m travelling. Good news is, they’re just as soft after the wash from when I first received them. Plus the seams were still in tact.
The first try test: The first thing I noticed was that is was super soft. Like the softest underwear I’ve ever tried on. My only issue is that I wish I got a smaller size as it didn’t fit around my booty perfectly. The XS would have been perfect.
The same with the bra. I got a 34A, but could have gone with the 32A.
So, that’s just something to keep in mind. There is “give” in the underwear, so don’t be too worried about going smaller. (At least in my opinion)
There was some “gathering” at the seams after the first day at wear, but I think this inevitable considering the design. The stitching is still very solid.
The jeans test: Wearing tight jeans are fine. I couldn’t really see the “line” underneath my jeans, which is a bonus. Plus the underwear didn’t feel uncomfortable or bunched up.
The dress test: you can see a little line in the dress from the underwear. But you’ll get that with most underwear, unless you’re wearing a G-String. White Rabbit does sell G-Strings, but I didn’t try this. To be honest, I’m not really a G-String fan, but I know some people who live in them, so the next few brands I’ll be testing g-strings as well!
The strap test: The straps are soft, and there’s a lot of give in the clip thingys. I don’t know what they called, so here’s a pic.
I can’t really give a test on “support” because I don’t have a big chest. But the “Prince” style surprised me. There was a lot more support in this even though there wasn’t any underwire. Sizing wise I could have gone the XS, but it was still super comfortable.
As mentioned I could have gone with a 32A in the Madison. They were however super comfortable. And I honestly love the detailing on it. (See here for website photo)
The sitting down all day test: To be honest, I barely noticed the underwear at work. Sometimes, it felt like I wasn’t wearing any at all, which is weird. I tell ya, they’re super soft! And comfortable.
The itchy breasts test: Yeah, okay. This is a weird one. But some bras just make my boobs really itchy. I figure if it happens to me, chances are it happens to other people. These don’t make my boobs itchy! Tick!
The one month test: Stay tuned! I’ll follow up with this in a month and see how the quality holds up.
I don’t really want to give it a rating until I know how the quality holds up. But so far it’s looking really good – it has both style AND comfort which isn’t something you would normally get in fancypants underwear. I would recommend them on this alone. Plus they’re also super transparent about their working conditions, which is awesome.
Next up I’ll be reviewing Hara The Label.