Our most frequently asked for item is an organic or natural fiber bra without underwire that has padding. We’ve had a few close designs, but that perfect bra has eluded us. So what exactly is the issue with getting this holy grail of bras?
We have been lucky thus far to carry the most eco-friendly padded bras in the world. Love Nature, (the Italian company that recently went on [possibly permanent] hiatus), has been making organic cotton padded bras with an interior cotton batt for the padding. Conventional bras use either polyester or nylon for the interior padding, both of which are petroleum-based fabrics. The biggest difference in performance is that polyester can be molded to keep its shape and can be made in a variety of thicknesses. The cotton batting is designed similar to a quilt and can only keep its shape under certain thicknesses (on the lighter side of padding) and with the help of the underwire to support it. Love Nature only made underwire padded bras because their eco-padding required the firmness of the underwire to essentially hold it in place.
The lesson is that you can have eco-padding and underwire or conventional padding and no wire. At this point, it doesn’t seem you can have both.
In 2011, Blue Canoe came out with their Adjustable Soft Bra and Soft Cup Cross Over Bra. Both of these bras have removable nylon pads that sit in organic cotton “pockets” and don’t touch the skin. These are both pull-on style bras, and in truth, we didn’t think they would do that well. But Blue Canoe is a trusted brand, so we tried them out… and they are flying out the door. There are just so many women who want an organic no wire, padded bra that they’re finding conventional padding and no wire the better option.
That said, allow us to introduce two fantastic no wire, padded bras with fully adjustable straps and 3-position back closures. At the top of this page, you’ll see the Body No Wire Padded Bra and here to the right is the Calais Lace No Wire Padded Bra. Both are made from a unique eco-fabric of white pine tree trimmings and dyed with OEKO-TEX 100 certified dyes. They do unfortunately have polyester padding, though it does not touch the skin.
On a side note, we’ve quietly had a no wire, padded bra with adjustable straps and 3-position back close all along. The Pine Tree Padded Bra has been around since 2009. However, the $80 price tag put it on a very slow sales track. Another issue with this particular bra is that the criss-cross straps in the back make it a bit awkward to put on. It has to first be pulled on over the head before you can secure the back hooks.
The Pine Tree Padded Bra was originally made end-to-end in France. As the company grew, they realized that despite having an awesome fabric their pricing was holding them back. A few years ago they re-branded as Do You Green and started having the garments sewn in Tunisia while keeping their unique fabric production local to where the pine tree trimmings are collected in France.
We took a look at them then, but were holding out hope that they would get a Fair Trade certification. We’ve just touched based again, and are happy to report they’ve gone one step further. Do You Green now has a dedicated factory in Tunisia that allows them to set their own high standards for employees, working conditions and the quality of their garments. It also allows them to offer their unique Pine Tree fabric garments at much more reasonable prices.
Getting back on topic, we’re unaware of any company in the world who has developed an eco-padded, no wire bra. We’re still looking, though. And if you ever see one, please let us know.