Sustainable Fashion : Kindly offers next-wave eco-friendly bras

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With consumers focused on ‘greening’ their wardrobes, fashion brands have started to jump onto the sustainable fashion bandwagon.

Innovative technologies and sustainable materials have become buzzwords, yet so far, (despite recent incursion by select manufacturers), high fashion has struggled to offer an eco-friendly solution when it comes to intimates.

Kindly is set to change that with its new line of bras. The underwear brand belonging to intimates manufacturer Gelmart offers bras with cups made from a sugarcane-based material rather than fossil fuel based polyurethane foam.

80 % of the bra- including pads and straps-are made from this sustainable material, particulars of which were not disclosed by Kindly.

Currently, these biobased materials are not biodegradable though the brand hopes to conduct further research on the matter. Material scraps from the product are intended for eventual reuse in product manufacturing for the likes of furniture and car seats, as soon as a supported recycling program that accepts the materials are established.

In response to these perceived setbacks, Kindly claims to not view its product as the ultimate sustainable solution but as a means to achieve progress over time- a ‘light green solution’, so to speak.

Critics have given the brand credit for its commitment towards planet-friendly operation but also highlighted that for the bras to be considered sustainable, the sourced sugarcane needs to be entirely sustainably sourced. This means that the benefit of using this biobased material should not be outweighed by the negative environmental impact of trade-offs such as the use of land, water and chemicals associated with the produced crop.

The low price point of the bras was identified as another disadvantage, as it encourages people to view the items as short term or disposable-for a lessened ecological footprint, a pricier yet more durable version would be better.

Associated with the bras relative affordability is the threat of fast fashion overproduction-coupled with the brand’s commitment to gradual progress with regards to sustainability, this could indirectly lead to the inherently environmentally friendly product growing unsustainable the more product operations are scaled up.

Kindly worked three years on its alternative bra pads, characteristic for not emitting toxic chemicals during production or being based or fossil fuels. The brand previously tried to employ recycled plastic as a potential material but gave up on the idea after being unable to mould bras in larger sizes.