Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links.
I have seen a few lists of lingerie resolutions out there this year but most seem to focus around buying the ‘right’ size, hand washing your bras, and more. I am not going to tell you what to wear or how to wash it, but I am going to discuss ways you can vote with your dollar and make a difference.
Here are some lingerie resolutions you can make that will support an environment of responsibility, creativity, and diversity.
1) Buy Small
Supporting small businesses rather than larger high-street or big-box stores is one of the key ways you can make a difference. Let’s face it: big box stores are faceless corporations who do not care who made your lingerie, what materials were used, what you are looking for, or whether you are happy. They only care about the bottom dollar.
However, small businesses have invested interest in their clientele. You are the lifeblood of the business and each customer is valued: you are not simply a number. Small businesses are also more likely to support other small businesses and indies who are trying to break into the market. This support encourages creativity and diversity within the market.
Usually, a small boutique like Esty Lingerie or Bluestockings Boutique is run by one or two very hard-working individuals who often have other jobs to support their passion. Your purchase does make a difference in their lives: you support amazing human beings who are passionate about lingerie and care about what they do.
2) Buy Direct
If you want to support a designer and make sure they stay around for another year, then consider buying direct. Many lingerie designers sell their own lingerie. While that same lingerie may be stocked at other boutiques, the pieces will have been bought at a discount from the designer as the boutique also needs to make money.
Buying direct puts more money directly back into the designer’s pocket. This increases the chance of it being financially viable for the designer to continue. Brands such as Dottie’s Delights and EricaM come to mind as both companies sell their own lingerie as well as having it stocked in boutiques.
3) Buy Homemade
While there is plenty of debate over the meaning of homemade and handmade, I like to think of it as lingerie that was made by the person or people selling it. This lingerie has not been made in a factory setting. In my experience, homemade lingerie comes from small one (to two) person operations.
With homemade lingerie, you know exactly who is making your lingerie, what materials are used, and what they are getting paid for their labour – as you are paying them, the seamster, direct. Buying homemade supports new ideas, new designs, creativity, and diversity within the lingerie industry.
For example, Estelle makes and sells her own lovely bra accessories, lingerie, and more via her boutique. ParaNoire makes and sells lovely underwear and bralettes via Etsy. There are hundreds of wonderful little stores on Etsy that sell homemade lingerie.
4) Buy Local
Where was your lingerie made? Some of us can answer this question, while others would need to check the label on our underwear. Buying local supports the economy of the country where you live and work. Especially when economic times are difficult, supporting local manufacturing is a small way that you can help support your country and fellow citizens. Here are just a few examples of companies that manufacture in their home country:
- UK – Fleur of England, Glitter and the Moon
- USA – Between the Sheets, She and Reverie
- Canada – Fortnight Lingerie, Michi NY
In addition, supporting local can be as simple as buying from local boutiques instead of purchasing from those out of country.
5) Buy Second-hand / Used / Repurposed
I like to buy things that are already in existence. It hurts my head to think of all the unloved lingerie just sitting in people’s drawers or on eBay that may never get worn and may never get sold to someone who will wear it. You can make a difference!
Keep perfectly good lingerie out of landfills by purchasing second-hand or used. eBay is a mecca of new and used lingerie that needs a new home and you can find your favourite mainstream brands their as well as indies. Bratabase has a sell/exchange section. There are also Facebook groups that facilitate bra swaps.
Repurposed lingerie is slightly different, but still supports using fabrics we already have and clothing already made. Repurposed lingerie falls into two categories: either the fabric was lingerie to begin with and has been modified, or the fabric was other clothing first and then it was repurposed into lingerie. LaGirafeBleue and Petits Secrets make lingerie from pre-loved clothing, thus keeping old t-shirts out of landfill.
6) Buy Ethical
‘Ethical lingerie’ is such a vague term these days as it could mean myriad things:
- The materials used are organic
- The dyes used are eco-friendly and non-toxic
- The materials used are synthetic or crop-based (such as hemp or cotton) instead of animal-based (leather, wool, sometimes silk)
- The workers are paid a living wage
For some people, it matters only who makes the lingerie rather than what the material is composed of. For others, ethical lingerie must be organic and made of synthetic or crop-based fabrics. Some people believe that ethical lingerie must consider the environment: dyes must be non-toxic and waste from the creation process must be kept to a minimum and then recycled when necessary.
Whatever your definition of ethical lingerie is, this year is a great year to buy it. I know that PACT checks off a lot of boxes for people in that they use fair-trade certified, non-GMO organic cotton that is pesticide free. If you don’t have time to do your own research, check out Bluestockings Boutique: they have an ethical manufacturing and sustainability policy for all the brands that they carry.
You can make one of these resolutions or make all of them – it is completely up to you. I am personally working on resolution #4 this year: buying more of my lingerie local.
Do you have any lingerie resolutions for 2016?