Lingerie & Sustainability: 10 Brands Reusing Their Fabric Scraps

by Estelle Puleston
Lorette Lingerie folie silk chiffon belt made from upcycled fabric scraps

Lorette Folie Pleated Belt, $35 (~£27 / ~32€)

Earlier this year I wrote about the small but growing practice of lingerie brands providing a repairs service as a way to embrace sustainability, and it got me thinking about other things that brands can do beyond simply choosing a sustainable fabric.

One important thing to consider is what they do with the leftovers from that fabric. Any time pieces need to be cut out and then sewn together – which is practically all lingerie – there will be bits that don’t get used. Higher-quality and luxury brands are actually likely to have more leftovers, due to for example arranging their pattern pieces diagonally (to get a bias cut) or over specific parts of a lace/embroidery/print’s pattern (to precisely position a motif on the garment), whereas brands at the other end of the price spectrum will cram all of the pattern pieces as closely together as possible to minimise fabric costs.

So, what can they do with those irregularly-shaped, oftentimes quite small pieces of fabric, besides throw them away? Recycling them is one option, if it’s a fabric that can be easily recycled (when elastane is mixed in, it isn’t). But a few particularly creative and resourceful lingerie brands have found ways to turn those scraps into new products!

Sometimes, that means painstakingly patchworking little pieces back together like now-defunct brand Pillowbook did with their utterly exquisite Harmony set. Other times, it could be making small accessories such as scrunchies, or even simply using the tiniest scraps as stuffing inside something like an eye mask.

Intrigued? Here are a bunch of ways that lingerie brands are currently upcycling their waste materials:

Clare Bare

Clare Bare is a handmade brand from the US that uses a mix of locally-sourced sustainable materials, deadstock fabrics and upcycled vintage ones, sometimes dyed with natural-based colourants. As well as offering mystery fabric styles to make use of smaller fabric pieces that wouldn’t be suitable for large production runs, the brand also has a Zero Waste section with one-of-a-kind products made from small remnants left over from its own garment manufacturing. At the time of writing, these are all padded eye masks; in the past, there have been bralettes and bottoms too.

Lucky Sew and Sew

A handmade brand run by a mother-daughter duo in Spain, Lucky Sew and Sew uses recycled, deadstock and sustainable fabrics. And with the small off-cuts of those fabrics, they create versions of their Gaia patchwork bra shown above, which is available with or without the longline and optionally in a nursing version for no extra charge. Each one is unique, and the fabric pieces they choose for yours will be a surprise.

Lorette Lingerie folie silk chiffon belt made with upcycled fabric scraps
Lorette Folie Pleated Belt, $35 (~£27 / ~32€)


Independent, US-based brand Lorette creates luxurious, delicate-looking pieces using upcycled materials, luxury deadstock, and bespoke embroideries. Last year, I wrote an article for Lingerie Briefs which featured a gorgeous bodysuit designed in collaboration with another brand and patchworked together from both of their fabric offcuts. While that’s no longer available, you can still buy the Folie belt (in dove grey, above, and in caramel, at the top of the article) which is a narrow, silk chiffon-wrapped belt created using scraps from Lorette’s Folie camisole and tap pants.


Reusing fabric scraps doesn’t always have to be about making something wearable, as Evgenia proves. The designer of this deluxe handmade brand from the US turns the lace and silk-velvet offcuts from her iconic Rebelle collection into these adorable hanging ornaments and lavender-filled drawer sachets. They’re stuffed with silk scraps, too. Check the brand’s accessories section for other colour options.

Edge o’ Beyond

Luxury UK brand Edge o’ Beyond launched their Beyond Sustainable range in 2020, which offers limited-edition and one-off pieces created especially to use up the brand’s leftover fabric pieces (and they have some very beautiful embroidered fabrics!). It’s a chance to make your purchase a little more eco-friendly and potentially get an Edge o’ Beyond shape in a fabric it isn’t usually made in. Plus, the prices are significantly lower than the brand’s usual.

Bordelle Revived square lace embroidered lingerie set
Bordelle Revived ‘Square Lace’ garments, no longer available.


Bordelle is another luxury UK brand which launched a collection titled Revived in 2019, offering their fans a chance to get new, limited-edition designs that had been made with materials from past-season collections. To date, 700m of embroidery, 230m of other fabric and 640m of elastic have been turned into Revived garments – materials which, presumably, it would not otherwise have used – and the brand has put out a total of six Revived ranges. While the latest of those was released back in 2022, it’s still being featured and promoted on their website so there’s a good chance there’ll be more to come.

Hopeless Eternal bralette made from upcycled fabrics
Hopeless Lingerie Eternal #42 Bralette, AUD $140 (~ USD $93 / ~£73 / ~86€)

Hopeless Lingerie

A small, independent brand from Australia, Hopeless Lingerie launched a collection titled Eternal last year that’s aimed at addressing and reducing waste from the fast fashion industry. Mainly bralettes and bottoms, these one-of-a-kind pieces are made from a mixture of Hopeless’ own fabric offcuts, deadstock materials from other local brands, and donated garments from the organisation Thread Together which collects unsold, brand new clothing to save it from landfill and instead get it into the hands of people who really need it.


French lingerie brand Esquisse creates simple silhouettes in eye-catching prints that are unique to the brand. With the leftovers, they create reusable face masks (currently on the site) and scrunchies (none currently available). What’s more, they also sell fabric pieces large enough to make something bigger than those, so if you have a past-season Esquisse set and are craftily-included, you could potentially get some more of the same fabric to sew your own additional coordinates!


Also from France, Etam-owned lingerie and lifestyle brand Ysé has a collection titled Acte II which offers briefs and thongs made from the leftover fabrics from previous seasons, and at a lower price point – 20€-25€ instead of the usual 25€-40€. As of January this year, they’d created 30,000 items from these past-season materials.


By sheer coincidence, as I was finishing up this article a retweet popped up on my Twitter feed of these ‘scrap bikinis’, which are hand-crocheted by MADE BY B. Okay, it’s not lingerie (or ‘fabric’), but it’s close enough and clearly the universe wanted me to show them to you! They’re one of a few products that the designer makes to use up all the small lengths of yarn left over from garments that have a more consistent colour palette, and they are a true riot of colour with each one being equally vibrant but uniquely different. I love the way that the knots joining the individual yarn pieces have been turned into an intentional design feature, too.

An honourable mention: ColieCo

ColieCo is a sustainable, handmade brand from Portugal that created probably my favourite lingerie piece ever made from fabric scraps with their Leaf Knickers back in 2018. Sadly, those are no longer available (I can only imagine how long they must’ve taken to put together – longer than their low price tag justified I’m sure!), but they now have a set that’s almost as fun: the Kaleidoscope lingerie set [affiliate link]. While this hasn’t been created with the intention of using up ColieCo’s own fabric scraps, I thought it deserved a shout out here because it’s made from leftover materials from other lingerie brands and has been specially designed with an “inventive pattern design [that] helps us go even further, allowing us to make use of even the smallest offcuts of this rescued fabric”.

What’s your favourite way that a brand is reusing its scrap materials? Do you know of any other lingerie brands doing this that I’ve missed from the list?

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