When shopping for lingerie, finding pieces that make us feel comfortable, confident, and empowered has historically been a difficult task. The intimates industry has long been notorious for promoting an exclusive body image, selling the idea that you’re only supposed to feel sexy if you’re a six-foot, size-zero angel with shiny, long hair and a B cup.


Fortunately, as the cultural dialogue around body image is changing, and as consumers are demanding better behavior on the part of brands, there has been a growing trend of lingerie brands stepping up when it comes to body, gender and racial diversity in their marketing.


These five intimate brands are beacons of body positivity, gender inclusivity, and racial diversity. They demonstrate that genuine representation can exist in the lingerie industry. As consumers, supporting these small brands paves the way for positive change––empowering ourselves and the women creating the intimates behind the scenes.

Botanica Workshop


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In an effort to fill the gap for responsibly produced intimates with a designer aesthetic, Misa Miyagawa founded her company Botanica Workshop in 2014. The brand name is supposed to epitomize its ecological ethos while highlighting the experiential culture of working with handcrafted goods. Based in Los Angeles, its briefs, bralettes, slip dresses, and lounge sets are crafted with ecologically minded materials, including organic cotton, stretch and deadstock silks, cupro, and recycled nylon. Worn by the likes of Natalie Portman, Emma Roberts, and Shailene Woodley, Botanica Workshop is very particular in both the material selection and craft of its everyday essentials.


Its small production runs, executed by local artisans and technicians just a few times per year, effectively manage production volume and minimize waste. The brand’s commitment to sustainability extends to office practices, with efforts like composting food scraps and utilizing recycled and secondhand supplies during garment development.

Organic Basics


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Founded by three Danish friends in 2015, Organic Basics is now a global leader in ethical undergarments. After starting out as an underwear subscription service, Organic Basics has grown into a global company paving the way for sustainability and transparency in the intimates industry. It provides full supply chain traceability, ensuring transparency from cut-and-sew factories to raw material suppliers, and is fortunately continuously increasing the percentage of traceability.


Their garments contain 75.6% plant-based materials (organic cotton and Tencel Lyocell), 15.4% recycled materials (including recycled nylon and wool), and 9% virgin materials.  The company is also in the early stages of piloting a regenerative organic cotton project in Turkey, updates of which are being provided on its website. With a PETA-approved vegan-friendly collection, the brand expresses its commitment to animal welfare as well. Organic Basics openly shares its carbon footprint with the public and aims to reduce emissions intensity significantly by 2025 while also communicating openly about its unmet goals and strategic pivots.



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Parade’s founder Cami Téllez created her intimates company in a desire to show that sexiness is all but one-dimensional, something she had to relearn herself after growing up with exclusive body standards in mind. Since underwear naturally cannot be donated or resold and is usually disposed of, Parade’s Second Life program tackles the issue surrounding massive amounts of discarded undergarments by repurposing them into insulation and thereby reducing landfill waste. This commitment  to introduce circularity to the intimates industry has led the brand to manufacture 80-95% of its undergarments from recycled materials. One of its next goals is to get to 100% recycled materials by 2024 by switching to bio-based and renewable sources for elastane and spandex.


Parade’s size-inclusive line ranges from XS to 5XL which further emphasizes that Parade is for everyone. Third-party certifications like OEKO-TEX and its suppliers’ compliance with the ZDHC restricted substance list demonstrate the brand’s efforts in avoiding hazardous chemicals in its intimates. Beyond empowering their customers, Parade also ensures that 1% of revenue received from orders is donated to organizations supporting marginalized communities with initiatives like free therapy for Black women and LGBTQIA+ youth. Parade’s commitment to fair wages and local manufacturing further elevates its ethical stance.



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The Los Angeles-based label Proclaim stands out for rewriting what a “nude” undergarment is. Founder Shobha Philips sought to create inclusive and ethical options for all skin tones and sizes. Today, all Proclaim’s pieces, whether body suits, briefs, swimwear, or their bestselling cupless and wireless bralettes, are offered in a variety of skin tones up to size 3X (DDD).


All products are made from eco-conscious materials like cupro, organic cotton, hemp, TENCEL™, and third-party-certified recycled polyester made from post-consumer, BPA-free plastic bottles. In an effort to extend their aspirations of diversity to their workers, Proclaim produces in a family-owned, BIPOC-owned apparel factory in LA just 30 miles away from its headquarters that pays well above minimum wage. Proclaim also ensures that wages are paid by hour rather than by piece, promoting a safe workplace that is centered around quality and safe working conditions rather than profit and quantity.



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The founding couple Naomi Gonzalez and Fran Dunaway intended to fill an unmet market need in the LGBTQ community by creating  their own gender- and size-inclusive underwear back in 2013. Since then, the Seattle-based brand has offered sizes from 3XS to 6X with a wide range of products including swimwear, activewear, sleepwear, compression tops, mastectomy bras, and period underwear.


TomboyX prioritizes materials like cotton and recycled synthetics, with plans to explore more certified, responsibly sourced fibers like Tencel™. As of today, most of the brand’s products are certified with OEKO-TEX Standard 100, meaning they have been tested for human health and don’t contain harmful chemicals – naturally something crucially important for underwear. The brand’s commitment to diverse representation extends to its workforce, with 63% of management identifying as LGBTQ and/or minority. TomboyX proudly pays all its employees a living wage and supports women-owned businesses and environmental certifications in its supply chain.

Want to support more Small SuStainable Brands? Check Out Our Brand Directory!

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