Products - About Our Organic Cotton Underwear
What is a bralette?
A bralette is an unstructured version of a bra, without any underwiring. It is a softer, more flexible choice that many women find significantly more comfortable than a conventional bra. It's also distinct from a sports bra, as it's not specifically designed to protect breasts during exercise. Bralettes vary hugely, from completely unstructured and unlined versions all the way through to padded varieties that offer more support. Our bralettes are designed to be comfortable, gentle and supportive - great for lounging at home or a day on the go.
Are bralettes healthier than bras?
There’s limited research to say that bralettes are healthier than bras, but because of their flexible nature they’re much easier to get a better fit with. Many women find bralettes far more comfortable than ordinary bras. They can feel less invasive and tight, sometimes like you’re not wearing a bra at all!
Are bralettes good for larger breasts?
Stretchy elastane is woven into the super-soft organic cotton that we use, so our bralettes have the ability to expand to your shape. We recommend using your band width to decide between our small, medium and large options as the cup is able to expand to fit around breasts of many different sizes. We’ve had models with D cups fitting into our small bralette!
However, we’re aware that many women with larger breasts prefer a slightly more structured style to what our current bralettes can offer. This is why we’re working hard behind the scenes to develop a bralette that’s specifically designed with this in mind. Watch this space!
Is a bralette the right choice for me?
If you find yourself flinging your bra off at the end of the day, chances are you could have an ill-fitting bra. A bralette could be the perfect choice for you, as they're easier to get a good fit and are generally gentler on the breasts. As well as being made from super-soft organic cotton, Y.O.U bralettes are stretchy and supportive.
How much support does a bralette give?
Depending on the style, bralettes can offer ranging support. Our bralettes are designed with comfort in mind, and also to suit a broad range of sizes. We’ve had models with d-cups who have found our bralettes supportive enough for them! It’s a case of personal preference and what you’re used to! If you are after that extra bit of structure, we suggest you try crossing the straps at the back – you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!
Will my underwear stretch?
Yes – all our underwear is made from 95% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, and 5% elastane. It will mould perfectly to your body during the day! But don’t worry, it won’t lose its shape over time – it will always spring back.
Care - how to look after your underwear
How should I wash my underwear?
- We recommend washing all clothes in a cool wash (30 degrees), but if you’re worried about hygiene, it’s best to wash underwear at 60 degrees to kill germs (along with household linen and towels).
- Turn your undies inside-out when washing.
- Wash your bralette less often – once a week is enough!
- Hand dry for a smooth, crinkle-free finish (in case you’re the sort to iron your undies!)
- Add half a cup of white vinegar to your laundry loads to remove pesky stains, add brightness to whites and neutralise odours.
Check out more tips on how to extend the life of your undies by caring for them well.
Will my underwear shrink?
No, it shouldn't. All our underwear is made from pre-shrunk fabric, meaning it won’t shrink in the wash, even at higher temperatures. We’ve even had reports of zero shrinkage at (accidental) washing temperatures of 90 degrees!
When do I need to replace my pants/boxers?
In general, underwear should be replaced every six months to a year. But because we use such high quality organic fabric, you’re likely to get a year or more out of your Y.O.U undies.
How often should I buy a new bra/bralette?
Regular bras need to be replaced every 6 months, but because bralettes are designed to be softer and more flexible, you’ll find that they last longer! Read our blog post for more details on how often to replace your bras.
Can I mend my underwear?
Yes! Increasing the lifespan of clothing is one of the best ways to reduce its overall environmental impact, so we’d highly recommend repairing small faults that emerge in your underwear with age. We’ve got some great resources on this - check out our blog post on some great mending ideas.
How should I dispose of my old Y.O.U underwear – once it’s passed the mending stage?
Once you’re sure your old Y.O.U underwear is beyond mending, simply send the items back to us and we’ll ensure that they get recycled. This is all part of our 2020 Circular Fashion Pledge! To put this off for as long as possible, read our top tips on how to extend the life of your underwear.
Sustainability - our policies and standards
What sustainability policies do you have in place?
At Y.O.U Underwear, we try to have as positive an impact on the planet as possible. In order to achieve this, we use only 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, which is far less polluting and resource-intensive than non-organic cotton. Garments made out of organic cotton also tend to last longer, because the fibres haven’t been treated with the same harsh chemicals.
We also operate on a zero-waste policy by packaging our underwear in organic cotton bags. When we do have to use plastic (e.g. during shipping), we always make sure it’s recycled and recyclable.
We’ve recently signed up to the 2020 Circular Fashion Pledge, meaning that we will be implementing a take-back scheme for our underwear by the end of this year. This will allow us to recycle old Y.O.U underwear and prevent any of our products ending up in landfill.
We're also closely aligned to some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals!
You can read more about our sustainability policies on our Policies Page.
What are the benefits of organic cotton?
It's much better for the environment! Organic cotton requires no pesticides, herbicides or insecticides are used in the growing of organic cotton, substances that are incredibly damaging for ecosystems. Because of its reliance on intensive chemicals, conventional cotton is one of the world’s most polluting crops. Organic cotton causes 98% less soil and water pollution, and is less energy intensive - causing 94% less greenhouse gas emissions and using 64% less energy than conventional cotton.
Most organic cotton is grown in rain-fed areas. This means that farmers don’t have to rely on extracting water from the ground, a method that puts pressure on water supplies in local communities.
Organic cotton is also much better for people. It’s much safer to work around organic cotton; pesticides can be deadly, and workers and farmers have to breathe in their fumes during the harvesting and manufacturing process. According to the World Health Organisation, up to 20,000 deaths each year are caused by pesticide poisoning.
The production of conventional cotton is linked to modern slavery across the globe. What's more, in 2018 more than 60,000 Indian cotton farmers committed suicide due to spiralling debt caused by the reliance on genetically modified seeds, fertilisers and insecticides. By contrast, organic growing systems help to replenish and maintain soil fertility and biodiversity and allow farmers to be released from their dependency on artificial chemicals.
Are there any disadvantages to organic cotton?
The only disadvantage to organic cotton is that it requires land and water to grow - and therefore falls into the same moral dilemma as all crops grown for industry, rather than food for people. In every other way, organic cotton is a much better alternative to conventional cotton grown using chemicals.
Is organic cotton sustainable?
Organic cotton is far less resource-intensive than conventional cotton, and is therefore a much more sustainable option.
Is organic cotton biodegradable?
Organic cotton is a natural fibre, and is therefore 100% biodegradable.
In order to ensure the best fit, we’ve combined our organic cotton with 5% elastane - otherwise, our underwear would easily lose its shape. We admit that we’re not perfect in this respect, but are proud to be 95% of the way there when it comes to our materials. And we’re working to incorporate more sustainable alternatives!
What is the environmental impact of fast fashion?
Fast fashion affects the environment in many different ways – all the way from CO2 emissions, water pollution, and waste production. Check out our blog post on how fast fashion affects the environment for more details on this specific question – as well as some handy tips on what we can all do as individuals to help! Sustainable fashion doesn't have to be expensive!
Why do you plant trees with Ecologi?We want to reduce our carbon footprint and environmental impact as much as possible, and we think that planting trees is a great way to help the earth! For every sign up to our fortnightly email newsletter, we plant a tree with Ecologi. They work with Eden Reforestation to plant trees ethically and sustainably, and have transparent data backing up their claims. Sign up to our newsletter here to plant a tree.
Retail - where to find us
Where can I buy Y.O.U Underwear?
You can buy Y.O.U Underwear online through our website. We also have listings on a number of other websites (such as Etsy), but we sell primarily through www.youunderwear.com.
We do have one physical presence at the Living Fibres shop in New Zealand.
Throughout the year and especially over the Christmas period, we attend a number of markets and events. Check out our Events page for live updates on where we'll be.
Can I meet the team in person?
Yes! Throughout the year and especially over the Christmas period, we attend a number of markets and events. With coronavirus restrictions, we have been participating in a number of online markets and events where you can virtually meet us! Live updates on upcoming events can be found on our Events page.
We’re always available online via email and comments on our blog/social media posts, so if you have any questions or want to get in touch, then simply contact us - we’d love to hear from you!
Do you have any physical shops?
We don’t have any of our own physical shops, but we are stocked in Living Fibres in New Zealand. As we grow, we also hope to expand our physical presence in the UK. Watch this space!
What are your Covid-19 policies, and are you still operational?
We have been able to remain open for business through our website for the whole period of lockdown, and have worked hard to provide the service and support that we are proud to provide.
We are continuing to respond to all enquiries as quickly as possible and intend to continue doing that for the foreseeable future.
We wanted to reassure you that the health of our customers, teams and families is of the highest priority. We are doing everything we can to protect everyone at this time and have put in additional hygiene and safety measures to keep everyone safe and well.
Check out our live updates page for more information about our new policies surrounding the coronavirus.
Wholesale - about our wholesaleIf you're interested in stocking Y.O.U underwear, please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations - how do you work and how can I help?
How does your buy-one-give-two system work?
For every pair of Y.O.U Underwear you buy, we donate two pairs of underwear to the charity Smalls for All. Smalls for All have a warehouse near Edinburgh, from where they distribute underwear to Africa and within the UK. They work closely with partners at home and abroad to ensure that underwear reaches the right people, in a sustainable and culturally conscious manner.
How can I support Smalls for All directly?
There are a number of ways you can support Smalls for All:
- Donate online: Even £3 will make a massive difference!
- Donate gently-worn bras and new pants: send them directly to Smalls for All’s warehouse (Five Sisters Business Park, Westwood, West Calder EH55 8PN).
- Volunteer! Smalls for All have a warehouse full of underwear that needs sorting! If you live near Edinburgh, and have some time on your hands, why not give them a helping hand?
Can I send used underwear to Smalls for All?
Smalls for All accepts gently-worn bras that are clean, and brand-new pants with labels attached. They cannot accept used pants.