In the US, undergarment manufacturer Gelmart will soon release a bra with padding made from sugarcane. Vogue Business noted that the sustainable brassiere will be available in August and would be a major step forward for a clothing category that has been at for forefront of tackling inclusivity but has lagged in sustainability performance.
“There’s a realization that there hasn’t been much innovation in the [lingerie] category when it comes to sustainability,” CEO of Gelmart International Yossi Nasser tells the publication. “You hear the words. You haven’t seen much action yet.”
One reason for the delay may be the relative complexity of a bra, which can use 25-40 different materials. “Bras and lingerie are the most particular products regarding fit as it touches your body directly and requires support, meaning getting the feel and structure right becomes that much more important,” says Ranjan Roy, vice president of strategy at lingerie brand Adore Me. “Incorporating new materials, especially recycled ones, presents a number of challenges here.”
It took Gelmart three years to develop the bra, which will only be sold at Walmart. The biobased foam is being sourced from Brazil’s Braskem.