13 Ethical Bras That Put Everyday Comfort First

It’s hard to find an ethical bra that in any way resembles the lightly padded, underwire bras most women are used to wearing on a regular basis. As much as I love the aesthetic and ideal of a simple, unlined bra, I feel more comfortable with a small amount of padding, particularly under thin t-shirts.

I have long had the intention of creating an Ethical Bra Guide, but to be honest with you, I couldn’t find a good, everyday bra for my A cup and it seemed disingenuous to share when I hadn’t even found something to suit me.

That changed once I discovered Patagonia’s Barely Bra, so today I’m doing my best to share ethically produced bras in several styles for a range of body types and sizes. My apologies if you notice a gap in sizing or comfortable options for larger bust sizes. My experience as an A cup is all I know. Please do feel free to make suggestions in the comments!

This list contains a few affiliate links.


If I’m wearing a sweater or a fancy dress, an unlined bra with a deep V does the trick. The Aria bra was made fairly by a woman named Alba Betancur using upcycled and eco-friendly fabrics.

Svala Vivien Lace Bra, $65

Made in the USA from recycled, remnant lace.

Larkspur Luella Longline Bra, $57

I reviewed this piece a couple years ago and really like it as loungewear bra. Good under thicker tops like sweaters, too.

Lightly Padded:

Patagonia Barely Bra, $45

This is my go-to style. At my cup size, I don’t really benefit from underwire, not to mention that the structure was beginning to cause chest discomfort. The Barely Bra is made of recycled polyester and spandex with removable padding.

Prana Dreaming Bra, $35.40 (on sale)

Made fairly with recycled polyester, the Dreaming bra features an intricate strap detail with removable padding.

Prana Soleil Bra, $49

More of a workout or lounge piece, the Soleil bra is made a nylon/spandex blend with removable padding.

Boody Ecowear Padded Shaper Bra, $19.95

A simple, bamboo rayon bra with removable padding, this one’s a contender for my favorite style.


Naja Helena Push Up Bra, $52

If you like to add a little oomph, the Helena Bra will do the trick. This style is currently available in B to DD cups only.


Coco Caramel Bronze Silk Bra via Azura Bay, $105.51 USD ($139 CAD)

Feminine and structured, this bra was handmade in London using upcycled fabrics.

Naja Steffi Bustier, $85

With a caged band detail and removable straps, the Steffi bra was made fairly.


Threads 4 Thought Kala Sports Bra, $42

Made from recycled polyester and spandex, this bra features an inspiring message, “Be the change,” on the bottom band.

Synergy Organic Clothing Native Summer Yoga Bra, $21 (on sale)

A lightweight bra for low impact activity, this piece was made fairly with GOTS certified organic cotton.

Patagonia Active Compression Bra, $55

In a recycled nylon blend, this bra is more supportive and contains odor control properties.

P.S. I’m collecting thoughts and stories on the Women’s March. I’ll share as soon as I can. 

Leah Wise

Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for sharing these valuable insights.

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