The cost of lingerie Part One: What makes your bra ethical?

The cost of lingerie is a very heated topic across the internet. A lot of the time people don't understand the construction behind a bra. They are little pieces of artistic beauty with an engineering element to them. People often question why some bras can be sold for £8 and some for £80. In this blog post I'm going to talk about what makes a piece of lingerie or clothing ethical.
This might seem quite strange because you would assume that every bra you see on the market has been designed by someone. It isn't until you see fast fashion brands making knock off versions of designer items that you realise that not all bras that are on the market have a design ethics behind them. Ethical lingerie ensures that the product made has been uniquely designed by one or several people and they have been paid for their skills. PrimaDonna take 18 months to complete the entire design process of each of their bras, this factors into the average £76 cost of a bra.
Janay Bare Bamboo Body | Ethical Lingerie
Independent designer Janay's Bare Body side by side with the final design
All lingerie is made out of some sort of material and a lot of brands will source fabrics from elsewhere. If a brand is making custom lace and embroidery, expect to pay a premium for that. If the fabric that a brand is sourcing is very cheap, it's either sacrificing physical quality or someones quality of life, sometimes both. Ethics starts at the starting point of a bra, ethical lingerie brands should source materials from other ethically registered suppliers.
PrimaDonna Materials | Ethical Lingerie
Ethically sourced materials at the Van De Velde Factory
Cutting and construction
A lot of ethical lingerie factories will have pattern cutting held in their home based factories and send the cut outs to factories overseas that they own. Just because a bra is made in a foreign country does not always mean that the ethics is poor. Labour is obviously cheaper in these countries and in order to meet the demand for the products, the brand will use this to have as many workers as possible. Ethical brands will ensure that those who work for them get paid a fair wage- generally above the minimum for their country. They will ensure that the working conditions are safe, secure and slavery free. Child labour will also never be used.
Aubade Factory | Bra constructionProduct constructor in the Aubade factory in Tunisia
Other workers
Lets not forget the packaging teams. In larger brands there are a lot of people working around the clock to ensure suppliers get their stock in time. This is still part of the production process and a lot of retailers neglect their packaging staff. Ethical brands will ensure that everyone working in each department is paid a fair wage.
Aubade Factory | Ethical Lingerie
Aubade Factory | Employee boxing up the final products
So when you ask why a bra costs a particular amount, make sure you consider what has gone into making it. At Claudia May Lingerie we are members of Business Against Poverty which means we have agreed to only use ethical suppliers.
What are your thoughts? Do you care about the ethics behind your lingerie?

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