Article contributed by The Very Good Bra founder and CEO, Stephanie Devine
The Very Good Bra has launched a world-first 100 per cent compostable, plastic-free nursing bra that is making it comfortable and easy for mothers to take care of the environment and avoid dangerous toxins while nursing their newborn.
Creating the world’s first plastic-free nursing bra has been a dream come true. To achieve circularity with this bra has been my mission from the start and to do it for mothers is especially important for me. The natural materials used to create the bra are 100 per cent compostable, meaning it has no negative environmental footprint through all parts of the lifecycle including end of its life, unlike most nursing bras, which include synthetic fibres.
As a company, The Very Good Bra is specialised in making underwear using only botanically sourced materials – organic cotton, natural rubber, and cellulose sewing thread. This means no toxins are created through manufacture and processing; so they don’t shed microplastics; and they can be safely composted, worm-farmed or buried in soil at end of life, thereby diverting textile waste from landfill
Last year 310,000 babies were born. Our research found that they will go through three bras during nursing which will all end up in landfill, as even those made with ’natural fibres’ like cotton and bamboo contain spandex, polyester and nylon – all plastics – whereas ours use none. If every one of those 310,000 women purchased a Very Good Bra nursing bra we could potentially save more than 31,000kg of plastics going into landfill and avoid 270 kg of micros plastic making it into our oceans in just one year.
In 2021, Australia was reported to have the second-highest consumption of textiles per capita in the world, behind the US. According to the 2020 National Waste Report, only seven per cent of our textile waste is recycled, with the remaining 93 per cent sent to landfill.
The driving force behind The Very Good Bra is on providing an alternative to conventional, synthetic bras which can include toxin-heavy fabrics. Our new nursing bra is completely free of BPA (Bisphenol A), a chemical compound that acts as a hormone disruptor and has been linked to conditions such as asthma, heart disease and cancer. It can be ingested through eating food or drinking water stored in plastic containers containing BPA or absorbed through the skin.
New research has found polyester fabrics containing spandex can contain high levels of BPA. This is concerning as even low levels of exposure to BPA during pregnancy is associated with abnormal foetal development.
It’s so important that we educate consumers better, as their health and behaviour are key catalysts for change. Over the last decade, we saw a lot of countries, including Australia, phase BPAs out of baby bottles and sippy cups to protect sensitive populations like newborns and infants. More questions are now being raised about underwear and other clothing, after sports bras tested by the Centre for Environmental Health in the US showed that synthetic clothing could expose wearers to up to 22 times the safe limit of BPA, based on standards set in California.
The launch of the world’s first 100 per cent compostable nursing bra is important in our push towards building new sustainable business models in the Australian fashion industry. It follows on from our work with Standards Australia in creating a national standard for composting textiles- yet another world first.
Our latest nursing bra is the perfect example of how social and environmental responsibility is woven into the fibres of this product innovation because it’s not only good for mum, it’s good for bubs and it’s good for our planet.
The Very Good Bra nursing bra with early-bird discounts is available for pre-purchase until 19 April at Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/990591867/the-very-good-nursing-bra
To find out more about The Very Good Bra, visit: www.theverygoodbra.com