Someone holding a bra


Plant-based bras, supporting you and the planet

Fashion > Plant-based bras, supporting you and the planet

You can read this in 3 minutes

Bras have been slow to jump on the sustainability train, until now…

13 August 2021, 3:15 PM


How would you feel about wearing a bra made from Brazilian sugarcane? Yep, you read it right – a bra made out of sweet, sweet sugar! American lingerie manufacturer, Gelmart, has launched a bio-based bra in a new line of sustainable lingerie.  

It’s no secret that the fashion industry is one of the worst contributors of climate change, but with swimsuits now made from recycled plastic bottles and underwear made from bamboo, brands, big and small, are increasingly considering the environment when it comes to designing their products.

So why has Gelmart chosen our supportive friend, the bra? Well, the typical bra has over 25 different components made up of materials that are harmful to the environment and difficult to recycle. And the biggest culprit…bra pads!

Pads in bras came about over 40 years ago and nothing has changed in terms of the material that’s used to create them. Bra pads are the most non-environmentally friendly piece of the product and have the most harmful impact on the planet. The pads are made from foam, that in production and when being disposed of, let off fumes that cause damage to our planet.  

It’s about time they changed things up, don’t you think?

Taking three years and with lots of trial and error, Gelmart have finally cracked it! They had to find a bio-based material that would retain shape when exposed to heat and temperature and the material then had to pass various tests, from washing and drying to finding out what consumers thought of the new plant-based bra!

To create these bras, the sugarcane is shredded and broken down with eco-friendly chemicals, and then, when in liquid form, it is solidified and spun into yarn.  

So, is sugarcane really a feasible material for bras worldwide? Well, we’re not in short supply of the stuff, that’s for sure…internationally, Brazil is a major producer of sugarcane with more than 500 million tons harvested every single year! Plus, sugarcane has already been widely accepted by textile industries as a desirable material, due to it being a natural fibre that can be used in a wide range of applications…talk about a sugar rush!  

So, where can we get one?!

Gelmart have partnered with mass retailer, Walmart, to make their bras accessible to all - now that leaves a sweet taste in our mouth. Let’s hope Gelmart has started a trend and bras everywhere can now support the environment as well as us!

What other fashion retailers are putting their best sustainability foot forward? Head over to our social media channels and let us know.

Next article: Fancy a stroll across a 3D printed bridge?

Warning: may blow your mind!

Check out our top picks


The food waste app that’s revolutionising the way we eat


Saving the ice caps, one bead at a time


The future of sustainable fashion

Incredible people, unbelievable stories


We can all
change the world

We are #DifferenceMakers, a ground-breaking movement inspiring us all to make a change, no matter how big or small, by sharing remarkable stories of how engineering and technology are saving the world around us. Expect the unexpected – from super sustainable fashion and squeaky clean streaming, to apps that combat food waste and
tech to stop the ice caps melting.

We’re changing the way everyone sees engineering and technology, and proving they're a force to be reckoned with when it comes to saving our planet! If you care about making a difference and want to learn more, then join our movement today.

#DifferenceMakers was created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) – one of the world’s largest engineering institutions and a diverse home for everyone in engineering and technology.