This post, on bras for people who’re sensitive to chemicals, starts with conventional bras through to organic. I’ve yet to find an organic bra that I’m comfortable wearing everyday; so it’s been a matter of them being non-chemically odorous, bright in colour, pretty, durable and supportive, and in that order, to fit my taste. As soon as I find a bra that fits this criteria I always buy a few:
My fav bra right now: Free people have bras without underwire. (I paid 15$ for mine on sale from ASOS. This company is gracious about returning anything defective cause it’s been fragranced during manufacture, which, they’ve told me, is not what’s meant to happen.) Free People’s bras are not organic and most are made from either cotton or polyamide. Polyamide. It’s a fine gauge, stretchy lace, often with a few parts made from double fabric. They’re not that supportive but I like these bras because they allow my ta ta’s to feel free; the fabric doesn’t smell overtly of anything much (as opposed to the elastic used in Target’s fabrics [think: heavy petrochemical and formaldehyde odours!]); and, when I wash them they come good right away. No crap, I’ve had bras that have needed to be aired over the whole summer and washed a tonne of times before they became fit for purpose. No one wants to go through that. (Companies need to wake up to themselves, yeah?)
Barely There have a cotton underwire bra, however, I’m pretty sure the cups are layered with polyurethane foam. They may outgass after a while but you wouldn’t want this happening while you are wearing it. I used to religiously wear the Barely There Contour Bras, however, I didn’t buy any to air out over last summer, and there’s no point purchasing them in winter because I can’t air them until the weather warms right up. So I’ve moved on… to free-er ta ta’s. (I’ve linked to Booby Trap Warehouse in Australia because they’re good about making sure their products arrive free of fragrance. Just make sure to put it in the comment box on the order page.) (Bras that have been tried on by fragrance wearers, or handled by fragrance wearers, stored or sold in places that have fragrance emitting devices, potpourri, or the those stinky sticks, are not suitable for people like us. Rarely does fragrance wash out. If it’s not fit for purpose, return it! I always do.)
Boody have an organic bamboo bra, and they sell knickers and jocks made from the same bamboo material also.
Blessed Earth sell an organic cotton sports bra with straps; it’s in a racerback style for added support. This bra could be suitable as a sports bra or for doing yoga in. I’ve bought from here before and the price is usually reasonable considering they are organic. The bedding and clothes they sell always arrive without incense or other scents on them. Elastic is of the non-stinking petrochemical variety.
Rawganique make organic cotton wireless bras that are dioxin-free, formaldehyde free, wire-free, chemical-free, sweat-shop free. They’re made in USA, Canada and Europe. These bras are suitable for people with elastic allergy, lycra allergy or latex allergy (apart from the actual rubber and latex components, it’s possible that it’s actually petrochemicals people are reacting to when they say they are allergic to elastic or lycra. I know this is the case for me because I have massive problems with some elastics; and it’s petrol I can smell on them when they are new. Some of these have never washed clean.) It will depend on your chemical sensitivity as to which bra you chose:
Organic Pima Cotton Lace Bra: jersey with elastic under the bust and in the straps for support.
RG188 Organic Cotton Simplicity Bra: lycra (approximately 5-10%) jersey fabric. It’s elastic free.
Discover Magazine: Extreme Chemical Sensitivity Makes Sufferers Allergic to Life
The Labyrinth: Organic Bras
The Labyrinth: Take Off Your Bra
Debra Lynn Dadd: Trying to Find a Bra