Bras for Chemically Sensitive People

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.

And lastly, there are also organic tank tops and bras (90% cotton, 10% latex) and camisoles that contain no elastic or latex.



Rawganique: The Beginner’s Guide to Chemical-free Organic Products

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


Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Organic Bras

The fabric used in the manufacture of organic bras is made up of non-toxic materials; usually it’s cotton or hemp. The elastic can be a problem for some people because it has petrochemicals in either the rubber (or spandex) of it. For others it is hardly noticeable, if at all. And for most people it goes away after a few washes (oh, all right, a lot of washes for the severely sensitive). An organic bra is a great choice for someone sensitive to chemicals because:

  1. the fabric won’t have been treated with chemical based dyes
  2. the product won’t have been washed in harsh chemical detergents
  3. it’s less likely to cause problems and won’t need to be washed (and aired) many times by the owner before it can be worn.

Not only are these all great reasons to buy a bra made from organic materials but it’s also an excellent ethical and environmental choice too!


Most styles, traditionally, have been designed as a cross-over bra, or yoga top. But as demand has increased the finer, lacier details are coming available. Generally, they don’t have underwire, so if you’re larger than a D cup, the search could be on! But you could try Jane’s plus cup.

What (and where) to Buy

Rawganique: The Organic Pima Cotton Lady Lace Bra is designed with a lace insert for those desiring a more feminine style. 100% cotton fabric and it has adjustable straps and band and is machine washable.

The Organic Cotton Bralette can be worn on its own as a yoga-style top. It’s made from 90% organic cotton and 10% spandex; it comes in sizes S-M-L and is machine washable and made in the USA. It comes in natural, two-tone jade, and terracotta.

The Organic Cotton Energy Sports Bra is one of the few sports bras available made with organic fabric. It has doubles straps that cross and weave at the back in an attractive pattern and it is made from 90% organic cotton and 10% spandex. Available in Black and Bluestone, and Cocoa in sizes S-M-L.

Cottonfiled US: options are the Bra Top 100% organic cotton knit sports-style bra, with a latex-free elastic band in black or natural. It’s made in the US. This, just maybe, is the perfect bra for someone who is severely chemically sensitive, or has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).

Or, the Graceful Sports Bra: 92% organic cotton, 8% lycra (elastic and latex free).

Blue Canoe: in the US (they ship internationally) (see below for AUS distributor) have a huge variety of styles: nursing, crossover, cami, yoga and simple bras in an assortment of colours. For women who require more room Jane’s plus cup goes up to an extra large.

Blessed Earth: are the Australian distributors for Blue Canoe bras.

Queen Bee: sold in Australia, organic nursing bra with discreet inseam pockets on the inside to put breast pads in.

Gaiam: traditional Yoga style bra Australia, ships internationally.

Cheers and good luck!

Where do you get your bras? Have you ever had problems with the materials? Any tips for us people–sensitive to chemicals–still finding our way?

Have you read ‘Take off your bra!’ yet?




Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
Translate »