@parade

Five anti-sexy lingerie brands to get you through the summer

Underwear’s getting a makeover: out with lingerie dictated by male fantasy, in with the shops reinventing what it means to look and feel hot, one (sustainably made) pair of pants at a time.

Don’t get us wrong, we love a sexy, lacy, downright provocative lingerie moment just as much as the next person (Natalie Portman in 2004’s Closer, anyone?) Hell, at the tail end of last summer, we even hailed the return of hardcore glamour to our tired, pandemic-ridden wardrobes. And while that might still be true for fashion, when it comes to what we want to wear underneath our party get-ups, it’s all about putting comfort first.

But that doesn’t have to mean frumpy smalls. After all, Julia Fox wore a pared back bra and panties set when she popped to the shops a couple of weeks ago, setting the internet ablaze in the process. Granted, she threw a thigh-grazing denim jacket and knee-high boots into the mix, but still, she looked bloody comfy. That’s the point of back-to-basics underwear: it’s as fit for a Tesco trip as it is a steamy date night.

We’re not talking about granny panties and ill-fitting, baggy bras here, either. This is the kind of underwear that rejects an industry long defined by the male gaze, in favour of a refreshed kind of sex appeal – one that doesn’t scrimp on comfort, sensuality or sustainability. Fancy looking red-hot with no frills? We’ve rounded up the apex of guilt-free, eco-friendly, mouth-watering underwear brands below.

PARADE

Since its inception in 2019, Parade has made a big impact in the underwear biz, with Euphorias Chloe Cherry starring in one of their latest campaigns. Founded by Cami Tellez with a view to leave behind the kind of toxic body image peddled by the likes of Victoria’s Secret, it’s now established itself as the go-to brand for a wide array of basics. Featuring clean, minimalist lines and cheeky mesh panels, Parade bralettes come in all colours, shapes and sizes, and there’s a handy selection of lightweight camis and tees on offer, too. Most importantly, it’s Tellez’s goal to be as size and gender inclusive as possible while keeping her brand sustainable: sizes go from XS to 3XL, and Parade has big plans to be climate positive by 2025.

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FRUITY BOOTY

Launched by good mates Hattie Tennant and Minna Bunting in 2018, Fruity Booty takes the concept of eco-lingerie to new, quietly sexy heights. The aim of the game? To provide an antidote to the industry’s sustainability problem, while chewing up the male gaze and spitting it straight back out. As they told THE FACE in February: We found it all very high-gloss, airbrushed, hypersexualised. The idea was to create a less intimidating experience that had humour to it and was less formal or filtered, [that was] sustainable and sexy but as approachable as possible.” Whether you’re down for some cheeky, technicoloured suspenders or old school cotton underwear stitched with playful embroidery, dress your Booty up with Fruity.

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ORGANIC BASICS

Clue’s in the name here: super cosy, high quality essentials designed to last and made with (you guessed it) organic cotton. All of its smalls are made in factories across Europe, whose workers are guaranteed a living wage and proper job perks – hammering in the brand’s the fashion industry is a dirty bastard” ethos. Meanwhile, Organic Basics flogs high quality bras in classic styles and more than enough styles of knickers to make your head spin. Plus, the brand recently spearheaded the Regenerative Organic Cotton Pilot Project, a partnership with WWF to create the first regenerative organic cotton farm in Turkey. Underwear? Undercare.

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HARA

Made from start to finish in Australia, Hara was founded in 2016 by Allie Cameron, who at the time was busy running a second-hand vintage shop. Annoyed at the amount of waste created by the fashion industry, Cameron decided to try her hand at raising awareness for environmental issues while making products that caused no harm to the planet. The result? Slinky undies made entirely from bamboo and plant dye. For now, each piece is made to order, and while Hara’s underwear is the star of the show (highlights include fitted bandeau tops and practical sports bras), you can also nab yourself some loungewear and sportswear items, if that’s your bag.

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BROOK THERE

Now a master of ethically made, minimalist and sensual lingerie, Brook There was born when its founder, Brook DeLorme, couldn’t quite find the underwear she was so desperately looking for – stuff that made her feel like herself, rather than someone else’s fantasy,” as she puts it. Designing everything herself before production by a small team in Massachusetts, DeLorme uses organic cotton, pure silk and fibre reactive dyes to create delicate, ballet-pink boyshorts and thongs, supportive triangle bras and super soft, sensual slips.

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