The environmental footprint of Marks & Spencer (M&S) new Autograph Leaves lingerie is even smaller than the bra and panties. As part of M&S Plan A efforts, where they aim to make every one of their 2.7 billion products have less of an impact on the planet by 2020, the British retailer is adding a carbon-neutral bra to their lingerie line.
but how do eco-friendly bras look?
These are no frumpy, “old lady” undergarments. The Autograph Leaves line is sophisticated, feminine, and fresh. M&S used a combination of intricate lace and dramatic embroidery, inspired by the exotic foliage of the rainforest. We think these will be a big hit, eco-friendly or not.
green manufacturing and carbon offsets
The average bra emits between 1.70 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) for a non-padded bra and 2.20kg for a larger push-up style throughout it’s entire lifecycle (from manufacturing to transport to machine washing). To make this new bra carbon-neutral, M&S chose an eco-friendly factory in Sri Lanka that uses renewable energy and has programs to reduce textile waste. The factory generates about 33 percent less emissions than a traditional one.
On top of using a greener factory, M&S purchased CO2 offsets equivalent to 1,440 tonnes CO2e through a carbon credit project, which more than covers the emissions generated by the new lingerie line. The project, run by Conservation Carbon Company, is working with the International Rainforest Trust in Sri Lanka, to invest in local rainforest replanting. The project will plant over 6,000 new trees in an area that’s been stripped, plus a few thousand fruit tress to help poverty-stricken farmers earn income for their families.
In the press release, Paschal Little, head of lingerie technology at M&S said:
Nature is the inspiration behind Autograph Leaves so it’s fitting that this range benefits the environment too. As the UK’s lingerie market leader, we think it’s right that we should lead the way in exploring new, more sustainable manufacturing options. As a result of this project we know raw material production, such as lace manufacture, is a major contributing factor to the bra’s footprint, so we’re now working with our suppliers to find better alternatives for the future.
You’ll find the new bras on shelves and online this week and retail for $36. The undies are $15.50.
photo credit: M&S