Marks & Spencer’s Carbon Neutral Bra


marks and spencer bra
Photo courtesy of Marks & Spencer
The Carbon Neutral Bra by Marks & Spencer

With Earth Day just over a week away, Marks & Spencer is prepared to give shoppers an eco-makeover—right down to their underthings.

The British department store has just unveiled the world’s first carbon neutral bra, as part of the new Autograph Leaves lingerie collection.

“Nature is the inspiration behind Autograph Leaves, so it’s fitting that this range benefits the environment too,” said Paschal Little, head of lingerie technology (how’s that for a job title?) at M&S.

“As the U.K.’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.”

The Autograph Leaves collection—which includes not only the aforementioned carbon neutral bra (available in four styles) but also three styles of undies and a set of suspenders (that’s garters, for those on the U.S. side of the pond)—was manufactured at M&S’s eco-model factory in Sri Lanka using renewable energy and reduced-waste initiatives.

The retailer has also purchased “offsets” through a carbon credit project run by the Conservation Carbon Company: The company will plant over 6,000 trees in Sri Lanka, working with nine local farmers.

Want the full breakdown? (Warning: science ahead!)

“The carbon footprint of a typical Autograph Leaves bra is around 2 kg. CO2e,” a release from the company reads. “The footprint varies depending on the style and size of the bra/underwear, as some garments involve more complex production or more raw materials. For example, the footprint of a basic non-padded bra is around 1.70 kg. CO2e compared to a larger push-up bra at 2.20 kg. CO2e.

“M&S has purchased offsets equivalent to 1,440 tonnes CO2e through a carbon credit project run by Conservation Carbon Company. This offsets more than the current production run of the Autograph Leaves Collection.”

In other words, the collection starts out not only carbon neutral but carbon negative—taking into account the energy that will be used (in washing and drying, for example) after the underwear is purchased.

The Autograph Leaves collection ranges from £9.50 for underwear to £22 for a push-up bra ($15.48 to $35.85 U.S., respectively, at current exchange rates), and will be available in Marks & Spencer stores starting April 13.

Meanwhile, see which other mega-retailer is going eco-friendly.


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