The problem: the average woman owns 9 bras — almost all of which are made from polyester and nylon. With around 2 million humans on the planet wearing them, that’s 18 million synthetic bras headed for landfill. In walks The Very Good Bra: 100% compostable and made from 100% botanically sourced materials, and available in 27 proper bra sizes to match conventional ones.
We asked Stephanie Devine, CEO and Founder of The Very Good Bra, about her experience taking a small business fighting textile waste through B Corp certification.
Why did you want to certify as a B Corp?
Given the absence of global standards to measure and dispose of textile waste, as well as industry greenwashing, B Corps gave us an avenue to lift the lid on everything we do and be completely transparent with our customers in a recognised way. What we hadn’t realised is how much structure the process has given us to work towards improvements.
What makes your B Corp unique as a business?
We are the only brand making bras in 27 sizes, that are 100% compostable or worm-able at end of life. To date, in 3.5 years we’ve potentially saved 100kgs of toxic bras from landfill, and 9kgs of microplastics from our oceans by selling ‘clean’ alternatives. We scoured the world for materials and our elastic, sewing thread and labelling are all botanically sourced.
B Corps want to help transform our economy into one that is inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative. What business practice do you want to see become the norm?
I’m passionate about textile waste (avoiding it) and I want to see global standards around the composting of textile waste so that we have repeatable and standardised testing to create more transparency for consumers, and a level playing field. If we can do this for our plastic mailers, why not our clothing?
Was there a B Corp that inspired you to certify, or one that you look to for inspiration?
Mud Jeans in Amsterdam was the first B Corp I learned of and my introduction to the concept. As soon as I saw that brilliant business model and learned about the microcosm of other B Corps in the same space, I wanted to be part of it.
Do you have any tips for aspiring B Corps about the certification process?
As a micro-business, I felt I was too small to fit into the mould despite trying over several years. For me, it took working with a B Consultant to help me understand how this was not the case and to properly identify and account for the things I did well. Once we did this, we immediately got over 100 points. I’d recommend getting some external help to keep you on track.