The world’s first 100% plastic-free, compostable nursing bra that’s designed to support mums-to-be, nursing mums and their babies, will go into production after The Very Good Bra founder and CEO Stephanie Devine’s Kickstarter campaign reached its ultimate goal of raising $20,000.
On a mission to revolutionise the way women think about bras and to make an impact on landfill, Devine launched The Very Good Bra in May 2018 on Kickstarter. Within 30 days, more than 700 customers flocked to the business to buy the bra.
The Very Good Bra specialises in making underwear using only botanically sourced materials such as organic cotton, natural rubber, and cellulose sewing thread, which means no toxins are created through manufacture and processing.
Devine told SmartCompany she was delighted to see the Kickstarter campaign reach its goal this week.
“I’m enormously grateful. It’s just been a bit of a rollercoaster because when I launched [the campaign], I had been asked for it so much, I thought there would be a huge uptake and it started really strong, but then it kind of died off,” she explains.
“I was finding it hard to access the women that might be interested because you can’t reach them through things like Facebook groups, because if you don’t promote a brand, you kind of automatically get shut down and even though you know that these mummies groups who are looking at non-toxic options are going to be hugely interested, you can’t get to them. So I felt really devastated about it, because I know that it’s so important. In the last few days, people have really rallied on my behalf and we came over the line on Monday night.”
Devine has spent time surveying users of nursing bras and 70% of customers say the synthetic materials in their nursing bras worry them most.
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“Our research shows us the average woman goes through at least three bras during nursing and they will all end up in landfill as even ones made with ’natural fibres’ contain spandex, polyester and nylon (all plastics destined for landfill), whereas ours use none,” she says.
With the launch of the The Very Good Nursing Bra, Devine has set her sights on targeting a high-waste sector: nursing bras.
“In Australia alone there were 310,000 babies born in 2021 — potentially almost one million nursing bras heading to landfill in one year!”
Devine says The Very Good Nursing Bra will make it comfortable and easy for mothers to take care of the environment and avoid dangerous toxins while nursing their newborns. So it’s not only good for mum, it’s good for the baby, and it’s good for the planet.
The new nursing bra is 100% plastic-free and made from 100% organic cotton, undyed and unbleached, grown in Turkey and then processed and knitted in Spain.
It also incorporates 100% natural tree rubber and organic cotton elastic, which is made in Austria, and 100% cellulose sewing thread made in Portugal.
The bra is manufactured by a family-owned and run factory in Portugal called Helix which was established 48 years ago. It has a front-fastening, wrap-over style, pull-down cup for feeding, and is adjustable by up to 6cm on each side of the bra to expand and contract with the wearer.
Devine says the nursing bra will be a game-changer.
“There’s never been an option to fully eliminate plastic from the nursing experience to date, which really surprises me. In some ways it doesn’t surprise me because clearly, other brands want to have the flexibility and the stretchy spandex and all those things, but I think a mum should be able to choose a product that actually has none of that,” she says.
Devine is aiming to get the stock delivered to customers by late May.