It's been a huge few weeks for zero waste lingerie designer, Stephanie Devine. With stocks of her famous Very Good (black) Bra selling out, she is launching a new range in July this year, in a Liberty printed organic cotton (by pre-sale for an October/November delivery to limit production waste). From there, she is hoping to make enough sales so that she can launch a neutral pink/peach tone for Christmas. But Stephanie's big news is that she has worms. She has been working with WormTech on trials to gain certification that her bra actually will compost completely. She says:
"I AM SO PROUD. OUR BIG STORY THIS WEEK REALLY IS THE PROOF THAT THE WORMS LOVE THE BRA AND ASSUMING THE ELASTIC COMPOSTS WHICH I’M TOLD IT SHOULD, THE BRA CAN BE PLACED IN ORGANIC GARDEN COMPOST BIN!" Over the last few months the bra has been undergoing the ultimate test – being devoured at a worm farm! Australian company WormTech buried the bra in March and documented its demise in photos. Over a period of 8 weeks, it was completely gone, apart from the elastic which has now been placed in commercial compost to complete its breakdown. When this happens, the bra will be able to be placed, with complete confidence, in the Garden Organics refuse bin for urban dwellers who have no compost. (It should be noted that the bra would most likely have broken down faster, but the worms apparently had options of other tasty food. We first met Stephanie when she launched The Very Good Bra in 2018 via a Kickstarter campaign. Stephanie was determined to create the world’s first zero, post-consumer waste bra - one so clean it could be buried or burned at end of life and leave no trace. And she did.
In Australia alone, 6000 kgs of clothing and textiles go into landfill every 10 minutes, and the majority of clothes are made from synthetic fibres which last over 200 years. The average woman owns 9 bras and assuming around 2 billion women globally wear them, that's 18 billion headed for landfill. Stephanie scoured the world for botanically sourced materials, settling on Lenzing Tencel, tree rubber elastic and organic cotton. The bra contains no spandex, nylon or polyester.In June, she is speaking at the global Sustainable Brands conference in Detroit, sharing her story and product with some of the biggest brands in the world. One closing point - the main image is of sustainability advocate and model Robyn Lawley wearing the Zero Waste Bra in a garden shoot. Not Stephanie Devine about to ditch her bra in the garden before she gets on her carbon offset flight to Detroit.