Actually 11 Gorgeous Handmade Lingerie Brands To Make Your Underwear Drawer More Ethical

IMO, there is no better way to dothat then shoppingfor handmade lingerie. I’m continuously impressed by what someone can dowith a little lace or leather. Being a lingerie addict can be pretty costly, but when onlyyou and a select amount of people will be seeing it, you want your lingerie tobe long-lasting instead of a one-hit-wonder.

Many people (myself included) prefer purchasing handmade lingerie because there’s no question about whose hands put it together. I can acknowledge how difficult it is fora new business owner to  choose to pay aseamstress a living wage in the United States as opposed to sending theclothing overseas, which is why I like to show my support for these smaller brands.

If you’ve ever perused around the internet forhandmade lingerie, you’ll notice these independent designers and brands tend tobe more experimental with fabrics and designs, creating unique works of artinstead mass-produced trends. Plus, most of the brands below do made-to-measure lingerie, which means each piece fits me, not a size chart. If you’re ready to get seriously addicted to handmade undies, here are some great brands to start with.

PS: You’ll notice that most of these brands are based in the UK, but I assure you they ship worldwide!

1. Julie K Lingerie

Milenne Bodysuit, £42,

“Pretty little pieces for your bits” is the mottofor Julie K Lingerie. Designer and owner, Julie, admits on her site that shestarted prancing around in her mother’s lingerie as a child. Today, Julie handmakes her growing line of lingerie in her hometown in Scotland, inspired by women she’s met along the way. When I worked with Julieon my custom, hand-made bodysuit,the process was as exciting as it was easy. Julie sent me various patterns ofdelicate mesh to choose from and only a few weeks later, I had the bodysuit ofmy dreams, which remains one of my favorite pieces.

2. Ellice Lydia

Blue Belle Bralette, £17,

Ellice Heaton has beensewing from an early age, inspired by her grandmother to make her own clothes.Eventually, she began making handmade lingerie and found a growing number ofpeople wanting to purchase her delicate pieces. “After I started selling afew pieces of lingerie on a small marketplace I was overwhelmed with theresponse from girls asking me to create unique pieces for them in an array ofsizes. After doing some research I noticed that other companies do not offersoft lace cupped bralets for all sizes. This set me on the path to creatinghandmade, made to measure, lingerie for all sizes!” Heaton explains to me over email. I’m especially down with variety of cup sizes this lingeriebrand has to offer: up to a GG.

3. Almeida

Rio Leather And Embroidery Bra, £170,

Always a fan of lace, but also always salivating over risqué brasand chokers, I was super excited to find out Almeida’s lingerieis handcrafted. Founded in 2012, this is the place to be for boudoir stylelingerie. It’s a bit pricier than other brands on this list, but the quality makes it worth saving up for.

4. Nahina Lingerie

Black Velvet Lingerie Set, $74.76,

IMO, Etsy is the place to be for handmade lingerie, and Nahina Lingerie’s shop is a great source for anyone seeking feminine, vintage styles. Based out of Brighton, UK, Nikki Valledy has been selling NahinaLingerie for only a couple of years, drawing inspiration from vintage patternsand enjoying the creative freedom that emulates in her work. “I love thedelicacy of intimates. Working at such a small scale demands obsessive neatness and attention todetail, which I really enjoy as part of the making process.” Valledytells me. It’s sites like Etsy that haveallowed Nikki’s designs make their way to bodies all around the world.

5. LoVyHouse

Bralette, $13.99,

LoVyHouse has some of the cutest damn bras I’ve ever seen.For someone who can barely sew on a button, it’s hard to believe these complex designs arehandmade. The store is just under two years old and has reasonable pricesfor breathtaking, lacy pieces. This husband and wife team brings us handmadelingerie all the way from Vietnam to wherever you can log into your Etsyaccount.

6. Flash You And Me

There really isn’t a single bra Flash You and Me has tooffer that I haven’t envisioned on my bod. This brand is only three years young,but designer and founder Līva Šteina has had plenty of experience in thefashion industry. Stiff bras and foreign material are what lead Šteina to create her own brandof handmade lingerie using breathable and natural fabrics. “My inspiration isalways the interplay of women and fabrics. I honestly have not found anythingmore beautiful than the female body,” Šteina tells me. “As a designer, I love to seek inspirationfrom things that are at most far from fashion. I can create a new pattern justby looking at how raindrops slip down the shoulders.”

7. LoLeviLa

I’ve been a fan of LoLeviLa since before my lingerie interestturned into a fetish. Originally, I was attracted to the undies with cutelittle cut-outs on the butt. According to LoLeviLa’s Etsy store, each item is handmade to order. Provocative,handmade, and affordable — what’s not to love? Making handmade clothing wasn’t as prestigious for shop owner and designer, Anna, as it is for us now; Anna grew up during a time where making garments was essential in Soviet Russia due to the deficit in clothing. “I design, make and sew almost every day,” she tells me “Making underwear is my oxygen. It gives me strength to go on in every aspect of life.” Her passion is translated in the intricate details of each of her items.

8. Handmade by Elma

Having come from a small town where the only place forlingerie was the mall, I opted to just not wearbras since shopping for a AA sizes proved nearly impossible. Elma Valerio, ofHandmade by Elma, found herself in the same boat. Afterfinding a lack of petite bras that were beautiful and sexy, she began making andselling her handmade lingerie online for petites struggling to find their size.Valerio finds her inspiration to be spontaneous,”You never know when something you see or hear will inspire you so I alwayskeep my eyes and ears open,” Valerio says. Like many handmade artists,she finds comfort and breathability are just as important as the aesthetics andconsiders all aspects of a fabric before deciding on a creation.

9. Uyes Surana

“Delicately made in NYC” is what you’ll findwritten on the site of these lingerie experts. The pieces are designed to be worn together or as separates, and many are designed totranslate from innerwear to outerwear — aka my own dream come true forlingerie. According to designer Lohla Jani, “a lot of our design choices are made bybringing together visuals we love with practical needs. We love softness &femininity and we draw that from depictions of nature and earth — flowers andgemstones.” Over the past year, Uyes Surana has phased out factory-madepieces to expand their handmade crafting as well as choosing local and sustainable processes. WhileUyes Surana shrinks their carbon footprint, they are also expanding their sizerange to meet the needs of their customers.

10. Bad Star Lingerie

Andora Bra, $72,

Bad Star has beencreating handmade lingeriesince 2009, so I can’t believe it was only last year that I started swooningover these bondage style bras and harnesses. Owner and designer ElisaFranceschi was inspired by the spirit of her parents, mixing modern,geometrical designs with the “romantic mystic.”  Franceschi works from her shop in France andhandles everything from orders, to crafting and design.

11. Hopeless Lingerie

Alex Top, $95,

Creatingdark, modern, and romantichandmade lingerie since 2008, Hopeless Lingerie’s designer and owner, GabrielleAdamidis, is inspired by B-Grade horror movies and her love of anything blackand sheer. “The intention is to elicitexcitement in a unique way, rather than relying on stereotypical views of whatwomen’s lingerie should look like. (i.e. pushing or contorting the body intonot so natural shapes)  I like to challenge the notion that women need tolook or be a certain way to be sexy and desirable, instead suggesting a womenbeing comfortable and confident in her own skin is more important,”Adamidis explains. As Hopeless Lingerie has grown, Adamidis now shares her handcraftingrole with a few other designers on staff and they are focusing more and more onchoosing organic, sustainable fabrics.

Sorry about your wallets, but you’re welcome for all the pretty new lingerie goodies.

Image: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; Courtesy Brands