You don't need to be told that fashion has entered a new era of body inclusivity — the signs are everywhere. It was only a few years ago that a lingerie brand announcing their straight-sized marketing campaign was not retouched was made to be a big deal. But, in a short period of time, the industry has made significant strides toward a more realistic, positive direction when it comes to buying a pair of underwear or a new bra. This can be credited, in large part, to inclusive lingerie startups that have cultivated products and imagery that represent the diverse and nuanced spectrum of women's bodies. Just take a stroll in New York City's SoHo neighborhood right now — walls are occupied with wheat-paste posters with a lineup of smiling (oft-laughing) ladies with a spectrum of curves dressed in colorful lingerie that actually looks comfortable to wear. There's always more work to be done, but there has been a noticeable shift as new brands disrupt old industry norms.
With spring's arrival creeping closer, now feels like an especially symbolic time to shed old layers and dress from the ground up — starting with lingerie. When it comes to your undergarments, seasonal trends don't really exist; the most important factor in what you put on is feeling good. If you're into florals, that's great. Prefer to wear all-neutrals all of the time? Do your thing. The lingerie startups below aren't focused on trends, just the opportunity to make you feel confident and at home in your body.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: ARQ
It may have started as a children's line, but ARQ has evolved into an edit of organic cotton base-layers that look as good as they feel. Their cotton is GOTS certified organic and dyed using BlueSign or GOTS certifications. They also ship in plastic-free, recyclable shipping materials. So, basically, if sustainably-made lingerie that has a minimalist aesthetic is your bag, head to ARQ straight away.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: CUUP
CUUP argues (rightfully so) that sizing for bras has always been sort of a mess. In an effort to more accurately outfit breasts, they came up with their own system of sizing based on two years of research on real women's bodies and formulated a fit quiz to help you find the best bra for your body. And, they make coordinated, comfy underwear, too.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: ThirdLove
ThirdLove uses measurements from millions of women to create their products to ensure the fits are comfortable and accurate. They have a handy Fitting Room in lieu of a dressing room, which coincidentally works quite well during a global pandemic. Also, they have half-cups.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Pepper
Pepper makes bras for small boobs, which unless you got 'em, you don't know how difficult it can be to find the right fit. While this lingerie brand focuses on smaller body types, it's carving out inclusiveness for women who don't always feel seen in the lingerie industry. Their band sizes range from 30 to 38 and the cup sizes offered include AA, A, and B.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Soma
Soma is now owned by Chico's but it began fifteen years ago by an all-women team with the simple aim of creating bras that fit extremely well and are stylish. Thirty-thousand five-star reviews later, it turns out this concept was a successful one.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Parade
No body-positive lingerie roundup is complete without mention of Parade. The brand's notion that sexiness isn't one-dimensional is what's garnered a massive following both on Instagram and in-person (in an interview with Crunch Base in 2020, the brand shared they had made more than $2.5 million in revenue over the previous seven months). Their bras and underwear are responsibly made with their core fabric Re:Play, which is made of 85% recycled polyamide. All of Parade's materials are Oeko-Tex certified and their packaging is compostable and made of 100% corn starch.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: True & Co
True & Co's earliest designs were based on a 26-question fit quiz taken by nine million women. The brand's bras are among the most supportive in the market; many customers have remarked that it feels like you're not even wearing a bra. Plus, the sleek silhouettes and neutral hues feel pared-down and sexy.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Knix
Knix gained popularity from its iconic Period Underwear, but the brand is also worth adding to your regular assortment of bras and undies thanks to its use of patented technology to create "human-centric" undergarments. Also worth mentioning: they offer postpartum bras, tanks, and underwear.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Knickey
If organic underwear for everyday sounds appealing to you, Knickey's delightfully inclusive assortment of undergarments deserves a spot in your drawer. They also emphasize the importance of natural — not synthetic — fibers for your vaginal health, something that's not discussed enough in the lingerie industry.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Slick Chicks
Underwear from Slick Chicks features side fasteners that make it easier to put on or take off whether you're sitting, standing, or laying down. While this is especially helpful for those with physical disabilities, it's also an innovative approach to underwear for all.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Lively
Lingerie startup Lively wants to "blur the aesthetic lines of lingerie, active, and swim" with their collection of bras that range from 32A to 44DDD and undies that go from XS to XXXL. Just some good old fashioned inclusiveness.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Nuudii System
Nuudii System's tagline is 'Radical Innovation For Boobs', which seems fitting for a brand that creates bras that are formless and cradle your natural shape. They use a double-strap system in lieu of an underwire to lend a gentle lift for your breasts.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Cherri
Cherri's assortment of organic cotton bras and underwear are bright, stylish, and size-inclusive. They also donate underwear and hygiene products to women in homeless shelters in the United States with each Cherri purchase.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Negative
Here's what you won't find at Negative: Lace, padding, bows, and superfluous embellishments. What you will find is an essential edit of bras and underwear crafted from high-quality, thoughtful fabrics with an inclusive size range that extends to DDD-G bras. They've been doing this whole body-positive lingerie thing for a while now — and it's working.
Inclusive Lingerie Startup: Harper Wilde
All you need to know about Harper Wilde is with this one simple question they ask on their website: Why is a product that’s meant for us typically marketed toward men? This lingerie startup offers everyday bras that feel like a second skin. Obviously, if a lacey bralette is your cup of tea that's quite alright, but you won't find it here.