Ethical Lingerie Shopping: My Exclusive Interview With Chloé Jo Davis

Chloé Jo Davis is the girlie girl behind The Girlie Girl Army, The Glamazon Guide to Green Living:

[A] call to arms for badass baby divas and head turning cougars, who want to save the planet from hacky sack and doom at the same time. Newbies, vegan vixens, the Mom next door, sexy emo boys, and anyone who wants to do their part without sacrificing their facials will heart our weekly newsletter and daily blog that give you tips on fashion, food, and fun in the greenest way possible! “Sex in the City,” with brains and a pitbull.

I don’t want to age either of us, but for well over a decade I’ve been following her, subscribed to her newsletter, hanging on her every find — and even though I’m not a vegan or profess to be the “greenest” person on the planet, there’s always a great tip (shopping or health wise), animals to rescue (what bombshell doesn’t rescue animals?!), a hella lot of moxy (and humor!), and something to learn. So I asked the incredibly busy Chloé Jo to enlighten us about ethical lingerie shopping…

I know you are a devoted ethical shopper! What are you main concerns when shopping for lingerie? Does vintage fit into your ethical fashion sense?

I am, first and foremost, animal caring, and that resonates first. So silk lingerie and wool based underclothes are out. But lace, organics, synthetics, etc. all are in.

All of my slips and robes are vintage. It’s amazing what you can find in thrift stores for a few dollars, that, with some good hair & make up, can turn into the ultimate mating call! Back in the day when I was a rock n roller living in the east village, all my girlfriends and I were broke and thrift shopping was the only way we’d go. I still to this day wear some of those same slips and nightgowns.

PS Shouldn’t we totally bring back the word “nightgown”?! It’s the ultimate in drag!

Some of us have always used the word “nightgown” — it’s always remained in fashion with us!

Chloe, most of us know what vegan is in terms of eating, but what does “vegan” mean when it comes to lingerie shopping?

It means avoiding anything that was made using animals or animal biproducts.

People may not think silk is a big deal, but boiling thousands and thousands of earthworms alive so I can have a pair of panties is just absurd. I’m fine with bamboo, which are softer, more durable, and microbial (which means the natural sweat wicking properties.) There are countless luxe fabrics made from all natural fibers that are ethically sound to choose from.

The point is to buy pieces that you’ll never want to toss or wear out or mistreat in your cleaning, so that less ends up in landfills. When I outgrow or tire of a bra or spanx, I pass them on to a friend during one of my clothing swaps. (Every 6 months my girls and I get together and swap whatever we don’t want for something we do.)

What are your top five favorite lingerie brands/labels/designers?

Prior to baby, I loved Agent Provocateur and Wolford tights; I tend to be more utilitarian these days having just had a baby, and being a nursing Mother of a 17 month old son.

But I love that my friends at Bravado are making such sexy nursing bras now. When you are nursing, wearing underwire bras give you clogged milk ducts, so you stick to soft cup that offers support.

Elle Macpherson also has some divine nursing bras, though they aren’t nearly on the same comfort level as the Bravado bras.

 Clare Bare (also at Etsy) has the sweetest organic cotton and dead stock fabric lingerie that she hand makes. I really love her aesthetic. (Organic Bamboo Jersey Bandeau and Organic Bamboo Jersey Garter Hot Short shown at left.)

I also like Under The Root for basics with a bit of something extra… Their entire process utilizes sustainable, reclaimed, and vintage materials.

The organic period panties from LunaPads are a dream for afterbirth and that time of the month; they are like super comfy panties with a built in really soft pad. I swear by these, and hope women stop being so afraid to see their blood.

I live for the organic Blue Canoe sleep bras (for us bigger boobed gals) and yoga wear too.

I was born in England and still love the Marks & Spencer‘s basic panties and undershirts. You can’t beat the quality, they somehow last forever!

It should be noted that you can get discount on many of Chloe’s recommended lines by using the codes on the Girlie Girl Army cheapskates page. And subscribe to her newsletter for more discounts, sales and finds!

Important Note: The photo of Chloé Jo Davis in red Agent Provocateur lingerie, is pre-baby; she wanted all of you to know that.  Discussion of that fact lead to an incredibly brilliant conversation, which will be appearing here at A Slip Of A Girl soon — so please come back and check it out!

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