The Inspiring Journey of The Very Good Bra, the world's first Circular Economy bra

In February, eBay Australia supported by the Australian Fashion Council, proudly announced The Very Good Bra as a runner up of eBay’s 2024 Circular Fashion Fund, marking a significant leap forward in advancing circular fashion within Australia.

Stephanie Devine's journey from battling breast cancer to revolutionising the fashion industry with The Very Good Bra is nothing short of inspirational.

Faced with the daunting reality of a limited selection of non-wired bras made from natural fibres during her treatment, Stephanie saw an opportunity to fill a crucial gap in the market. In 2016, amidst global turmoil and tragedy, she embarked on a mission to create the world's first Circular Economy bra—a garment that not only provided comfort but also left no trace when disposed of.

We had the privilege of speaking with Stephanie about her ambitious plans for the future, including the development of organic cotton knits and pioneering compostable textiles, as well as the inspiration behind starting The Very Good Bra.

Tell us a bit about your background and why you started the Very Good Bra?

I have a background in financial services both in London and Australia, but in 2006 a devastating diagnosis of breast cancer completely derailed my life. I was unable to find a non-wired bra made in a natural fibre to get me through 7 months of treatment and beyond. 

The only bras available were maternity ones, a stark reminder of the devastating news I received that after chemotherapy, I would never conceive. I knew before chemo and my search for non wired cotton bras, that my fertility was over.

The weight of that realisation lingered heavily. Five years later, spurred by a desire for change, I took action. In 2016, amidst the backdrop of Trump's election and women symbolically burning their bras, it was the burning that was key here, as it generated toxic fumes. Coinciding with the tragic deaths of Delhi's impoverished from toxic fumes emitted by their desperate attempts to stay warm, I resolved to pioneer the world's first Circular Economy bra.

My bra had to leave no trace at the end of life whether buried or burnt, and after 2 years scouring the world to source plastic-free materials, I launched The Very Good Bra via Kickstarter in 2018.

Can you tell us a bit about your business model?

The Kickstarter model proved to be immensely successful as it enabled me to secure funding without relying on external financial backing from investors, a factor that had previously led to the failure of my two prior attempts at bra manufacturing. Opting to continue operating through pre-sales, I offered customers a limited-time discount approximately two months prior to delivery.

This approach not only facilitated funding but also provided valuable insights into the most popular sizes. In a business offering up to 34 bra sizes, each with high minimum production quantities, this data is crucial for avoiding overproduction of less sought-after sizes.

Despite the slow organic growth and the challenges faced, this model has allowed me to maintain control over both finances and our mission. We typically introduce only 2-3 new designs or colours per year, and the pre-sale strategy continues to be effective.

The Inspiring Journey of The Very Good Bra, the world's first Circular Economy bra

Congratulations for being named as one of the runner ups of eBay’s Circular Fashion Fund, can you tell us a bit about what’s next for the Very Good Bra?


I’m delighted to have been a winner in this competition! Right now I have a 200 year old factory in Germany working on making 100% organic cotton broderie anglaise knit to allow us to make something super pretty. I’m also able to custom make some world-first tencel and tree rubber elastic which is expensive and has high minimum quantities. 

Plus I’m going to start focus groups to potentially launch a teen/trainer bra as much as an education tool as to mitigate waste in a high-waste sector. We recently tackled Nursing Bras and this quickly became our 3rd best-selling product which is great, the average nursing mum goes through 4 and they all end up in landfill.

In addition, we are working with a team of experts developing a world first Australian Standard for Textile Composting which is very exciting.


What drives your commitment to sustainable business practices?

This business was founded with the mission to pioneer the world's first plastic-free bras, briefs, and sleepwear. That core objective remained unchanged from its inception, requiring no pivot or reinvention. The primary goal was always to create botanically circular clothing.

My passion for nature and the environment grew as I delved deeper into the textile industry, realising the magnitude of its environmental impact. I am driven to make a positive difference by reducing micro-plastics in our oceans, minimising air pollution, and decreasing landfill waste. Through The Very Good Bra, I aim to showcase a new approach to clothing design and manufacturing—one that is environmentally friendly and attainable for many.

The Very Good Bra is compostable and will breakdown in a worm farm






What do you envisage as being the wardrobe of the future?

 A smaller one I hope! I love clothes, but I think fashion has to focus on enduring style and quality that is not faddish and short-term. 

More than 60% of our clothing is currently polyester, which is oil, and we need to use more natural fibres which are low impact throughout their lifecycle in order to curtail the disastrous effects our clothing choices are having on the planet. Smaller, smarter, cleaner! 

Discover more about eBay's Circular Fashion Fund here, or stay informed about The Very Good Bra’s progress through their social media channels or official website.