The range includes bras, knickers and suspenders and its carbon neutral status has been certified by the Carbon Trust Footprinting Certification Company.

The calculation takes into account each item’s complete life cycle – from component manufacture to transportation and the energy customers use washing and drying their underwear.

The collection was manufactured at the M&S eco-model factory in Sri Lanka, MAS Intimates Thurulie, which employs renewable energy and reduced waste initiatives.

This, says the retailer, has reduced carbon intensity of the energy used by an estimated 33%, compared to typical factory production.

The company is exploring more sustainable manufacturing options as part of its Plan A initiative.

As a result of this project it found that lace manufacture is a major contributing factor to the underwear’s footprint. It is now working with suppliers to find better alternatives for the future.

Marks and Spencer head of sustainable business, Mike Barry, said: “The complexity of a bra’s supply chain makes it the ideal product to learn about the practicalities of carbon footprinting, as it contains 21 component parts from 12 different suppliers.

“We’re already applying the lessons we’ve learned to other product areas and have taken an important step towards our goal of giving every single M&S product a Plan A attribute.”

The range is called Autograph Leaves, which let’s face it has more of a ring to it than ‘Carbon Neutral Bra’.

Alison Brown

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