As sustainable style and upcycling take center stage in fashion, more owners and designers are committing themselves to building eco-friendly brands. One such brand owner, Judith Prieto of ZELF INTIMATES recently made herself available to answer questions about her sustainable intimate apparel brand. Here’s what she had to say.

ZELF INTIMATES owner Judith Prieto sitting on a chair in a library

Ronda Bowen (RB): Can you please tell readers about ZELF INTIMATES? How did you come up with the idea?

Judith Prieto (JP): ZELF INTIMATES is a brand that specializes in intimate apparel designed for modern, conscious women who prioritize comfort, style, and sustainability. The idea behind ZELF was to create exclusive versatile lingerie that can be worn for multiple occasions.

We will keep using different sustainable fabrics, but in our first collection, MANTRA, we have used fabrics from recycled PET materials [Ed. Note: PET materials are those plastics marked number 1 for recycling, so water bottles, peanut butter containers, etc.] The provider was carefully chosen to ensure that they were treated with state-of-the-art technology, resulting in the best quality and making sure they are entirely safe for the skin while also providing the best comfort. At the same time, we include tags and thank-you cards made from sugar cane, along with recyclable shipping packaging.

RB: What inspired you to create a lingerie brand?

JP: The inspiration behind creating a lingerie brand came from a desire to empower women and offer them different pieces that they could wear on more than one occasion. We recognized the importance of intimate wear as an essential part of a woman’s wardrobe, and that’s why we decided to design lingerie with the idea that they could take more advantage of it.

For example, you can wear one of our bralettes to either go to the gym or pair it with pants as outerwear. We seek to provide pieces that not only make women feel comfortable but also classy and confident.

Collage showing ZELF INTIMATES line of garments

RB: What can consumers of fashion do to help reduce their impact on the environment?

JP: I encourage consumers of fashion to take steps to reduce their impact on the environment in ways like:

  • Opt for eco-friendly brands like ZELF INTIMATES that use sustainable materials and ethical manufacturing practices.
  • Choose quality over quantity, investing in timeless pieces that last longer and reduce the need for frequent replacements.
  • Embrace circular fashion by recycling or upcycling old clothing items rather than disposing of them.
  • Reduce waste by donating or reselling clothing items that are no longer needed.
  • Be mindful of water and energy consumption by washing clothes in eco-friendly ways and avoiding excessive washing.

RB: What do you think are the top three trends we’ll see for lingerie in the coming year?

JP: As for the top three trends for lingerie, I believe sustainable and eco-friendly options will continue to gain popularity. Versatile designs that cater to various occasions and focus on comfort plus functionality are also likely to be in demand.

RB: Who is your favorite Midwestern designer?

JP: Berny is my favorite fashion designer from the Midwest. I admire him not only for his remarkable designs but also for his genuine interest in helping others and inspiring them to achieve their dreams. His influence has had a huge impact on me. In fact, back in November, he encouraged me to launch my brand much faster when he gave me the opportunity to be at the Fashion Show. I felt like I was living my dream!

RB: Is there anything else about yourself or your company you’d like our readers to know?

JP: I want readers to know that my brand is not just about lingerie; it is a movement that encourages self-esteem, self-connection, and respect for people and the environment. The “E” in our logo symbolizes a self-hug, embodying the idea of self-love and self-care. By choosing us, consumers not only support sustainable and eco-friendly practices but also contribute to job opportunities for elder craftswomen in South America who craft a complementary pouch we gift to our customers obtaining a very unique cultural experience.

If you’d like to learn more about ZELF INTIMATES, or shop this sustainable lingerie brand, head over to There, you’ll find a range of panties, bras, and bodysuits from which to choose.