Newest SKIMS bra spurs criticism among environmental activists

On Halloween night, multi-platform celebrity Kim Kardashian released a new line of bras through SKIMS, her fashion company, that is embellished with an interesting feature — nipples. These bras include manufactured nipples for people to attain the braless look without exposing “the girls” and the profit made from them is going to a seemingly unrelated cause… climate change?

It initially feels like a big jump, but that is exactly what Kardashian is using these bras as a platform for. In an advertisement video, she used the topic of climate change in order to push the product. She explained, “I’m introducing a brand-new bra with a built-in nipple so matter how hot it is, you’ll always look cold. Some days are hard but these nipples are harder. And unlike the icebergs, these aren’t going anywhere.”

On top of this, 10 percent of the sales are going towards a global network called 1% for the Planet

While I personally dislike Kardashian and the product, if someone out there is feeling like they can rule the world in this bra, then I am happy for them.

Now, on the surface this sounds like a decent thing — “huzzah, Kim Kardashian wants to fight against climate change!” However, donations to an organization against climate change doesn’t help much if the sales are associated with a product made from synthetic materials that contribute to, well, climate change. The bras themselves are made of nylon and spandex, both materials formed from fossil fuels.

Plus, her advertisement does not take on a tone of serious concern, but one of mockery. The way she mentions climate change within the video is in a joking matter, with her sales pitch for the bras being in poor taste as she says “unlike the icebergs, these aren’t going anywhere.”

Moving on from the environmental facade, why are the bras $62? If you look at the SKIMS website, you’ll find the nipple bras in the “SKIMS Ultimate Bra” section next to the “Teardrop Push-up Bra.” The teardrop bra is only $58 — not saying that’s cheap, as a woman who has sighed at price tags since I’ve started needing bras — but this implies that those two little fake nipples are worth four dollars more. 

If women truly want to follow this trend, if they are sitting there aching and saying “ugh, I need to show my nipples through my shirt since Kim K does it,” then I have an idea that comes at no cost: don’t wear a bra. That’s it, that’s all it takes to get that look. Take off your bra, relieve your chest from that cage and wear a shirt. That’s what I do, I haven’t worn a bra in three years, aside from when I wear my sports bra when I’m working out.

There is one good thing about these bras. They offer empowerment for those who do not have the same opportunity to go braless and fit the trend. Many breast cancer survivors or those with family members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer have shared ecstatic reviews. 

While I personally dislike Kardashian and the product, if someone out there is feeling like they can rule the world in this bra, then I am happy for them. Everyone deserves a chance to strut. But if a company is going to use environmentalism as their push for a product and blatantly make said product out of harmful materials, criticisms are warranted. There are clothing brands that make their pieces out of recycled materials like Patagonia and Reformation. Kardashian certainly has enough money to try and figure out how to make these bras sustainable too.


Featured photo courtesy of Richelle John, Flickr