When it comes to fashion, we’re all starting to be a bit more conscious about our choices, whether that’s stepping away from fast fashion, opting for pre-loved clothes or choosing garments that have been made with the environment in mind. Underwear is no exception – while some of us choose pieces solely based on comfort, this does not mean that you have to sacrifice it for sustainability.
With so many options for sustainable underwear, let’s have a closer look at some of the most popular sustainable materials out there.
Choosing Natural Materials
Cotton, on its own or as part of a blend, is the most common material in clothing. Many people that have sensitive skin opt for cotton because it has fewer chances of causing irritation.
However, traditional cotton isn’t the most sustainable material, and opting for organic cotton is a preferable alternative at it is less intensive to grow, requires fewer chemicals and uses less water. A win-win for cotton lovers!
Recent years have seen more natural materials being used in clothing and underwear, in an effort to find alternatives that would help create soft, comfortable garments while being as environmentally friendly as possible. Hemp and bamboo are two options that have been soaring in popularity for the past few years.
Bamboo is a fast-growing plant which requires neither replanting nor intensive pesticides, which makes it great for companies that want to be sustainable while being profitable. The process requires less water than cotton, which means natural resources are used more efficiently. Bamboo is also a great choice for underwear thanks to its moisture-wicking properties and you can often find it in base layers and even activewear.
Hemp has also seen a growing enthusiasm in the world of sustainable fashion. Hemp grows quite densely, meaning that less space is required to grow it, and it does not require any harmful pesticide. The fibre stretches less than other materials, which does make it quite durable, but it’s important to take this into account as it could affect how the underwear feels. Garments will retain their shape better, but it’s up to you to see if it feels right for you.
Opting for Recycled Materials
While natural fibres are great, this does not mean that man-made fabrics are not sustainable by default. Many companies are benefitting from new technologies and processes to help recycle waste and give a new life to single-use plastics.
This is often the case with bottles and other similar plastics, which can easily be recycled into men shorts, women briefs or kids boxers. Typically, the process will involve turning the plastic from bottles into shavings or granules, which in turn would be transformed into polyester fibre, used to make underwear and other clothing items. This is a great way to prevent large amounts of waste from going into landfill, and while it is important to reduce the use of single-use plastics, it’s fantastic to have ways to recycle them into something you can use time and time again.
There are of course other sustainable textiles which are created by manufacturers as unique blends, which can be a mix of natural and man-made materials. Brands are constantly looking for ways to make their products and processes kinder to the environment, and as consumers it’s great to be able to support these options while finding perfect underwear for the whole family!
Remember that when choosing sustainable underwear, you’ll not only have to find the right material for you – depending on your preferences – but also think about the shape and fit which all contribute to keeping us comfy.