What to look for when choosing eco-friendly and ethical underwear
Lingerie is a daily necessity, but it is probably also one of the last things about sustainability. According to statistics, the world produces six billion underwear items every year, and on average, each of them has a life of one to two years before it ends up in a landfill. Because lingerie is often made of polyester and nylon, our bras and briefs can take hundreds of years to decompose.
We are looking to make lingerie more sustainable while also making sure we feel and look good in them.
However, creating sustainable & ethical underwear that does not litter our planet is still a challenge. It needs an elastic fabric that allows these garments to fit well on the body and support it when needed. This is why almost all lingerie currently on the market and online contains a certain percentage of elastane or spandex. They are difficult to recycle and usually not biodegradable.
As a rule, environmental friendliness in underwear means two things: the production of bras and panties without critical damage to the environment and the use of environmentally friendly fabrics or recycled materials.
Artificial fibers are made from natural materials. For underwear, it can be cellulose from various types of wood, algae, and even cornstarch or cereal proteins. When you buy the industry's first sustainable products, you can be sure not to change your style.
Choose more environmentally friendly materials
To make a sustainable purchase, first, check the ingredients of the product you like. Look for:
- certified organic cotton instead of regular (uses more water)
- viscose sustainable & ethical underwear
- Tencel or Lyocell (regular viscose can destroy ancient or endangered forests).
Some brands have even started using seaweed in their underwear, requiring significantly less water than regular cotton.Avoid polyester if possible
While most underwear does contain synthetic materials, it is best to avoid polyester and nylon to reduce your environmental impact. More and more brands are now using recycled materials. The bases and elastane used in underwear are made from recycled sources, not pure polyester.Go back to basic sustainable & ethical underwear
When shopping for underwear, it is very important to consider its durability, given the existing recycling problems. It is about finding things that are designed to be worn for a long time and will become an integral part of your wardrobe.Beware of harmful chemicals
Given how close the laundry is to the skin, it is necessary to avoid harmful chemicals. Look for Oeko-Tex certified items and make sure fabrics are dyed in sustainable ways.Be cautious with your wash
Thorough washing of your underwear is essential for its longevity. Be sure to do this at low temperatures and also use protective clothing bags. Recommended wash at 30 degrees or hand wash. You don't need to wash your bra after every wear unless you really need to.Don't forget about recycling
To prevent worn-out underwear from decomposing for hundreds of years in a landfill, look for recycling programs. While converting old bras and briefs into new ones is challenging, recycled material can make new items.
In the wake of global concern for the environment, fashion is also becoming more sustainable. Large brands are moving away from the use of fur and leather in their products, using recycled materials, and trying to make the process of making clothes more eco-friendly. If you are trying to make your wardrobe sustainable & ethical underwear, then we advise you to start with what you wear every day.