It’s the first thing you put on in the morning and the last thing you take off at night, so making the switch to sustainable underwear is a small but impactful way you can show up for the planet day in and day out.
As the demand for sustainable fashion continues to rise, there are a growing number of options to choose from when upgrading your drawer with eco-friendly underwear. But what does sustainable actually mean when it comes to buying intimates that are kind to both your body and the earth? In this article, we break down the value in prioritizing sustainability in your base layer and the four things to look for.
1. Sustainable Fibres
When investing in sustainable underwear, the first thing you should look at is the material. You’ll find that conventional underwear is typically made from fossil fuel synthetics like polyester, nylon, or spandex. You’ll want to try and avoid these.
Not only are these fibres made from non-renewable resources, but their production consumes massive quantities of water and energy. Conventional manufacturing also wastes a shocking amount of fabric, and then when these undies inevitably end up in landfills, they are unable to decay or decompose.
- Ensure that material is made from sustainably sourced natural fibres, minimizes fabric waste, and conserves natural resources in the production process.
The fibres we use to make our sustainable underwear line, The Goods, cover all these bases and put the planet first. The Goods are made of:
- 60% TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ Lyocell that’s made from recycled cotton scraps that would usually end up in landfills — combined with wood pulp from sustainably managed forests. The fibres are produced using a closed-loop process that uses 95% less water than it does to produce conventional cotton. With both raw materials originating from plant sources, the resulting fibres are 100% biobased.
- 35% Organic Cotton that’s sustainably and responsibly produced.
- 5% Elastane that’s made from post-consumer GRS-certified recycled polyester. We worked with different partners to try to develop compostable elastics, but we weren’t satisfied with the quality or rate at which these elastics would biodegrade. Rather than waiting for the perfect solution, we decided to compromise. Big changes start small, and as soon as a viable biodegradable, compostable elastic option comes up, we’ll be prototyping and testing again.
2. Breathable Fabric
In addition to neglecting the planet, conventional underwear isn’t doing our bodies any favours, either. Polyester fabrics don’t absorb sweat, or other fluids, trapping moisture and bacteria against the body, increasing the risk of infection.
- Look for fabrics that allow air to circulate.
When looking at The Goods, not only are TENCEL™ Lyocell fibres sustainably produced, but they absorb moisture more efficiently than your run-of-the-mill fabric. Compared to polyester, synthetics, and even cotton, the microscopic fibrils of Lyocell cellulosic fibres are structured to regulate the absorption and release of moisture. This contributes to a breathable fabric that creates a cooling sensation on your skin.
Featured: The 5″ Boxer Brief
3. A Comfortable Fit
Comfort comes first, especially when it comes to your first layer. In addition to being breathable, ensure your underwear is ultra-lightweight, silky smooth, and designed to celebrate the skin you’re in every day.
- Look for a comfortable fit that doesn’t cause rubbing or friction.
Check out the new style we’ve added to our line. We set out to create underwear that feels like you’re not wearing underwear at all — and we did it.
Featured: New Women’s Double Scoop Bralette
4. Sustainable Packaging
Once you’ve done your research and checked all the boxes above, the final step is to look into what kind of packaging your underwear will arrive in.
- Look for underwear that comes in recyclable materials and skips single-use plastic and excessive packaging.
For The Goods, we use FSC-certified undyed kraft paper, made from a mix of post-consumer recycled and virgin paper. Even the size stickers you see on the packaging are made from an FSC-certified paper source.
Keep these four points in mind and get a sustainable start to the day, every day, when you put on your underwear. Shop The Goods for men and women. Check out our women’s sweatpants and men’s sweatpants for the perfect sustainable second layer.
By planting ten trees for every item you purchase, it’s our mission to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. Head to our website to learn more and begin your planting journey with 10% off.