FAQs on Sustainable and Ethical Underwear
What materials are used in sustainable underwear?
When on the hunt for sustainable undies, here’s what you should keep an eye on:
Materials used: Sustainable underwear is made from materials that are responsibly sourced and often have a lower environmental footprint, meaning they’re produced in ways that minimise water usage, reduce carbon emissions, and avoid harmful chemicals. These include:
- Organic Cotton: Grown without pesticides and synthetic fertilisers, organic cotton farming emphasises the health of soils, ecosystems, and people.
- Bamboo: Known for its fast growth and minimal water needs, bamboo fabric is soft, breathable, and biodegradable.
- Tencel (Lyocell): Produced from sustainably sourced wood pulp, Tencel is lauded for its durability and circular production process.
- Hemp: A strong, durable fibre, grown with minimal water, that softens with each wash.
- Recycled Polyester: Often made from recycled plastic bottles and plastic waste, recycled polyester reduces waste and energy consumption compared to virgin polyester.
- Modal: Modal is a bio-based fabric made from beech tree pulp, celebrated for its softness and lower environmental impact.
- Organic Linen: Made from the flax plant, organic linen is valued for its natural, biodegradable properties and minimal water usage in production.
- Ethical Wool: Sourced from farms practising sustainable grazing and animal welfare.
Certified Organic Textiles: Look for fabrics that have received the nod of approval from reputable organisations like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Brands committed to sustainability will proudly display their textile certifications alongside their products.
Zero Waste/Low-waste Approach: Unlike fast fashion, which leaves behind a trail of textile waste – remnants discarded on the cutting room floor, destined for landfills – sustainable underwear brands adopt a more conscious stance. They might make to order, repurpose this leftover material or use deadstock (unsold inventory), ensuring that every piece of fabric is valued and utilised.
Eco-friendly Dyes and No Harsh Chemicals: Look for OEKO-TEX certified products, which ensures that every component of a textile product (including every thread, button, and other accessories, as well as the dyes used) has been tested for harmful substances.