Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Boody #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Boody
Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Knickey #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Knickey
Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Organic Basics #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics

11 Ethical & Sustainable Underwear Brands For Conscious Comfort


We all know textile trash is a massive problem.

We’ve certainly done our fair share of dwelling on the horrors of fast fashion, for example.

In fact, EcoWatch says the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries in the world. 

Butt (pun intended) since change starts at the bottom, it only seems appropriate that we start with our own. How?

By switching to sustainable and ethical underwear (no not edible underwear; this is not that kind of site!). Although if you are looking for something a little sexier, check out our article on ethical & sustainable lingerie.

If you need a brief summary of the top bottoms, Organic Basics and Boody both offer some of the most comfortable ethical underwear while ticking all the right boxes. 

WAMA is unique in that they use one of the most sustainable fabric combinations: a blend of organic hemp and organic cotton. 

Do scroll to the end of the article for more on what we looked for when researching sustainable underwear.

*This post contains affiliate links

1. ORGANIC BASICS

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Organic Basics #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Organic Basics
About Organics Basics

Organics Basics don’t beat around the bush… “The fashion industry is a dirty bastard.”

What an opening…

This hilariously inspiring Danish company started making men’s undies but have since expanded to a range of organic clothing from women’s ethical underwear, organic cotton t shirts, ethical sleepwear, eco friendly socks, sustainable leggings and much more.

Their goal is to end the poor life cycle of underwear.

According to these fashion fellows, “We think that buying poor quality, fast fashion is a lot like peeing your pants when you’re cold. It feels nice at first, but it’s not so good later on.”

Organics Basic’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Organic Basics uses primarily 100% GOTS certified organic cotton, which is sourced from Europe where the garments are also made.

They also use TENCEL™ Lyocell and like most on this list, a small amount of elastane for stretch.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

OB definitely gets the award for workplace transparency.

You can check out an exact numerical breakdown (vacation days, hours worked, etc.) for every one of their factories.

They personally visit these factories regularly sit down with workers to ensure job condition satisfaction.

Finally, they’re BSCI-compliant and a member of Sedex, a non-profit that empowers ethical supply chains.

Green business practices: 

Organic Basics offers (free!) carbon neutral shipping worldwide.

They purchase from some of the best carbon offset programs through CHOOOSE, like the Koru Wind Farm in Canakkale, Turkey (which is a UN verified CO2 reducing project).

For exact numbers, check out their published Impact Report. 

Inclusivity: 

Sizes range XS-XL and OB use a diverse range of models.

Community & charitable giving: 

Through the Organic Basics Fund, OB provides biannual grants to two environmental grassroots activists or organizations that submit proposals.

Available: Organic Basics

2. BOODY

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Boody #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Boody
About Boody

Boody is an Australian company who create everyday essentials for that minimalist wardrobe, including the comfiest bamboo socks (which we can personally vouch for), designed with all-day comfort in mind: no clasps, underwire, or other pinchy components.

They also have plenty of other affordable ethical clothing choices. Think: eco friendly t shirts, ethical pajamas, and more.

Boody’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Boody uses rayon made from organic bamboo, created using a closed loop process (so no chemicals used during processing are released into the environment). 

This bamboo is certified Oeko-Tex, ECOCERT, and PETA approved vegan.

Note that like pretty much all brands on this list (with the exception of The Very Good Bra), Boody also uses other synthetic fabrics in their products like nylon and spandex (which are not compostable).

Supply chain & labor practices: 

In terms of production, Boody’s objective is as follows: “maximizing positive outputs and minimizing negative ones through the entire supply chain”.

They believe in equal opportunity employment, both in workers and customers. Their factories are also WRAP certified.

Inclusivity: 

Boody fits who you are, naturally”. Sizes run XS – XL in most of their underwear range. Their classic bikini runs XS – 4XL as does their padded shaper bra.

Their goal is to create affordable ethical underwear because everybody should have a pair of eco intimates, which is why they employ a 4-installment afterpay program so cost and budget can’t stand in anyone’s way.

Community & charitable giving: 

Giving back is one of Boody’s 4 pillars of business, and they currently donate (either time, money, or products) to several different charities as well as being one of over 14,000 companies now participating in the 1% for the Planet program.

Available: Boody US  |  Boody Australia

3. ALLBIRDS

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Allbirds #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Allbirds
About Allbirds

Off the tops of our heads, Allbirds is our favorite New Zealand sustainable clothing brand.

We first discovered them as an ethical shoe brand that made some crazy comfortable sustainable running shoes but it’s been thrilling to watch their evolution into apparel for men and women.

Their line of Trino® women’s underwear includes a thong, a brief, and “shortie” boy shorts. They also carry just one style of boxer brief for men.

Allbirds have kindly gifted us one of their sustainable men’s boxers which we tried with great success – super smooth, perfect fit in all the right places and definitely breathable. When we need more undies, they will certainly be top of the list.

Each design features soft seams and a trim design so comfortable “you’ll forget you’re wearing them”.

Allbirds’ Ethical and Sustainability Practices  

Materials:

No matter what style you select, your underwear will be made of 65% FSC-certified TENCEL™ Lyocell, 28% ZQ-certified ethical wool from merino sheep, and 7% spandex.

The lyocell provides silky soft breathability while the antimicrobial merino wool will keep you feeling (and smelling) fresh all day long.

Supply chain & labor practices:

With a public code of conduct and factory map on their website, this certified B-Corp isn’t afraid to moon you with their transparency.

All underwear is made in Nam Định, Vietnam out of New Zealand wool and sustainably grown South African trees (that get turned into lyocell). 

Green business practices:

Allbirds is carbon neutral, meaning the only net harmful gases associated with your underwear will be the stuff coming out of you while you wear them 😉

They ship everything in recycled cardboard and choose to work with LEED-certified and other eco-minded factories that save water and energy during manufacturing.

Inclusivity: 

Women’s sustainable underwear are available in XS-XXXL sizes and men in S-XXL sizes.

Community & charitable giving: 

If you try a pair of their ethical slippers (or any other shoe) and don’t love them, send them back to the brand within 30 days to go to someone in need via Soles4Souls.

Available: Allbirds

4. KNICKEY

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Knickey #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Knickey
About Knickey

Why should you get your knickers from Knickey

That depends if you want your private parts covered in pesticides and petroleum-based fabrics.

…yeah, us neither.

Knickey designs non-toxic sustainable underwear that are better for your bum, your bank account, and our planet.

Fill your top drawer with a colorful mix of low-rise, mid-rise, and high-rise thongs, bikinis, hipsters, and briefs.

Knickey’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials:

All Knickey undies are made with 95% GOTS-certified organic cotton. The remaining 5% is elastane. 

The colors (like Eden, Peachy Keen, and Butterscotch) are thanks to non-toxic, OEKO-TEX approved dyes. 

Supply chain & labor practices:

Knickey is based in NYC, which is where their designs originate. 

Undie dreams become a reality, however, in India. They partner with an organic Indian farm in Ahmedabad then move to Tamil Nadu for ginning, spinning, and production.

The factory responsible for making your briefs has equally high standards. Certified Fair Trade, it provides workers with a right to unionize, safe working conditions, and living wages.

Green business practices:

Knickey take care of post-wear knickers, too, by accepting old intimates (from any brand) for recycling into things like mattress filling or insulation. 

Having a viable answer to the dreaded question, “What to do with old underwear and bras?” is reason enough to give old panties a new lease on life, but you also get a free pair of Knickey undies each time!

The brand uses recycled packaging and low-impact inks. 

Inclusivity: 

Let’s get to the bottom of body positivity. Knickey makes ethical underwear for a good range of bums, size XXS to XXXL, and use a diverse selection of models to represent the sizes. 

As far as ethical organic underwear goes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper pair, too. 

Available: Knickey

5. AZURA BAY

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Azura Bay #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Azura Bay
About Azura Bay

Although Azura Bay is not actually an independent fashion label, they are one of our favorite sustainable clothing brands because they curate the most ethical underwear options (and more) from all the best brands out there.

So if you’re looking to find all the choices in one convenient place (that have already been vetted for sustainable fashion criteria), Azura Bay is it. 

Their selection of sustainable lingerie from a host of many great brands is epic, and their more basic underwear selection is just as impressive.

Azura Bay is based in Canada (shop the Canadian site here), but they also ship globally from their US site.  

Azura Bay‘s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  

Materials: 

Azura Bay hand picks only the most sustainable offerings from the most sustainable brands, meaning all their ethical underwear are going to be made of things like GOTS-certified organic cotton and TENCEL Lyocell. 

Their dressier, lingerie undies are made of recycled lace and other recycled synthetics. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Because they don’t manufacture anything themselves, they don’t have any factories to assess, but we can consider the brands that supply their products. 

Here, they choose only the most ethical brands with clearly defined sourcing policies and certifiably ethical manufacturing practices. 

The majority of the products they pick are made in strict labor law countries like the US, UK, or Canada, or in Fair Trade certified factories elsewhere.

Green business practices: 

All these boody-licious basics are shipped in basic materials, too (which is to say mostly biodegradable ones!). This includes recycled boxes, Better Packaging Co compostable mailers, and recycled tissue paper.

The only non-compostable items are their EcoEnclose poly mailers, which are both recycled and recyclable.

Inclusivity: 

Azura Bay is perhaps one of the most inclusive, plus-sized ethical fashion brands we’ve come across. Which is great for this category especially!

Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in their underwear.

They actually offer expanded sizes from the brands they carry and even do their own plus-size model photoshoots of the items so women of all shapes and sizes can see themselves while browsing.

Community & charitable giving: 

Azura donates a percentage of profits to Because I Am a GirlWorld Wildlife Fund, or the Nature Conservancy of Canada.

Available: Azura Bay

6. PACT

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Pact #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Pact
About Pact

Pact, based in Boulder, Colorado makes a variety of fair trade underwear from sports bras to bralettes (both padded and unpadded), to comfy undies.

They believe “you should never show your underwear…unless it makes a really good point”.

They also sell loungewear and basics to go over your undies, like organic hoodies.

Pact’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Every product is mostly GOTS-certified organic cotton, specifically long staple cotton, which makes everything super soft.

Their organic underwear also contains elastane, a far more eco-friendly provider of stretch than the standard spandex. No toxic dyes or pesticides.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

They are Fairtrade certified and employ water and energy efficient production methods, as per their latest impact statement.

In fact, each product page specifies water saved in production of that one garment.

Inclusivity: 

On their website, they show off their products on models of all shapes and sizes. Being comfortable in one’s own skin is a core part of their company values, which is why they started #justwearyou.

Available: Pact  

7. THUNDERPANTS

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Thunderpants #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Thunderpants
About Thunderpants

Twenty years in the ethical underwear business and Thunderpants – a family-owned New Zealand business has it dialed (they have a separate USA branch now). 

Their “ultimate undie” comes in all sorts of super fun prints. Plus they promise no wedgies or underwear lines and we are ALL about that.

Thunderpant’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Thunderpants uses SKAL (International Standards for Sustainable Textile Production) organic cotton dyed with water-based, non-toxic inks.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Thunderpants believes in traceable production.

They grow their fairtrade cotton in India, knit in a mill in Australia, near their headquarters in New Zealand, and sew in their New Zealand or Portland, Oregon (for the USA branch) factories. Their NZ operations are also dog-friendly!

Always put people before profit” is their motto.

Green business practices

Thunderpants does an awesome job of this. Their factories buy in bulk where possible, compost, repurpose fabric offcuts, and use recyclable Eco-enclose mailers.

In 2018, they pledged to the NZ government to be carbon neutral by 2050; until then, they offset their emissions through Ekos.

Inclusivity: 

This is one of their core values: “Thunderpants stands by inclusivity, championing minorities and supporting other organizations that do the same.”

Community & charitable giving: 

Just call this company Philanthropants!

We wish we came up with that name, but we can’t take the credit. Thunderpants created this extension of their company to support local schools, create community initiatives, and work with a seriously impressive list of charities.

Available: Made Trade  

8. WAMA

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by WAMA #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by WAMA
About WAMA

WAMA is something of an underwear guru, with every basic cut and shape possible for men and women. 

Buy your skivvies either solo or in extra sustainable packs. Don’t forget the organic bras to match.

And since they’re made of sustainable materials and manufactured in ethical environments, you could say they’re a bit of a double WAMA-my.

Founded by Shakib Nassiri on Kickstarter in 2017, one of the few hemp clothing brands, it has grown tremendously in three years with even bigger green growth on the horizon. 

They told us: 

“We are still a very tiny brand but as we grow we plan on working on many more sustainability initiatives like becoming a B Corp [and] offsetting carbon footprint with a one underwear purchased = one hemp tree planted initiative.”

WAMA‘s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  

Materials: 

WAMA underwear is a blend of 53% organic hemp, 44% GOTS organic cotton, and 3% spandex.

While hemp fabric cannot actually be certified by GOTS (meaning no hemp brand in the world is fully GOTS-certified), it is still grown without chemicals and WAMA calls it “the world’s most sustainable fabric[…] to protect your privates, naturally!”

Potentially the best sustainable underwear on this list?

Supply chain & labor practices: 

While still too small to boast any Fair Trade or WRAP accreditations, their Chinese factory is BSCI-certified and monitored for fair conditions by a team member permanently stationed there. 

They also have a supplier code of conduct for all entities, including the family-run hemp farms also in China.

Green business practices: 

WAMA ships using 100% recycled and recyclable poly mailers from EcoEnclose (which are also designed for reuse before recycling). 

Larger 10 packs orders come in recycled cardboard boxes. 

Inside these bags or boxes, their sustainable underwear packs come wrapped in post-consumer & post industrial recycled content tissue paper (which is also fully compostable, save for the recycled paper logo sticker). 

While you may not be able to compost these stickers, they offer a take-back program to “consolidate and recycle the hard to recycle liner”.

Inclusivity: 

With mens sizes ranging from S to 3XL, and women’s similarly from XS to 2XL, WAMA aims to be inclusive, both in their sizing and their use of body inclusive models.

Available: WAMA

9. REFORMATION

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Reformation #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Reformation
About Reformation

From solid basics to flirtatiously transparent lacy numbers, Reformation has a selection of sustainable underwear and intimates that is small in all the right ways.

While there aren’t a ton of options, you can find some seriously cute thongs, cheeky panties, bras, and bralettes.

It’s tough to say which will make you feel sexier: your floor length Reformation dress with a split to the hip or what’s underneath.

Reformation’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices  

Materials: 

This fast fashion alternative uses mostly recycled synthetics (namely nylon, polyamide, and elastane), though they are sometimes blended with their virgin counterparts. 

The best options are their stretchy solid bralettes and panties made with TENCEL Lyocell derived from sustainably managed forests.

Since these fabrics are all either Bluesign or OEKO-TEX 100 certified and tested for many restricted substances, you can put them on with peace of mind. 

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Reformation manufactures 65% of their products in 32 self-owned factories in downtown Los Angeles. You can view more about them here or stop by for a tour if you’re in the area.

The remaining factories are located across Morocco, Turkey, and China. They hold these to the Global Social Compliance Programme’s (GSCP) Code of Conduct, as are their suppliers, which they rank in a Sustainable Partners Guidebook.

Green business practices: 

Being both water neutral and Climate Neutral since 2015 (though they’re just now getting their certification), Reformation is big on purchasing carbon offsets.

So big, they even sell them and incentivise customers to switch to a wind energy in exchange for $100 store credit. 

Here they lead by example by having wind-powered Green Business certified office buildings.

That’s on top of other cool green movements like having impact counters on each product page, using biodegradable packaging, and having eco-friendly office supplies.

One last thing, they’re moving toward being more zero waste by joining the 2020 Circular Fashion System Commitment. In 2019, they set the goal to recirculate 500,000 garments by 2025 and less than a year after pledging, they’re way over halfway there!

Inclusivity: 

Reformation isn’t the most inclusive, size-wise, as some of their stretchy items are only available in two sizes: S/M and M/L. Others come in XS-XL.

Community & charitable giving: 

Reformation gives back to LA’s Tree People, the Bonneville Environmental Foundation, ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and more.

They also donate their time through company volunteer days and by providing each employee a paid day off to volunteer each month.

Available: Reformation

10. TOMBOY X

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Tomboy X #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by Tomboy X
About Tomboy X

A tomboy can be a lot of things, namely:

A girl or a woman or person who […] is utterly, completely, and unapologetically themselves, who is not afraid to stand up, stand out, be heard, be seen […] A person who is damn okay with who they are.”

Let’s all aspire to be tomboys, then!

Tomboy’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Their sustainable underwear is mostly created with MicroModal (an eco-friendly renewable fabric made of Beechwood fiber) and Oeko-Tex organic cotton.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Seeking to avoid fast fashion and mass production, they work with women-owned factories located in Los Angeles, Vancouver, and China that are well lit, safe, clean, and fair in payment.

They regularly visit to ensure they adhere to these standards.

Inclusivity: 

 Tomboy X’s slogan is “underwear for all” and their line is fit for all sized bodies (4S-4X).

Community & charitable giving: 

Activism for social justice, LGBTQ, and women’s rights are at the core of this company: “Our #humanagenda is not just a gay agenda, or a feminist agenda… It is all of those things.”

Available: Amazon |  Tomboy X

11. THE VERY GOOD BRA

Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by The Very Good Bra #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle
Image by The Very Good Bra
About The Very Good Bra

Don’t let the name fool you: they make very good ethical panties and sleepwear, too (all of which are compostable underwear!).

After creator Stephanie Devine’s breast cancer diagnosis, she sought to make non-toxic bras actually good for breasts and launched a 2018 wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.

The claim to make the “only zero waste bra out there in proper bra sizes”. So far they’re the only zero waste underwear brand we’re aware of!

The Very Good Bra’s Ethical and Sustainability Practices

Materials: 

Australian-made with a combination of wood-based TENCEL fibers, organic tree rubber, and organic cotton elastic. Every component (soy ink labels to special organic cotton hooks) is 100% biodegradable.

Supply chain & labor practices: 

Lots of transparency about their suppliers, right from the Kickstarter. They ship in entirely compostable mailers, mostly through Australia’s Sendle, a carbon-neutral company.

Inclusivity: 

These bras come in 24 proper sizes available to fit a range of breasts, butts, and bodies!

Available: The Very Good Bra

FINDING THE BEST SUSTAINABLE UNDERWEAR

What is sustainable and ethical fashion? 

It all starts with what goes underneath your ethical activewear or fair trade dress

As our most intimate connection with fashion, it was important for us to get to the bottom of just how ethical and sustainable our underwear can be. 

Materials:

Materials can make or break a product’s impact, which is why touch further on these just below.

Supply chain & labor practices:

There should be no ifs, ands, or but(t)s about protecting supply chain workers. 

These brands are cleaning up a dirty fashion industry by supporting workers with things like fair trade certified factories, supportive and safe work environments, and above-living wage pay.

Green business practices:

Ethical underwear brands can help our weary planet by using compostable, recycled and recyclable packaging, supporting carbon offset programs, and having energy-saving and water-efficient offices and manufacturing practices.

Inclusivity:

All bodies and bottoms should be catered to via inclusive sizing and body-positive brand imaging. Everyone should feel comfortable in their undies, whether size 4 or 14.

Community & charitable giving:

Who would have thought your top dresser drawer could do so much good? 

We think it’s as(s)toundingly awesome that many of these brands use sales to support environmental and social justice charities, employee volunteer days, and more.


SUSTAINABLE FABRICS FOR ECO FRIENDLY UNDERWEAR

As mentioned above, the kinds of fabrics used are crucial to ensuring your eco friendly underwear are in fact eco friendly.

In the case of underwear, a poor choice of materials (helllo, synthetic fabrics) can also lead to vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections. 

No, thank you. 

Instead, we look for eco friendly underwear brands that cover our bums breathably in sustainable fabrics including organic, vegan, and renewable materials like hemp, organic cotton, or bamboo fabric that’s been made using a closed-loop process. 

We’ll also squat in semi-synthetic fabrics from Tencel clothing brands using lyocell or modal fabric

Unfortunately, it is a reality of the underwear industry that elastane / spandex is typically needed to provide the right stretch in underwear. The Very Good Bra is the only brand we’ve found that has managed to avoid this and therefore the only brand that is fully compostable.

It is nice however, to see some use of recycled nylon, spandex, and elastane—associated with fewer CO2 emissions than their virgin counterparts.

Hopefully we’ll see even more innovation in this space to make undies more circular.


FINAL THOUGHTS ON ETHICAL UNDERWEAR BRANDS

Captain Underpants was on to something. Underwear (when done right) really can save the day. 

A future of sustainable fashion doesn’t harm ecosystems, workers, or our planet, but we have to build up to it from the bottom up… literally! Ethical fashion is so much more than what meets the eye—it starts with what’s underneath. 

Every time you purchase a pair of planet-friendly panties, you’re supporting a world that’s better for every being involved. 

Unless all of your friends and family members are brave enough to go commando, they too can benefit from this list of eco friendly underwear brands! 

Spread the good word about sustainable skivvies and share this article far and wide!


Since change starts at the bottom (pun intended), it only seems appropriate that we start with our own by switching to sustainable and ethical underwear... Image by Knickey #sustainable underwear #ethicalunderwear #sustainablejungle

8 thoughts on “11 Ethical & Sustainable Underwear Brands For Conscious Comfort”

  1. hello there!
    could anyone recommend 100% cotton or hemp underwear? no elastane.i do not want my underwear to be stretchy.i want looseness and comfort.

    thanks.
    susanne

    Reply
  2. Thank you for sharing. I actually highly recommend Au Natural undies that are made from merino wool. This is my favorite sustainable option!

    Reply
  3. The antimicrobial silver typeset thread label in my nylon / elastane underwear caused a serious burn on my lower back after wearing during an MRI. The label looks benign, but on sensitive individuals it can cause MRI burns

    Reply
  4. Hiya, I was quite disappointed to find that regardless of being totally “organic” or made from bamboo (which is ethically questionable due to chamically intensive processing) many of these brands still put actually plastic in the form of nylon or elastane into their products. Some have more of these in them than what you find at kmart! Maybe I’m missing something here but switching to an organic cotton just to have 10%of it replaced with nylon as well as the standard 5%elastane and shipping in an individual packet just looks like green washing to me.

    Reply
    • Hi Laura,

      Thank you so much for this comment. It certainly is timely, just in the last few days, I have gone quite deep into this topic, having been made aware of the various problems with bamboo in particular. It’s a work in progress for me and I plan to write a very detailed article on it soon (and to update this page with my findings). In the meantime, I’ll add a couple of further thoughts to your two points:

      – Bamboo: Agreed, the ethics here can be super questionable. Here are a few articles I’ve read that I’ve found very helpful to try and untanlge this:
      https://www.biome.com.au/blog/is-bamboo-fabric-plastic/
      https://goodonyou.eco/bamboo-fabric-sustainable/

      However, it seems bamboo that’s gone through a closed loop process is still viable from an ethics perspective, much like TENCEL (i.e. all the chemicals are recycled over and over again – not added to waterways and removed from the final fibre output) – see for example the Good on You’s assessment of Boody (on this list and very much promoting their products as “bamboo”) – https://directory.goodonyou.eco/brand/boody – see the point about the closed loop process (also the closed loop process is mentioned in the link above from Biome)

      – Plastic derived fabric inclusion (nylon, elastane, spandex, etc.): This seems to be very difficult to avoid if you want to have any stretch in your undies. The only brand on this list that is fully compostable with no plastic included is The Very Good Bra (they make bras and bottoms), which are absolutely the most ethical as far as their materials go on this list. However they are still very new on the market, so if they are difficult to find in your area, my current view is that the next best thing is where the brand uses recycled plastic to make the fabric (e.g. they’ve used fabric made from ocean waste to make the nylon). There are a few on the list that use recycled material (e.g. Organic basics).

      I do plan to research this a lot more and update this article to reflect more clearly which brands are compostable and which use recycled fabrics. Let me know if you learn any more on this, it’s always helpful to get more information!

      Thanks again,
      Joy

      Reply
  5. Thanks for this great guide, that proves that a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle is possible without comprimising on quality and style. There are plenty of ethical brands already, and I think the number of options will grow over the next few years

    Reply

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