Sustainability is at the forefront of a lot of peoples’ minds these days. From ecofriendly building materials in their furniture to local, organic food on their tables, the emphasis on reducing environmental impact where possible is quickly catching on across the world.
One area experiencing a serious makeover is the fashion industry, especially in regard to undergarments. Below is a look into what makes lingerie sustainable and why making this simple switch is so important for the environment.
What Is Sustainable Lingerie?
For a clothing article to be deemed sustainable, it must be responsibly sourced with planet-friendly materials, produced with minimal energy and resource consumption and able to decompose easily without long-lasting effects on the Earth. It’s important that the item was manufactured ethically as well.
What ecofriendly materials are used for sustainable lingerie? Commonly, the products on store shelves are made with synthetic fibers, which can have a decomposition period of up to 200 years. This incredibly long timeframe means the discarded item is left to slowly rot in an overflowing landfill. It could also end up in the world’s oceans, which are already too polluted with plastic and unsustainable clothing materials, such as nylon and acrylic microfibers.
Sustainable products, on the other hand, rely on biodegradable materials, with the most popular alternative being organic cotton.
To be considered organic, this cotton must be grown without using toxic fertilizers or chemicals. Furthermore, the method of farming should have a strong emphasis on preserving the soil and reducing the harmful effects on water sources near the growing fields.
Other organic fabrics utilized for lingerie include:
Bamboo: Harvested from natural plant fibers, this material is then turned into soft,
absorbent cloth making it very “green.”
Hemp: Capable of being made into a wide variety of consumer goods, organic hemp pulp and its fibers do not require as many resources to grow as other plants. It also provides nutrients back to the soil when properly discarded. This makes it an exceptionally versatile and sustainable crop.
Tencel: Made from the wood pulp sourced from beech, eucalyptus and birch trees, these natural fibers are also called lyocell and produce breathable clothing, which is less susceptible to bacteria than synthetics.
Recycled polyester: Created by repurposing plastic bottles into new polyester fiber, this recycled material, while not biodegradable, works to keep plastic out of the ocean.
The production techniques that utilize these and other materials must also be carefully considered because cheap manufacturing practices often lead to excessive pollution and wasted resources. Brands committed to sustainable practices typically work to minimize the amount of wasted fabric stock, cleaning chemicals and dyes used during production.
As far as ethical manufacturing, many brands within the sustainable clothing industry strive to follow moral principles of employee equality and safety along with their green initiatives. The use of child labor and exploitation is rampant among mass production clothing manufacturers in overseas countries to cut costs. Holding themselves to a higher standard, there are several brands who adhere to fair labor practices, safe working conditions and ecofriendly manufacturing standards.
Refashioning Your Wardrobe for the Sake of the Planet
Are you ready to start your search for a sustainable lingerie brand? Finding the right one may take more time than buying an article right off the shelf, but the benefits make the effort worth it. When shopping, be sure to look for labels declaring the material is certified organic while avoiding conventionally farmed cotton and polyester products.
Investing in sustainable lingerie is an easy yet important step to take to show you truly care for the Earth and are enthusiastic about ecological preservation. If you want to reduce your environmental impact and do what you can to decrease waste pollution, consider making the switch to sustainable lingerie today!