Living green is a whole heck of a lot easier said than done, and that's why The Underwear Expert recommends starting at step one: your underwear. If the first thing you put on in the morning was made in an earth-conscious way, wouldn't that make you a bit more earth-conscious, too?
Several underwear companies seem to think so. And they're not just throwing in a few carbon credits in their budget, either. Many have invested heavily in developing new textiles or factories which source their materials from renewable stocks. The result? A bonanza of high-quality green undies for you to choose from, and they're not all that pricey, either.
PACT Organic Underwear is one of the most committed to using renewable sources for fabric. Their line of underwear, socks and tee-shirts is made from organic cotton that is grown near their factory. The designs are fixed in the cotton with no PVC or other harsh polymers, and even their packaging is green: their bright green shipping bags are compostable, down to the shipping label and its adhesive.
Milk Underwear is also making a strong case for alternative fabric -- their underwear is literally made out of milk. They treat the spoiled byproducts of industrial dairies with chemicals to get the milk protein to form a fiber called casein, which they then spin into soft fabrics. This process has actually been around since the '30s, but until Milk, no one thought to bring it to underwear. They discovered that making their underwear this way was a clean, soft and distinctive way of getting a luxurious and eco-friendly textile. The fabric also apparently helps blood flow circulation and has benefits for your skin, too.
"We're in talks with the Dairy Farmers Association," Joshua Bonner of Milk told The Underwear Expert. "We want to partner with them because we help them deal with their waste and runoff and turn it into something people want to use."
Another popular alternative to regular old cotton is bamboo-sourced fabric. Brands have embraced rayon made from bamboo, another popular fabric in the green market. Bamboo can be broken down into a pulp and its cellulose recombined with other chemicals to make a very strong, supple and soft fabric.
The underwear industry has done us all a favor by exploring alternative, eco-friendly fabrics. Now, you'll have no excuse not to do your part.