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5 Reasons Sustainable Lingerie Is Better Lingerie

by: Rosie Dalton | 3 years ago | Features

Image: Pansy Bra in Red.

Lingerie is such an interesting category; because it’s one that has evolved from pure utility, to the object of male desire and all the way back again, before finally re-emerging as a cornerstone of female empowerment. Over recent years, the brands that have become most successful in this space aren’t those that are selling us underwear to make us feel sexy for others, but those selling us the idea of feeling comfortable in our own skin. It is a subtle distinction, but a very important one. As a result, shopping for underwear has gone from being a torturous experience, to one that we can actually even approach with a little joy — as brands embrace a broader definition of female beauty and cater to a far more nuanced market in the process.

In amongst all that, though, it is of course important to retain some utility — fit and function are still as essential as ever. But increasingly, sustainability is becoming just as important to us, when choosing which underwear we buy. On the one hand, this is because we care about protecting the planet from unnecessary harm (and synthetic fibres have a lot to answer for in this regard), but on the other hand, this also comes from a practical place of wanting to reduce the amount of toxic chemicals that we’re exposing ourselves to every day. 

This is something we have thought a lot about in terms of investing in natural skincare or buying organic groceries, but we also need to be asking ourselves just how many chemicals can be found in our lingerie drawer. This is something we should be asking of all our clothing, really, but I would argue that it’s even more important where underwear is concerned — because these are the pieces that rub against your genitals on a day-to-day basis. And if the latest trend in lingerie is to feel naturally beautiful in your skin, then it’s pretty important for those skin-grazing bras and knickers to be as natural as possible too. These are the 5 reasons why sustainable lingerie is better lingerie. 

1) Because it is better for your body
Did you know that unsustainable lingerie often contains a number of nasty chemicals, which can also be transferred to your skin and then into your bloodstream? Not only are these chemicals collected during the farming stage (when lots of pesticides, insecticides and the like are used), but the dying process can also be laden with toxins too. Regular clothing dyes (or azo dyes) are packed with known carcinogens like formaldehyde, which can make their way into our pores after prolonged skin contact. This is why sustainable alternatives, dyed with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified dyes are a much safer option overall.

2) Because synthetic fibres are clogging up our planet
Not only can synthetic fibres carry toxic chemicals that are bad for your health, but these types of fabrics can also clog up the planet for as long as 200 years. In the meantime, they will simply sit around clogging up landfill, or make their way into the ocean in the form of tiny microfibres. According to The Guardian, 85% of the human-made material found in the ocean comes from synthetic clothing fibres. So if you care about reducing landfill and protecting our waterways, then sustainable lingerie is definitely the way to go.

3) Even conventional cotton crops are bad for the earth
Forgetting about man-made fabrics like polyester — which tend to require vast amounts of petroleum — even natural fibres like cotton can be bad for the earth when they are farmed conventionally. Conventional cotton crops are some of the thirtiest and dirtiest in the world, for example, accounting for 24% of the world’s insecticides and 11% of the world’s pesticides, despite taking up just 2.4% of the world’s land. So if you consider yourself passionate about protecting our natural environment, then you should be wary about how your underwear was created too.

4) Meanwhile, sustainable farming tends to promote biodiversity
When compared with the environmental damage that’s caused by conventional farming practices, sustainable alternatives can actually be considered beneficial for the earth. Hemp, for example, has deep roots that anchor and aerate the soil. While organic cotton is a biodiverse crop that can also help with soil fertility overall. What this means is that sustainable fibres don’t strip away all the beneficial nutrients found in the earth and, in some cases, even help to give back to the natural environment. Which is more than we can say for those nasty synthetics.

5) Natural fibres make you feel (and look) great
Gone are the days when we were prepared to deal with itchy, uncomfortable synthetics riding right up where we didn’t want them to be. As busy modern women, few things are now quite so important to us as comfort is. It’s what gives us the confidence to feel great about ourselves everyday and it’s exactly the effect that sustainable lingerie has overall. Because fibres like modal, bamboo and organic cotton all breathe well, feel great and look great as well. Not to mention, they are now being made in some of the best cuts on the market. You are welcome.

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