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How To Care For Your Sustainable Lingerie

by: Rosie Dalton | 2 years ago | Features

Image: via Pansy. Image source.   

When you have invested hard earned money into buying beautiful sustainable lingerie that is good for the planet, then you probably want to extend the lifecycle of said lingerie for as long as humanly possible. Fortunately, caring for sustainable bras and knickers isn’t as hard as it seems, either. In fact, it is possible even for those that are generally pretty time poor. So if you’re interested in knowing how you can keep your sustainable lingerie looking good for the long-term, simply follow the three easy steps below.

1) Handwashing
Handwashing your underwear probably feels more labour-intensive than chucking on a machine wash, but when you think about it, even the quickest of spin cycles still require you to wait around before hanging out to dry. If you handwash your sustainable separates in a basin, on the other hand, then you can complete the whole process in less than ten minutes and be out the door in a flash. A good tip here is to use cold water and a gentle, eco-friendly washing liquid if possible. Even if handwashing doesn’t really appeal to you, though, remember to avoid heat when caring for your lingerie. Heat isn’t good for elastic (or for the fabric itself). So if you must machine wash, then opt for a gentle cold cycle instead.

2) Hanging dry
The way you dry your underwear is just as important as the way you wash them – and hang drying is usually the best way to go here. “Always hang dry,” recommends Pansy founder Laura Schoorl, for instance. “I usually hang bras and underwear on all my door handles and they are dry by the next morning.” It doesn’t have to be doorhandles, though, because traditional clotheslines or small demountable racks work just as well here too. 

3) Rotate your elastic
In addition to hang drying and steering clear of heat, caring for your knickers is also about caring for your elastic – which can stretch out over time. “It is best to rotate bras regularly so you allow the elastic to rest after being worn,” explains Laura Schoorl. So whether that’s wearing your bras inside out, storing them that way, or flipping the elastic around inside them, it’s important to be mindful of the stretch factor. And worst comes to worst, elastic can always be replaced by any good mender.

The great thing about each of these simple steps is that they work just as well no matter where you are in the world. Read: hotel rooms, boyfriend’s apartments etc. This will save you from having to pack excessive amounts of underwear when setting off on journeys of any kind. Because all you really need is a soap or pre-packed stash of the washing liquid of your choice – I recommend Natalija’s delicates wash here – a doorhandle and a sink; both of which are pretty easy to come by.  

Thinking about all this from a macro perspective can be helpful, too. For instance, caring for your sustainable lingerie properly can also save you a great deal of time in the long-run. Handwashing and hangdrying your delicate knickers will ultimately keep them in good knick (sorry, not sorry) for a lot longer than just tossing them in the machine will. This, in turn, means you can wait longer in between shopping trips for new lingerie, saving extra time that you didn’t even know you had. Finally, of course, buying and caring well for well-made, earth friendly bras and underwear will also allow you to stress less about your overall environmental impact in the meantime. So it’s a win/win for your panty drawer and your personal values.


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