At PD, we know about how important it is to consider all aspects of a sustainable lifestyle, not only what we eat. If you’re vegan, you’re already doing a great job on that front (vegetarians, and anyone eating mostly plant-based, too!), but we’re also keen on spreading the word about ethical and responsible clothing.
The fashion industry is one of the biggest culprits in Earth- and human-harming practices, from excessive sample-making to unethical labor laws. Getting a capsule wardrobe that’s as green as can be is a challenge, but a fun one you can achieve gradually by replacing your current items with classic, ethically-sourced and made staples by brands and designers who follow certain standards in their businesses. The same idea applies to a perhaps overlooked aspect of your closet: the underwear drawer.
You wear it all day, every day, which can mean your intimates are getting some serious wear and tear (let’s not get into what happens when you let laundry day slip a bit too long . . .). You’re also a busy lady with multiple costume-changes throughout the day, most likely, so you want something that will work equally well with your fitted sweater dress and your yoga leggings; don’t forget, too, those *fancy* pairs you save for special occasions.
Where’s a Dumpling to find unmentionables that are, well, mentionable, in terms of their fabrication and environmental footprint? Whether you’re an online shopaholic or like to *feel* everything that touches your skin, especially you-know-where, in store, there are plenty of emerging brands to choose from. Say hello to the new generation of intimates that do so much good they deserve to be shown off a little.
Founded in 1994 by Laurie Dunlap, and since then entirely women-run and owned, this ultra-sustainable organic cotton underwear brand makes their lingerie right here in the US from organic cotton and bamboo. They’re conscious of allergy concerns and aim to provide women with “functional with beautiful” items women can put on “once and go through the day.” It’s easy to see from their entire line of tops, bottoms, dresses, loungewear, and intimates that ease and comfort are pretty much a guarantee, no matter what you put on, under or over.
Founder Brook is a self-taught designer who likes to keep things close, whether it be her intimates or her business partners (her husband, Daniel, is a menswear designer). All of their products are sourced and made in the US, and with an easily filtered “vegan” section the organic cotton underwear and bra options go on for days. Even the color names—nutmeg, chocolate, lilac, wheat—are earth-friendly.
If you’re looking for luxe, Susan Beischel’s line of perfectly-lightweight, surprisingly affordable intimates and loungewear is for you. Sleek, sexy, yet functional, these pieces are designed to “work with your body and elevate the everyday.” Susan grew up in the midwest with a love of nature and has a background in business management, and with that experience she’s transformed her love of the wilderness into a booming line of second-skin-like, cotton-based fashion. The fashion-forward minimalist will go wild over every essential layer.
You’ve probably seen or heard about the provocative subway ads for this special “period” underwear. The concept is admittedly a little gross but, when you think about it, equally brilliant! Constructed with layers of fabric that absorb the bacteria and liquid from your menstruation, these panties eliminate the need for tampons or bulky pads. They’re also made to be reused: just rinse in cold water then wash regularly and hang to dry. There’s no need to bleach, add softener, or machine-dry, and nothing will contaminate your other clothes in the washing machine. You won’t have to sacrifice style, either; Thinx come in thongs (light days), boy shorts (heavy), and everything in between.
Sisters Arina and Anya Woron are behind this user-cool Scandinavian brand, that now ships worldwide. Their platform is vegan, cruelty-free, and slow fashion, and their products are made with local (i.e., European) plant fibers, including organic cotton and Lenzig Modal, a sustainable fabric from beech wood with a very small carbon- and water-footprint. When it comes to manufacturing, they are leaders in providing women-focused employment at higher than average wages, outsourcing some labor to India only in the cases where the original material is sourced there (to cut down on transportation costs). In these items, you’ll be able to wear, wash, and repeat effortlessly.
Are you also a big fan of organic cotton underwear?