Lingerie lovers unite – let’s discuss the benefits of investing in sustainable lingerie! We all know that fast fashion is a GLOBAL killer, but what we do not realize is how HARMFUL fast fashion can be when it comes to intimate apparel.
Sustainable Lingerie: natural Fibers are Better for your Body
Investing in sustainable lingerie that is made from natural fibers is a healthier choice. In the process of creating lingerie, fast fashion brands skim over many safety hazards to ensure the garments are released on time to the public. Choosing natural fibers for lingerie is a key component in maintaining proper vaginal health.
Board certified ob-gyn Heather Irobunda states “In terms of vaginal health, the preferred fabrics for underwear are natural fibers that are breathable”. In addition to natural fabric, limiting the number of colored underwear in your closet can help in avoiding health issues. Fabric dyes are often made with toxic chemicals with fabric finishes which can be avoided by investing in white or minimal colored underwear.
Sustainable Lingerie: eliminate Textile Waste
The process of creating textiles can get messy and encompass a vast amount of waste. In the textile industry, creating fabrics, printing on textiles and dyeing fabrics release various chemicals and carbon emissions that are wasteful and harmful to the environment.
When mass market companies create new color palettes they go back and forth with the selected fabric manufacturer many times, submitting fabric swatches to match sample dying (strike offs). To ensure the color at hand matches the fabric being dyed, the company goes through wasted fabric samples, carbon emission for shipping and chemical waste in toxic dyes.
Upcycling (creating something new from a piece of clothing) can avoid chemical fabric printing and avoid strike offs of countless textile sampling. Another way to encourage the limit of fabric sample storage and strike offs is by using a fabric that suppliers print digitally.
Fabric suppliers such as Spoonflower, keeps businesses on file and only prints on fabric when ordered. This eliminates the storage of thousands of yards of sample fabrics to browse through. Instead, they prefer a more “Go Green” approach by having customers order a book of swatches that are available to customize.
Sustainable lingerie brands such as small business Lovecraft Intimates, are making a change by eliminating textile waste and introducing deadstock/ vintage fabrics. As the designer of Lovecraft Intimates, choosing fabric from companies like Spoonflower helps to elevate my brand ethos, and avoid the impact of wasted textiles.
Reducing Greenhouse Gases
Sustainable fabrics can eliminate the process of creating man-made fabrics. The process to create and print man-made poly fabrics involve chemicals and machinery, which becomes very wasteful! Sustainable fibers such as cotton and hemp can be farmed responsibly and ethically without killing the Earth!
According to the The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)- a charity that works with businesses to improve the resource efficiency, has stated that poly-made fabrics hit landfills in tons per year. Sustainable fabrics are much easier to dispose of, as most are biodegradable or can be repurposed.
Poly Fibers are bad for Planet Earth
Man-Made plastic filled fabrics are not biodegradable, which leaves these harmful fabrics stranded in landfills. Natural fibers are worn down easily and can be disposed of without releasing chemical emissions.
According to Ecocult.com polyester made up 52% of global fiber production in 2018, Cotton came crawling in as a close second. The reason for the overload of Polyester is the rapid speed in which we can create the man made fibers.
Fibers such as cotton and hemp (although are farmed on thousands of acres of land) need time to harvest and maintain. If there is a bad batch of polyester fibers made, these can be scraped and started again in the same time frame, versus a bad batch of cotton that would need to be reharvested. If the fabric can not be disposed of properly, it should NOT belong near your vagina!
Sustainable Lingerie: biodiversity in our manufacturing agriculture
Sustainable lingerie can create biodiversity without our intimate apparel industry and expand the apparel making process in our agriculture. The apparel industry is directly linked to an ongoing environmental loss.
According to FashionRevolution.org, as a global commodity, cotton plays a major role in the economic and social evolution of emerging communities and industrialized countries. By incorporating more ways to create sustainable fabric, our agriculture will benefit the WORLD.
Organizations such as the Clean Clothes Campaign, are taking a stand to fight for cotton farmers and industry textile manufacturers that get the short end of the stick. Many natural fiber farmers such as cotton or hemp, receive low wages and work extremely inconsistent hours to make ends meet.
Expanding our resources technologically, to condense farming conditions could help farmers make higher profit thus allow for higher margins of product. Investing in better quality, sustainable pieces will eliminate the flow of making new clothing, thus reducing the carbon footprint.
* By Francesca Fasciglione, Lovecraft Intimates