BYE BYE BAMBOO!
The time has come, we are breaking up with Bamboo! Don’t be sad though, because we’ve fallen in love with something we think is even better.
It turns out, Bamboo just isn’t as good as we once thought. We’ve done our research, and what we have learnt about Bamboo fabrics has left us less than impressed with its eco credentials as a fabric. Yes, the growing and farming of bamboo ticks all the right boxes, but when it comes to conventional bamboo fabrics, it’s time for us to move on.
Bamboo fabrics are hugely chemically and water intensive to produce, which makes sense when you consider that Bamboo is one of the strongest materials on earth, yet bamboo fabrics are often incredibly soft! About 50% of the hazardous waste from bamboo fabric production cannot be recaptured or reused, and is sent directly into the environment. Even though bamboo in its natural state is antibacterial (which led us to believe it was the perfect choice for underwear) after all this chemical processing, those antibacterial properties are pretty much non-existent.
Once we learned that the European NGO Made-By now rates bamboo at the bottom of its environmental benchmark for fibers, we knew we needed to do our best to find something better for you, and the planet. We found two new fabrics we feel proud to stand behind as alternatives to our old Bamboo. The first is a Hemp & Organic Cotton blend that has a matte finish and is a bit firmer than our old bamboo. The second is a Lenzing Modal, which is incredibly soft, light weight, and feels a lot like the bamboo many of you are familiar with. We think both fabrics are amazing and perfectly suited to underwear!
It’s been encouraging to see more fabric producers taking sustainability seriously, and we look forward to incorporating even more sustainable fabrics and trims in our future ranges.
OUR NEW HEMP & ORGANIC COTTON BLEND
Hemp is one of the all time best options when it comes to sustainable fabrics. Hemp doesn’t require any pesticides or chemicals to grow, returns 60-70% of the nutrients it takes from the soil, and compared to other crops grown for fabric, requires very little land & water. Hemp also maintains its antimicrobial properties once it becomes a fabric.
One of the most amazing properties of the hemp plant is its ability to pull huge quantities of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Hemp grows to 13 feet in 100 days, making it one of the fastest CO2-to-biomass conversion tools available. Industrial hemp has been proven to absorb more CO2 per hectare than any forest or commercial crop.
In order to make sure our knickers are still soft and comfortable, we have chosen a Hemp & Organic cotton blend. Organic cotton cannot be compared to the much less friendly, conventional cotton - which releases more toxins into our oceans than any other crop. Grown without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides, our Organic Cotton keeps our oceans clean, eliminates the allergens found in conventionally grown cotton, and creates a soft, comfortable, breathable and washable fabric. Organic Cotton received a B on that same sustainable fabric rating system that Bamboo received an E.
The Hemp & Organic cotton blend we are using comes from a company in China called Hemp Fortex, you can learn more about them here: https://www.hempfortex.com/pages/about. They have certifications from the Global Organic Textile Standard, WorldWide Responsible Accredited Production, HIGG Sustainable Apparel Coalition, ECO CERT & the Fair Wear Foundation, among others.
OUR NEW LENZING MODAL
Lenzing Modal is a fibre produced by the innovative Austrian company Lenzing, who have made a strong commitment to environmental sustainability. Lenzing Modal is made from Beechwood trees, which require no planting or irrigation as they propagate themselves. Working closely with the Forest Stewardship Foundation (FSC®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™), they can ensure that all their wood is sustainably sourced.
Unlike other similar fabrics, the processing of the fibers is where Lenzing excels. They have developed an innovative closed loop environmental process that is not commercially available to others, these non toxic technologies allow them to recover 95% of the production materials to minimise emissions and conserve resources. In fact, Lenzing is set to be the first Carbon Neutral Fibre producer in the world. You can learn more about Lenzing and their focus on sustainability here: https://www.lenzing.com/sustainability/
Our Lenzing Modal fabric is knitted and dyed locally in Melbourne, by MTK, a small business that has been creating unique and high quality fabrics for over 85 years. Our Modal Fabric is combined with a small amount of elastane to give the fabric stretch that allows garments to retain their shape after many wears.
PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CONSERVATION ECOLOGY CENTRE
We are now proud supporters of the award-winning Conservation Ecology Centre in Victoria’s Otways. The Conservation Ecology Centre is a nationally registered non-profit ecological research and conservation organisation dedicated to protecting and understanding Australian ecosystems. $1 from each piece sold from our Basics Collection will be going towards ecological research and conservation activities to ensure a safe future for Otway wildlife.
We have chosen to partner with this organisation as they are doing amazing work and making a measurable difference. You can learn more about the Conservation Ecology Centre and their work here: https://www.conservationecologycentre.org/