Saving the Planet – and Possibly Your Health
Dressing sustainably is a trend with no sign of slowing down, it has swept across the US and many other parts of the world. Now if you wish to, you could easily find eco-friendly, chemical-free versions of any wardrobe staple. However, left out of the conversation until recently has been the most consistent piece of clothing most of us wear everyday – underwear.
In the last 5 years, a number of trailblazers have brought attention to what we put in and around our vagina in the form of tampons and pads. An industry previously dominated by the Proctor & Gamble’s of the world, these brands shook up the narrative, simply by identifying a very simple question- “What and how do the ingredients of our reproductive care products affect our vaginal and overall health”. It all seems so obvious and terrifying. Think about it a little longer and you’ll start to understand why a number of entrepreneurs have recently started to focus on the health risks of the tightly fitted, unnaturally dyed, pesticide-treated, synthetic underwear so many of us wear.
SO, IS THERE ACTUALLY ANYTHING TO BE WORRIED ABOUT? -MAYBE.
75% of women will get a vaginal yeast infection at least once in their life. More than 300 million women suffer from yeast and bladder infections every year. In part, this can be caused by synthetic fabrics that don’t breathe or many harmful chemicals that can be found in the fabric and dyes in conventional underwear. In fact, gynecologists often recommend wearing underwear made from natural fibers such as cotton or bamboo for this reason. However, when scouting through options, one should be aware that, ‘natural fibers’ can often be grown with the help of pesticides – something none of us want near our lady bits!
Of course, there are doubters who feel the whole trend towards organic, chemical-free products is built on questionable logic and their conventional counterparts are just as safe. While the debate may continue, one argument cannot be questioned- environmental impact. An alarming 85% of discarded clothing in the US ends up in a landfill. The vast majority of the underwear we use, containing nylon, polyester and other non-organic fabrics are not biodegradable. To add salt to the earth's man-made wounds, many of the chemicals that exist in these materials also seep into the soil over time, leaving devastating effects on the surrounding environment.
It’s important to do some digging whenever purchasing from ‘sustainable’ brands – sadly the term ‘natural’ is not overly regulated and can be used questionably by disingenuous companies. However, if you’re ready to invest in some undergarments that really love your lady parts, then here are some brands we like – Knickey, Pact, and Boody.