Compostable underwear means you can now plant your pantiesDecember 21, 2022
What if your underwear could help you grow tomatoes? It may sound like a strange idea, but it’s actually an innovative way to tackle the problem of waste in the fashion industry.
In the United States, one brand is revolutionizing the world of underwear with a fully compostable material, offering a way to reduce textile waste while giving something back to the Earth.
All kinds of ideas are emerging in the fashion industry to reduce the sector’s environmental impact, such as clothing rental, resale and upcycling. But one clothing category remains problematic: underwear.
This is due to the widespread use of elastane, a material that is not recycled, but also the fact that women’s and men’s undergarments cannot be sold second hand.
As a result, at the end of their life, these pieces are inevitably added to the millions of tons of textile waste generated by the fashion industry each year.
This is a problem that the American brand Kent, founded by the Canadian entrepreneur Stacy Grace, is addressing by only selling underwear made from natural materials that could – over time – return to nature.
This, in other words, means compostable underwear. More concretely, the company has chosen to shun synthetic materials – like elastane, nylon, polyester, spandex – and to focus on a natural and organic premium material called Pima cotton.
From nature, and back to nature
Also known as “South American silk,” Pima cotton is a naturally ecological fiber cultivated in Peru. It offers multiple advantages, including the absence of pesticides, microplastics, and chemicals, not to mention its compostable nature.
This, in turn, could help reduce the mountains of waste that are constantly piling up in some regions of the world, including Africa.
Based in Los Angeles, Kent offers underwear, T-shirts and crop tops for men and women, all of which are fully recyclable and biodegradable. When the garments are worn out, you can essentially just plant them.
As strange as it may sound, planting your panties – or your thong – will allow them to break down into the soil in just 90 days. This is a considerable step forward in the industry, and it could give food for thought to more than one brand in the sector. However, Pima cotton is still a relatively rare material.
Kent is not the only brand in the world to offer biodegradable lingerie. Others in the field include the Australian label Bella Eco, and the Swiss brand Calida, which released the first collection of biodegradable clothing and underwear made from cellulose fabrics.
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