The greenest closet is the one you already own — and the greenest additions are pre-loved items. Even the greenest eco-fashionista, however, tends to draw the buy-it-used line at underwear! Eco-friendlier panties can make some of the best green gifts: Useful, cute, comfy. Here are three basic, everyday pairs I’ve tried and tested:
PACT. If you like to wear your eco-cause close to your skin, PACT’s got panties for you. Ten percent of the sales from the undies go to benefit a different eco-nonprofit — ForestEthics for forest protection, Oceana for ocean protection, and Global Green USA. Just pick an undie design based on the cause you support, and a style that’ll support you.
PACT eco-underwear’s made of 95 percent organic cotton grown in Turkey. Each pair costs between $18 – $25 -- not cheap -- but keep in mind that $1.80 - $2.50 of that goes to a nonprofit and that the panties come pre-wrapped in a tiny reusable cloth bag (right), if you plan to give the panties as a gift. What to do with the tiny bag afterwards? Use it as a discreet carrying case for little necessities — i.e. condoms — or put it to other creative uses.
Bgreen Apparel. Like your organic panties made in the U.S.? Then shop at Bgreen, a Green America-approved eco-friendly company that makes all its organic cotton clothes in the U.S.
My favorite Bgreen panties are the organic bikini with lace, which are comfy and simple but also have a feminine decorative trim. The boy shorts are comfy too! Each pair’s made of 95 percent organic cotton and 5 percent spandex, and costs $11 to $18.
Spun Bamboo. Reeling at the price of eco-panties these days? If you’re the bulk bargain hunter type, Spun Bamboo’s got you covered with its affordable panty 3-packs! Why are the panties so much less expensive? You guessed it — the panties are made in China, though according to Faeries Dance, which sells these undies, “under sweatshop-free conditions with no child labor.”
I bought a 3-pack of these a long time ago — and still wear them! They’re made of 55 percent Viscose from bamboo, 25 percent organic cotton, 12 percent nylon, and 8 percent spandex — and have a great fit and feel. 3-packs cost $27; single pairs are available both in bikini and thong styles for $10 each.
I stuck to basic, everyday, practical panties here, but the eco-panty market's got everything from higher-end, sexy lingerie to custom-made intimates. Faeries Dance, in fact, offers a huge selection of organic underthings, so if you’re looking for a special occasion cami-and-panties set, I’d start there. Shop there to find both basic everyday wear to special-occasion lingerie.
Images via PACT, Bgreen, and Faeries Dance