Do you know what our underwear is made out of? We hear a lot about cotton being the best fabric to clothe our most delicate places, but what about 100% organic cotton being actually the best choice? Why should we choose organic cotton underwear over conventional cotton or synthetics? Here’s 5 reasons why:
#1. Organic cotton underwear is soft and durable on sensitive skin
Since underwear is worn on the most sensitive parts of our body, it is best to use the gentlest fabric in its most natural form (hence, our choice for 100% organic pima cotton). Organic cotton underwear feels good against the skin, is the most breathable material, and gets even softer with continued wear and washing. We love organic pima cotton even more as it is so much softer than conventional cotton due to the long staples it creates during the organic harvesting process.
Organic cotton is also grown on a much smaller scale than conventional cotton and often by independent farmers. Organic cotton crops are often handpicked (much gentler than mechanical harvesting), preserving the fibres so they aren’t weakened or broken and results in longer cotton strands (longer = softer!). And because organic cotton underwear are not processed with any harmful chemicals, it is much more durable.
#2. Prioritizes the planet
An estimated 25 million tons of cotton are globally produced each year. Cotton is also one of the top four genetically modified crops (GMO) in the world; GMO cotton and conventionally grown cotton contribute to 95% of global cotton production (used in bedding, towels and clothing).
It’s considered one of the “dirtiest crops” since it is traditionally sprayed with a significant amount of pesticides (80% of which are classified as moderate to highly hazardous by the World Health Organization). During processing, conventional cotton is also treated with toxic chemicals including formaldehyde, heavy metals, flame retardants and ammonia - known to cause health issues when worn on, and absorbed by, our skin. Cotton is also one of the thirstiest crops, irrigation and inefficient water use.
On the flip side, choosing organic cotton causes less pollution, uses less water and is responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Organic cotton is free from harmful components -- it contains no GMO’s that can be toxic or carcinogenic -- posing damage to manufacturers, customers and ecosystems.
Organic cotton requires 91% less water than non-organic cotton. 80% of organic cotton crops rely on natural rainfall rather than irrigation, easing its dependence on local water resources.
Organic cotton has strong ties to supporting regenerative agriculture -- a way of farming that can sequester carbon in our atmosphere, improve biodiversity and potentially help reverse climate change. We love regenerative agriculture because it does so much good for our environment. Instead of using synthetic fertilizers that pollute waterways and harm marine life, regenerative farmers utilize various farming and grazing techniques that result in healthy soil that helps to repair the state of the planet and creates more resilient ecosystems. Rest easy knowing that the organic cotton harvested for all KENT underwear protects the land, sea and air.
On average, a single pair of KENT underwear can save 184 gallons of water -- that’s about 2 weeks worth of showers! With our commitment to being 100% non-toxic, we prevent the use of 150g of chemicals and 1.11kg of carbon emissions from being omitted that would otherwise result from a pair of regular cotton underwear. Any carbon that results from our production, we invest in a carbon offset program that supports projects building a positive environmental impact.
#3. Ethical treatment to all stakeholders
The consequences for those that come in close proximity with regular cotton crops during their harvesting and manufacturing stages can be deadly. It is reported by the UN that up to 200,000 deaths occur annually by pesticide poisoning in developing countries.
In comparison, organic cotton underwear contains much less harmful chemicals and pesticides, saves significant on water, limits carbon emissions, and ultimately creates a healthier working environment for farmers.
Regular cotton underwear is treated with color dyes and solvents that present as carcinogenic and endocrine disrupting, which has been linked to health conditions including chronic coughing, skin irritation, nausea, depression and anxiety, neurotoxicity, and cancers, with long term exposure.
Organic cotton supports the livelihood of farmers by creating more opportunities for ethical lending and microfinancing, preventing them from getting stuck in a cycle of debt. Plus, this allows farmers to preserve and pass down traditional farming knowledge, skills and techniques.
Not only is our underwear made from GOTS certified organic cotton, but we are proud to label it underwear ‘made in USA’ and support a local, family-owned sewing business.
#4. Better for our health
Harsh chemicals (pesticides, herbicides and insecticides) are immensely used in growing conventional cotton and can end up in the finished product, and ultimately absorbed into our bodies.
Cotton is known for its breathability, but the added benefit of choosing organic cotton means it even is less inhibited by added chemicals. Synthetic fabrics (nylon, polyester, etc.) do not have the ability to circulate air and trap heat against the skin. Ever feel extra sweaty or feel more uncomfortable in certain items of clothing? Have a look at its label - synthetic fibers could simply be why!
Synthetic underwear is made from petrochemicals and fossil fuel based materials that are unrenewable and emit harmful emissions and waste, from production to disposal. Being processed with too many chemicals, these fabrics restrict it from absorbing anything else, so sweat becomes an uncomfortable layer between your underwear and skin. Instead, opt for synthetic free cotton underwear -- it is made from natural fabrics (in the most unprocessed form) allowing your skin to breathe so you can stay fresh and dry, plus avoid the buildup of harmful bacteria.
Less bacteria growth means avoiding health issues like bacteria and yeast infections. What’s more, the chemicals used for textile crops do not just affect the planet or environment, but the toxins can impact your body through the environment we’re in, food we eat and clothing we wear.
#5. Overall, organic cotton is oh so comfy!
There’s no myth why it is better to wear cotton underwear, the list of benefits goes on. Simply put - it just feels so much better on our body. Synthetic free cotton underwear is functional - it is breathable, long-lasting and naturally hypoallergenic (perfect against sensitive skin!). With continuous wear, our organic cotton underwear fits with the body’s natural shape and are designed in timeless styles with no itchy label (we use soy based and Oeko Tex certified ink as a tagless label on the inside of our underwear!).
Just like buying and eating organic food, our GOTS certified organic cotton underwear is fully plant-based from fabric to elastic - making it less processed and without any harmful chemicals -- allowing it to return back to the earth as nutrients when composted at end of life (rather than spend 200+ years in landfills emitting harmful GHG).
We envision a world where you can look good, take care of your body and save the planet -- starting with your daily pair of briefs. What is one reason you love your organic cotton underwear? Share with us on Instagram @wearkent.