Around 18 million bras make their way into landfill every few years in the U.S alone, and most of them are made with polyester material and plastic fixtures.
In Australia, charities and op-shops don't accept secondhand underwear donations, so most of the underwear and bras we donate locally, end up in the dirt too.
When bras, knickers and socks end up in landfill, they don't magically disappear. If they're made with fabrics like polyester, nylon, synthetic lace or mesh, they can take up to 200 years to decompose and in the process, they leak toxins, chemicals and contaminants into the soil and waterways.
So, how do we fix the problems with our dirty laundry?
Read before you buy. Make sure what you're buying is made from natural fabrics like cotton, silk or Tencel. If it grows naturally in the earth, it's easier to breakdown and safer when it biodegrades. Opt for brands who value sustainable practices and who use organic fabrics and natural dyes. The fewer chemicals, the better, and your bits will thank you for wearing organic fabrics dyed with natural dyes.
Be mindful of what the fixtures and finishes are made from, and try to buy underwear, socks and bras with little-to-no plastic pieces. Choose brands who use natural biodegradable rubber instead of polyester elastic, and aim for underwear that can be entirely biodegraded.
Instead of dumping your dirties in the bin, search for local recycling programs that accept clean, second-hand underwear. If you can't find a local recycling program and you're feeling particularly green, you can bury 100% cotton knickers in the backyard and they'll break down in five months.
Spend a little more on ethically made, quality underwear like this set from Eco Intimates. Yes, you'll spend a little more than when you buy the average pair of Bonds, but you'll get better, longer-lasting quality too, and you'll be supporting a local brand committed to sustainability who takes responsibility for their impact.
Head to Eco Intimates to shop the full organic, ethical and sustainable range, and use Claire15 at the checkout for 15% off site-wide (excluding sale items) when you spend $175 or more.
The Fashion Advocate x