What if your underwear could help you grow tomatoes? It might sound like a strange idea, but it’s actually an innovative way to tackle the waste problem in the fashion industry.
In the United States, a brand is revolutionizing the underwear world 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 sector to reduce the environmental impact of the sector, such as renting, reselling and recycling clothes. But one clothing category remains problematic: underwear.
This is due to the widespread use of elastane, a material that is not recycled, but also to the fact that women’s and men’s underwear cannot be sold second-hand.
As a result, at the end of their life, these garments inevitably add to the millions of tonnes of textile waste generated by the fashion industry every year.
This is a problem that the American brand Kent, founded by Canadian entrepreneur Stacy Grace, is tackling by selling only underwear made from natural materials that could – in time – return to nature.
This, in other words, means compostable underwear. More specifically, the company has chosen to avoid synthetic materials – such as elastane, nylon, polyester, spandex – and focus on a premium natural and organic material called Pima cotton.
From nature, and back to nature
Also known as “South American silk”, Pima cotton is a naturally organic fiber grown 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 tank tops for men and women, all of which are fully recyclable and biodegradable. When the parts are worn out, you can basically plant them.
As strange as it sounds, planting the panties, or thong, will allow them to break into the ground in just 90 days. This is a considerable step forward in the sector, and could give reasons to reflect on 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 that offers biodegradable underwear. Others in the field are Australian brand Bella Eco, and Swiss brand Calida, which launched the first collection of biodegradable clothing and underwear made from cellulose fabrics.
NOW READ: Despite the controversy, fast fashion is still quite popular