Are you looking to practice sustainable fashion choices, but finding it overwhelming to make the switch?
These days it feels like everybody is claiming to practice sustainability, to appeal to target demographics. But can you trust that companies looking to make a quick buck are actually practising what they preach?
Then there is the question of whether second-hand clothes are the only truly sustainable fashion choice or whether shopping with a brand that fosters sustainability is okay?
What if you bought a crop top from Shein before you knew they had so many skeletons in their closet. Should you set it on fire as a form of protest or would the fumes contribute to pollution as well?
We understand it can feel like every consumer choice you make has some hidden destruction, from pollution to human rights violations to wastage; the fashion industry has many sins to atone for.
In fact, a discussion surrounding the seemingly never-ending environmental costs of clothing production, is essentially how the idea for Underplants sprouted.
You can’t buy second-hand undies or sell your undies on Depop instead of throwing them away (actually there might be a market for that, but that’s for another blog post).
This means underwear is the only item of clothing you can’t reuse or resell, which is why we made it our mission to make undies that you can feel comfortable in and about purchasing.
We have researched the fabrics we believe have the lowest impact on the environment and wastage problem (Tencel™ MicroModal) and chosen to work with manufacturers that hold the highest standard of ethics with regards to workers rights and the environment (WRAP Gold Certificate of Compliance). We ship through Australia Post's carbon-neutral parcel delivery service and bank with the Bank of Australia because of their Responsible Banking Policy. Plus we help you plant a tree with every purchase.
But what can you do (besides buying our kickass undies) to make the switch to a primarily sustainable wardrobe?
Let’s face it, we live in a capitalistic nightmare, where companies weaponise “wokeness” to sell products that are often bad for the environment and contribute to slave labour. But you probably already know that and that’s why you’re still reading.
It’s important that you know what to look for when reading about a brand's “sustainability policies”. Transparency and specificity are the two key things that demonstrate a brand's reliability. Brands that outline all of the steps they are taking to ensure sustainability from packaging through to manufacturing are likely more reliable (wink, wink). Brands with vague platitudes about a commitment to sustainability, who don’t specify how they are achieving this you should probably avoid.
Also, be wary of brands that only focus on the small level stuff such as sustainable packaging. As well as brands who use their social enterprise elements as a coat cover for the skeletons in their closet.
It doesn’t do much good if you’ve bought an item in a compostable bag if the same company is destroying their unused merchandise.
This isn’t to say you should be worried about brands who promote their sustainable packaging, or social enterprise element, but if this is the only information they have on their website, alarm bells should go off.
An incredible tool for researching how sustainable a company is is “Good On You.”
Good On You is a platform that does the research on companies sustainability and then puts them into an easy to follow rating system so you can see which brands are practising sustainability well.
It consists of campaigners, scientists, fashion professionals, writers and developers who all aim to reward responsible fashion makers.
At Underplants we believe in trusting experts, which is why we’re referring you to Good on You's "five Rs of fashion (reduce, re-wear, recycle, repair, resell)" and adding two more Rs of our own (rehome & repurpose).
Going to the op shop or reselling your clothes is great, but what about giving some clothes to a friend in need? We’ve all got mates who eye off our belongings, so why not make them and mother earth happy by simply giving your garment a new home.
Bonus points if you catch the tram or ride your bike to drop it off to them (plus then you can have a few to celebrate).
If there was ever a time to DIY it would be in 2021, TikTok, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest and blogs have tons of videos and clever suggestions to upcycle your clothes or even use them for something completely new. Before you throw away something, think to yourself, can I use this for something else?
We know it feels overwhelming at times how much unsustainable practices have infiltrated our everyday lives, but all you can do is try your best to think consciously about your choices.