Q: I'm looking for some lingerie that's earth-friendly. Asking too much?
A: What, not a fan of high-waisted beige briefs? If so, your only other green option, until recently, was to forgo the whole panty scene and go commando. A little chilly in winter, I'll admit.
No surprise to anyone, naughtily progressive Europeans were the first to really take to organic knickers and nighties. That means we had to pine with envy at the plethora of options available across the pond like Enamore. Some American cuties have been kicking up some fashion dust, too, like BuenoStyle's Eat Organic undies, Cali's Urban Fox thigh-highs and Perfectly Imperfect's lace camies.
But what's a Canadian girl with a hankering for purdy planet-lovin' undies to do? Everywhere you look, you'll find a sea of synthetic satins, shiny polyester blends and pesticide-sprayed cotton sewn by workers 10,000 miles away and likely paid far too little for their fancy stitch work.
Of course eco fabrics aren't entirely without issue. Processing bamboo stalks into silky rayon is generally quite chemical-intensive, and finding trustworthy manufacturers using greener enzyme processing can be difficult. Same goes for soy fibres, though at least the source material here is a by-product of soybean oil and tofu production, to be precise, and not grown to make your nightgown.
And though La Senza and H&M carry a handful of organic cotton bras or whatnot, they certainly aren't local or fair trade.
So what can you wear that you can feel good about? Well, Beestung Lingerie De Femme (beestunglingerie.com) carries organic "cotton with a conscience" T-shirts, thongs and hipster-cut panties by Hanky Panky as well as some of Eberjey's Eco Dream line of organic bamboo sleepwear.
Nearly Naked on Queen West carries cute eco options including Huit's Biotiful organic cotton bras and undies, as well as Minerva's line made of ultra-soft modal spun from farmed beech trees.
Definitely keep your eyes out for intimates by Toronto designers like Thieves (thieves.ca) and playful Candy Pants (candypants.ca; available at ShopGirls and The Rage in Kensington). Check T.O.-based Bird Apparel's low-cut organic jersey underpants (Birdapparel.ca).
Of course, if you're the crafty one, you could always sew your own from vintage linens or Ts with a little guidance (just google "sew your own undies").
For the girl who prefers to sleep in a tank instead of an itchy lace number, get her some silky-soft BamJamz. This new line is one of the only companies out there sewing sleepwear (think sleep leggings and strappy tunics) with FSC-certified bamboo (mixed with organic cotton) and it's all Canadian made (bamjamz.com).
Virtual shops like Organiclifestyle.com and, from out west, Notjustpretty.com carry a bunch of different knickers and camies, though they're mostly basic cuts in beige or black organic cotton. Ditto for Grassroots. For a hit of technicolor, saunter into any American Apparel chain store and you can score a sweatshop-free pack of organic thong basics in a rainbow of shades or some two-tone unisex organic baby-rib briefs.
In the sassy 'n' sporty category, Mountain Equipment Co-op carries Patagonia's Active Hipster moisture-wickers and MEC's own Silkweight women's boy-cuts and classics and men's tighty-whitey-ish briefs with recycled polyester (and some SPF protection, if you're ever doin' the deed outside).
Burning for classic glamour? Trawl vintage stores like Gadabout and Courage My Love for genuine silk slips, robes, even kimonos from decades gone by. That's where you'll score the greenest and classiest sex appeal.
And finally, if you want some truly feel-good panties, check out PACT (wearpact.com), which designs funky women's and men's organic undies, and 10 per cent of the price from each pair goes to ForestEthics. Problem is they ship from San Fran, but you can always ask your fave lingerie retailer to start carrying 'em. Ditto for all the other eco brands you're yearning for but just can't get your hands on.
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