We don’t usually think about how our fabrics are made, but some of the most common fabrics out there are bad for the environment. For example, cotton needs a lot of water, insecticides, and pesticides to grow. Moreover, cotton can be hard to recycle, according to Marc Bain over at Quartz. Polyester, the most common fabric out there, is made from petroleum and can take a long time to break down in landfills. The Chinese government even estimates that fabric-related chemicals have polluted 70 percent of the water in northern China. In fact, by industry, fashion is the second biggest polluter, according to an article from The Guardian. (The first is, unsurprisingly, the oil industry.)
The good news is that there are many eco-friendly fabrics out there, including soy, silk, wool, alpaca, Sasawashi (a Japanese fabric), and, of course, hemp. Hemp doesn’t need chemicals like pesticides during the cultivation process and can grow in almost any environment. Hemp even produces more fiber per acre of land than cotton. And when you throw hemp away, it biodegrades in months.
Hemp clothes have become newsworthy, yet the focus is almost always on shirts and pants. But what about hemp underwear? Those exist too and I decided to try them out for myself.
This was my longest day. I spent the first few hours outside, then I sat around the office for about six hours, then I rushed off to a couple of meetings, then I had a date with my partner. I was go, go, go for about thirteen hours straight, and the undies held up beautifully. I didn’t get hot or wet once. There was only one minor incident of elastic roll-down.
I definitely noticed a difference in terms of how much moisture the underwear was wicking away. My thighs were much more comfortable than the rest of me. I don’t think that these will absolutely save you from a chub rub problem, but they helped. I wore dresses almost the entire week, and even though I didn’t use any other ways to prevent chub rub (like powder or the short-shorts I initially packed), I never had any sores, just mild chaffing on the first day.
If you try these out, I suggest going large. When my partner measured me, I was on the fence between two sizes. Even though I went with the larger size, they still felt a little tight, especially on the first day. I also wish there were more options. Right now, the only other thing WAMA offers is boxer briefs. Hipsters and boxer briefs are fine, but I personally prefer boy shorts.
That said, part of being environmentally-conscious means using things until you can’t anymore, so I wouldn’t advise you to throw all your undies out just for this brand. However, if you’re in the market for new underwear, these are definitely a solid option.
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