We’ve all seen bamboo panties bandied about in the eco-friendly fashion world. But did you know that they don’t really exist? When bamboo pulp is processed into fabric it ends up making rayon or viscose, which bears little resemblance to the silky, soft, breathable women’s bamboo knickers that are often marketed as better for our skin.
But that doesn’t mean bamboo is off the sustainability rails — it has some interesting properties that make it a good alternative to cotton when it comes to lingerie. And when a brand is transparent about how it produces its bamboo knickers, they can still be a great option to add to your sustainable closet.
Unlike cotton, bamboo doesn’t need pesticides to grow and can regenerate itself so it doesn’t have to be replanted. It also releases 30% more oxygen into the air and absorbs up to five times as much carbon. But the problem with bamboo is that it’s not regulated and the plant can be grown using environmentally unsound practices, such as clearing old growth forests. This has led to a rise in bamboo products that are not as green as they’re marketed.
Some brands are working to make their women’s bamboo knickers more sustainable. These include BAM and Warm Sun. Both are made of a blend of bamboo and cotton that results in a more durable product than their pure viscose counterparts. BAM’s bamboo panties are a bit cheaper than Warm Sun’s but they do not offer as many different size options (small, medium and large).
Both Warm Sun and BAM produce their bamboo knickers with seam-free technology which results in a sleek, smooth finish. They both recommend hand-washing their bamboo underwear with cold water and using fragrance-free detergent. Both companies are ethical and based in the UK. They ship internationally.
Another company to check out is Cariloha, which makes a wide range of boyshorts and thongs with varying lengths in black, navy and white. Their fabric is up to 95% bamboo viscose and 5% spandex. Cariloha is a GOTS-approved company (Global Organic Textile Standard) and they work towards being 100% carbon neutral. women’s bamboo knickers