It’s only when we try and live a more sustainable lifestyle that we realise how many of our small daily habits can negatively impact the environment. When it comes to sustainability, every action really does count, and small changes can help us to create a path to a more sustainable future.
As part of the fashion and online shopping industry, we’re aware that we are a part of some of the most polluting industries on the planet. Underwear and intimate products may be daily essentials, but they can be one of the last things we think of when thinking how to live more sustainably. But sustainability is about more than just the products we sell. It’s also about the way we run our business in terms of putting the wellbeing of society, workers, the environment and consumers first.
While we don't believe we can ever call ourselves 'sustainable' for being a part of the consumer industry, we do believe that we have a responsibility to make changes and improve our practices where we can to work towards a better and more sustainable future.
We’re committed to furthering our environmental impact to make a positive change and have outlined some of these changes below.
How We’re Reducing Our Impact.
Fabrics & Materials.
Luckily, there are brands out there that are on a mission to make underwear and intimate products as sustainable as possible while still ensuring we look and feel good when using their products.
Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing, it is therefore a priority to us that our lingerie brands are on a mission to make underwear and intimate products as sustainable as possible while still ensuring we look and feel good when using their products. It is important to us that the brands we choose to stock use fabrics that are locally sourced to reduce carbon footprint and are also sustainably sourced. Here are the details of some of the materials that our brands use:
Many of our brands use GRS and Oeko-Tex certified nylon that’s made from pre-consumed textile waste, such as fishing nets, bottles and other plastic waste, that would otherwise go to landfill (or worse, end up in oceans). This is considered as a green option in textiles because it uses less energy (80% less water to make and creates 90% fewer CO2 emissions) compared to what’s needed to produce virgin fabric. The GRS and Oeko-Tex certification means they are non-toxic, free from harmful chemicals, and have been manufactured under sustainable and socially responsible conditions.
Conventional cotton can be one of the most pesticide-heavy crops in the world, whereas organic cotton is grown without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. The cotton in many of our knickers gussets are 100% organic and GOTS certified, the highest standard in the world. By supporting organic cotton, we also support the livelihood of the farmers who grow a well-regulated raw material in high demand in the most natural way the market allows. The GOTS standard also guarantees that the people that made this are paid living wages and treated like humans.
A Less Is More Outlook.
WRAP advises that by wearing an item of clothing for an extra 9 months you can reduce its overall carbon, water and waste footprints by 20-30%. That's why we believe in investing in high-quality pieces that are designed to last. All of our products combine expert craftsmanship with timeless design to ensure our pieces stand the test of time and can be loved for years to come.
When it comes to keeping your lingerie looking its very best, we recommend always washing by hand using a delicate fabric detergent to ensure that delicate fabrics are preserved and trims and components such as underwires are prevented from coming loose or snagging other areas of the garments. It also ensures minimal colour fading and cross staining, so your lingerie stays brighter and fresher in appearance for longer. When it comes to keeping your sexual wellness items as good as new, we recommend simply washing with warm soapy water.
By taking care of your purchased items, you can help slow down consumption by making thoughtful shopping choices and cherishing the pieces that you own and love. We want our customers to wear and use their products until they fall apart, and when they can't be worn or used anymore, to be mindful of how the materials can be reused or recycled. There are some great initiatives around, particularly for intimate garments, to ensure the materials are re-used. For example, charities such as Against Breast Cancer and Smalls For All run underwear recycling schemes where you can send your unwanted or unloved underwear off - these are then sent to recycling providers, who focus on innovative ways to recycle and prolong the life of textiles, or if bras can be worn again, they are distributed to women in need around the world.
Excess inventory piles up across the fashion industry year upon year and often ends up in landfill or is burnt. Burning is particularly harmful due to the release of dangerous toxins into the atmosphere from dyes and other materials, not to mention the waste of carbon and chemicals inputted into making the garment in the first place.
We’re often asked why we sell out of certain products, styles and sizes so quickly. The reason being, we order products in limited quantities, ensuring there's no wastage at the end of a season (especially when it comes to our lingerie), minimising excess stock as much as possible. We believe that being able to say we're sold out is a sign of sustainability.
Based on your help, we’ve made changes to minimise waste and maximise recyclability when it comes to our packaging. Below are just a few examples of the changes we’ve made this year:
- Our new ‘eco’ envelopes for your lingerie orders are made from a blend of sustainably sourced, replanted trees and recycled materials. They are fully compostable, leaving no traces of toxins in the soil; coming from the earth and going back in. They are also lightweight, meaning fewer vehicles and less fuel needed to transport them.
- Our new packaging uses only natural glues and water-based, or soy inks.
- We use recycled tissue paper and biodegradable stickers to wrap your products. Tissue paper is accepted at many compost facilities and can be home composted - it can actually be a healthy addition to a compost pile because it absorbs excess moisture generated by food waste and bioplastics. Of course, we always encourage you to reuse your tissue paper first!
- We have introduced digital invoices (saving on average 100 pieces of paper per month), which you can access via the PDF link in your Shipping Confirmation Email.
- FSC certified materials will be used within all branded packaging.
- Cardboard delivery boxes and packaging used for delivery at our headquarters are kept and reused where possible and recycled where not.
- Most of our sexual wellness items will be delivered to you directly from our supplier, rather than coming from our headquarters, meaning fewer vehicles and less fuel needed to transport them.
The unprecedented shutdown during the Covid-19 pandemic has given us the unique opportunity to understand how working adjustments can reduce our carbon footprint and drive a long-term change. We’ve continued to work from home after reconsidering our transport options, and wherever possible, we’re trying to focus on a more digital strategy when it comes to stockist research and meetings. We've moved away from travelling to international trade shows and business trips, and instead we're operating with the use of telephones, instant messenger, and zoom meetings. Imagine the difference that could be seen in carbon emissions if just 10% of the workforce followed suit and opted to work from home…
The Very Best Customer Service.
We hope that providing you with all the help and information you need this will result in less returns. We are always on hand for any questions you have finding the best product for you and your body. Our aim is to minimise the need for ordering multiple sizes when it comes to lingerie, in turn reducing product waste and carbon emissions through additional transport.
Even The Smallest Of Actions Count.
As a business and as individuals, we strive to choose the most eco-friendly options possible. Minimising waste is one of our personal passions – and here are a few simple steps we have been taking over the past few years; steps that you can take too if you don’t already:
- We regularly compost all compostable items (including all of our food scraps!).
- We’ve ditched the plastic! Apparently, the world uses over 500 billion plastic bags a year– that's 150 for each person on Earth, and we’re pretty sure very few of them are recycled. Every year, thousands of seabirds, sea turtles, seals and other marine mammals are killed after ingesting plastic or getting tangled up in it. A main way we’ve cut down on plastic waste is by grabbing ourselves a big and sturdy bag for life that we can use over and over again for any shopping trips (big tip: keep it by your front door as a little reminder just before you leave the house).
- We invested in reusable water bottles. The same goes for investing in reusable coffee cups (some spots will even give you a discount if you have your own!), cutlery and straws for when you’re on the move.
- Where possible, we buy our food from local independent markets that use plastic-free packaging.
- We’ve made our bathrooms more environmentally friendly! We’ve said goodbye to the wet wipes and products with microbeads. Instead we’ve invested in reusable deodorant applicators and natural (and compostable) deodorants, plastic-free organic period products, and other products with totally sustainable packaging (think recycled cardboard boxes, biodegradable shipping bags, etc)
- We use the 30 wears test before buying clothing – Everytime we go to buy something, we ask ourselves “Will I wear this a minimum of 30 times?” If the answer is yes, then we buy it. This helps us to invest in versatile and trans-seasonal pieces that we can wear again and again.
- We donate many items to charity shops where we know someone would make use of them.
We are by no means perfect and we still have a long way to go, but we are committed to minimising our impact on the planet by continually finding ways to improve our processes and material. We'd love to hear the steps you're taking to create a more sustainable future!