When it comes to underwear, I've heard that the best way to be environmentally friendly is to go commando. While this may be perfectly acceptable in porn movies and at White Parties, I find it uncouth in everyday life, and I prefer to have my tasty bits properly housed.
Back in college, when it was hip for me to be environmentally conscious, I used to wear organic cotton underwear. But a dozen years ago, the environmental movement was not as strong as it is today, and the idea of being green and fashionable didn't seem to cross anybody's mind. I mean, seriously, the only kind of organic cotton men's underwear that was available was ugly. Talk about granny pants - this underwear could kill a sexual moment faster than a dead puppy. So I eventually gave up "green" underwear in favor of a healthy sense of self. The earth was screwed.
What a difference 12 years makes. In the same week that /baskit/, a men's underwear company that's shameless about targeting gay men (teaming up with Falcon porn stars, for example), sent me "green" underwear to prove that environmentalists have fashion sense, I stumbled across an article about a new underwear company (for men and women) whose mission completely embraces environmental sustainability.
Something is clearly afoot.
I should point out that there are plenty of completely eco-friendly companies that manufacture all kinds of clothes, but it's not so easy to find ones that also make underwear. Those that do still pump out drab boxers and briefs that all but guarantee that you will never get laid ever again (with American Apparel perhaps being an exception).
So leave it to underwear companies to pick up the fashion slack when it comes to "green" skivvies. Quite a few these businesses have introduced a "green" line and have made sure that these products land on the right side of sexy.
I point to /baskit/ as an immediate example (see photo above) because it's the only company that's figured out that I either love writing about underwear or have inadvertently fallen into the underwear beat (is there such a thing?) by a strange twist of fate - so I keep getting press releases with links to pictures of half-naked men. The company's /pure/ line is made from 100% certified organic cotton, and uses up-to-date techniques in the disposal of dyes. But /baskit/ readily admits that it wasn't the first to start thinking deeply about the environment when it comes to underwear.
2(x)ist and Go Softwear are two more examples - 2(x)ist has a soy line (seriously), and Go Softwear deals in organic cotton and bamboo. And general clothing designers have jumped on the eco bandwagon as well: Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, etc.
Two underwear companies that I know of deal exclusively in "green" underwear. As I mentioned, I recently read about PACT, which just launched in August in San Francisco. 7x7 writes: "Jeff Denby and Jason Kibbey...who share a passion for environmental advocacy, paired up to design a sustainable, stylish undergarment. When wunderkind SF designer Yves Behar saw their prototype in a product-development class, the idea expeditiously moved from class project to business plan."
In my research (well, if you consider Google "research"), I came across a men's underwear company that's been around since at least 2008: Red Dog Sportwear, who has the common sense to fill its website with hunky male models.
Holy crap - I can't believe how long this blog post ended up being. I intended to write a few paragraphs, but look what happened. I've done political posts that haven't been nearly as long as this one about underwear. I guess that just goes to show you what I really care about.