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Everything You Need To Know About Ethical Underwear

5 min read

Everything You Need To Know About Ethical Underwear

Simple. Elegant. Delicate. Soft. Our ethical underwear is made with a minimal lifestyle in mind, championing comfort and quality. We take pride in the fabrics that we use, and the social practices behind our underwear styles. Because if they’re going to be your most intimate items, they should align with your most intimate values. 

So what do we mean by ethical

Ethical clothing is centred on reducing harm to the people who make garments and ensuring a better future for everyone involved. After all, ethics is a question of conscience, and how to keep yours clean! These days the term “ethical” often extends to the environment. In this view, there is a right way to treat the planet and a wrong way. We believe it’s right to safeguard the home of future generations and to avoid the depletion of natural resources. We believe it’s wrong to turn a blind eye to pollution, ecosystem collapse and climate change. Simple.  

Without further ado, we’ll take you through the top 5 principles of ethical underwear.

# 1. Pay a little more, guarantee a lot.

Underwear is a big market for fast fashion brands. The issue is that it’s often produced en masse, and sold at knockdown prices. Citing underwear sold for £2 a pack, Ethical Consumer notes, consumers have become accustomed to paying less and less for underwear. As intensive competition between fast-fashion brands continues to drive down prices, there is an evident race to the bottom.” They say this trend encourages “unsustainable and abusive supply chains.” 

While it’s certainly not the case that a garment is sustainable or ethical just because it comes with a bigger price tag, it is true that ethical underwear costs more than fast-fashion styles - and with good reason. When you pay a higher price for a sustainable style, you’re effectively funding better business practices, like the use of fair labour. If the price of a garment is extremely low, then it follows that the salary of the people who made it is even lower.

How TWOTHIRDS measures up: our garments are made in the heart of northern Portugal, in family-run factories. This guarantees good labour practices that meet EU regulations. Sure, it might mean our underwear costs more to make, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

# 2. Materials that feel right.

Underwear, like the vast majority of modern clothing, tends to be crafted from cotton or polyester. These are two of fashion’s biggest problem-causers. Conventional cotton is farmed with harsh chemicals that can poison ecosystems and degrade both arable and wild land. Its bad-boy counterpart, polyester is made from petrochemicals and carries all the problems associated with regular plastics. That’s: non-biodegradability, microfibre shedding, and pollution. 

On reasons not to go down this route, sustainable jungle say it best: 

“That depends if you want your private parts covered in pesticides and petroleum-based fabrics.

…yeah, us neither.”

How TWOTHIRDS measures up: our underwear fabrics are usually made from a mix of 88% organic cotton, 8% recycled polyamide and 4% elastane. The organic cotton ensures breathability and zero synthetic chemicals. The recycled polyamide allows for moisture absorption while avoiding the production of yet more plastics and finally elastane - while regrettably not so sustainable - gives the stretch that’s necessary to make underwear last. If that isn’t the perfect blend, we don’t know what is. 

Our men’s ethical underwear is made from 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane.

#3. Waste not want not.

You may have noticed that underwear comes in some pretty interesting shapes. It’s also quite small. The problem with this is that it can create a lot of fabric waste, with factories having to cut out the triangles, ellipses, and squares needed to make single units of underwear. The pieces that are leftover? That’s the waste we want - not!

How TWOTHIRDS measures up: our seamless underwear is made using a circular knitting machine, which avoids the production of cut offs as the garment is woven directly from yarn to final shape. That saves waste, making our seamless ethical underwear styles more resource-conscious too.  

In general, we also reduce waste through our pre-order system.

#4. Comfort is key.

It’s no use opting for the cheap choice, if you’re then going to feel uncomfortable in your undies. You know what we’re talking about: itching, bunching, heavy material, low breathability - and the worst of all underwear crises: holes. All this adds up to an entirely replaceable garment that you’d use only for a short period of time. We not only want your underwear to be irresistible but utterly irreplaceable too!

How TWOTHIRDS measures up: our seamless underwear styles are the most comfortable undergarments. Ever. How can we be so sure? Because we took out all the irritating aspects of standard underwear: the labels, the mark-inducing waistbands, the heavy fabrics, and replaced them with ultra lightweight organic cotton that stretches across the body. Our label-free design scratches that annoying itch. And our strong fabric blend will also reduce the chance of breakage.

#5. Environmental action.

With sustainable and ethical fashion, it’s the bigger picture that counts. Brands need to be held accountable for their impact on the planet, and to do something about it. In a world of virtue signalling, brand activism is becoming more commonplace. But it should not be used as a once-a-year marketing tool, it should be the brand’s whole philosophy. 

How TWOTHIRDS measures up: we’re into the technical stuff. Our sustainability expert collected data about our company emissions, and worked with two external companies to quantify and reduce our footprint in 2021. With the help of a certifying body, Climate Partner, he then found an amazing (triple-certified) project in Indonesia that could balance the emissions of EVERY garment we make. We purchased 3,097 carbon credits to become Climate Neutral, supporting the growth of Mangrove Trees and the protection of one of the most biodiverse ecosystems On. The. Planet.