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Knickers aren't granted an afterlife. Unlike a well-worn top or jumper, they have little love left to give after their demise and next to no second-hand potential. After all, nobody wants hand-me-down knickers – so it's no surprise that their first port of call is the bin. You might not think much of throwing out your old pair of undies, but these seemingly innocent everyday essentials have an alarmingly destructive impact on the environment. They last a few months at most and rapidly make their way into the waste cycle, ready to be replaced by the next fancy set. 

But what if we told you it doesn't have to be this way?

Biodegradable underwear is the way of the future, and our B-Edit collection offers 100% biodegradable options that you can bury in your compost when they're done. Ready to make the switch? Read on for everything you need to know about biodegradable underwear, including biodegradable underwear benefits, sustainability, and the science behind knickers made from trees! 

Table of contents

  1. Firstly, what makes underwear sustainable?
  2. What is biodegradable underwear?
  3. What is the B-Edit collection?
  4. How is the B-Edit collection different?
  5. What are the benefits of biodegradable underwear?
  6. How to dispose of biodegradable briefs
  7. Sustainability at Stripe & Stare

Firstly, what makes underwear sustainable?

Sustainable underwear is high-quality underwear created with eco-friendly materials. The production process does not harm the environment and uses renewable sources that are gathered fairly and responsibly. It is also created by people who are paid fairly and have good working conditions.

At Stripe & Stare, all our products are made using TENCEL™ modal, a super-soft, sustainable fabric made from wood pulp. Sustainability is our mission, so we only work with factories and companies we trust. Want to know more about our knickers? Our recent blog, 'What is TENCEL™ modal?' covers everything you need to know about TENCEL™ modal, including what it's made of, its characteristics, and why it's a better alternative to cotton. 

What is biodegradable underwear?

Biodegradable underwear is underwear that will decompose and blend back into the earth – almost as if it didn't exist! Our TENCEL™ modal underwear is 95% biodegradable, so it can be buried in your compost when you're done with it – just remember to cut off the elastane.  

However, we wanted to find a solution for the other 5%. Our sustainable knickers decompose within 180 days – but the elastane can take much longer. So, we put our heads together to create a world first: The 100% biodegradable lace knicker.

What is the B-Edit Collection?

The B-Edit collection is our world-first collection of 100% biodegradable lace knickers, sleep and loungewear. The fabric is sustainably sourced from renewable forests and breaks down in your soil at the end of its life cycle. Unlike other fabrics, which can take years to decompose, our B-Edit line vanishes within 180 days! Plus, all our orders are beautifully packaged in a fully recyclable gift box. 

 Two girls sat in front of a window wearing the B-Edit Collection underwear

So, how is the B-Edit collection different from our other sustainable knickers?

Our mainline range and B-Edit collection have many similarities: They are both super-soft, sustainable, and will decompose in your garden at the end of their life cycle. So, what's the difference? The elastane. Our mainline range uses 95% Lenzing Tencel, which we believe to be the best fabric available in terms of sustainability. However, we wanted to find an alternative for the 5% elastane.

With this in mind, we set out on our mission to source the world's first biodegradable elastane (the bit that gives your knickers stretch); and we found it in a Japanese company called Roica. Thus, by combining modern fibre technology with wood and seaweed materials, we created a 100% biodegradable line of underwear and clothing.

What are B-Edit knickers made of?

The B-Edit lace knicker is created using 71% Tencel fibres (wood), 19% Seacell (seaweed), and 10% Roica elastane.  

Is Roica sustainable?

As with every company, factory, and fabric we work with, we did our research into Roica to ensure it is sustainable. Roica is certified as Cradle to Cradle, meaning it is created in a way that doesn't cause harm to the environment. It also breaks down in the soil at the end of its life cycle without releasing harmful toxins or chemicals into the earth.  

 Close up of a B-Edit collection knicker

What are the benefits of biodegradable underwear?

At Stripe & Stare, we believe that small changes make the biggest difference, and what better place to start than our knickers? Biodegradable underwear has many benefits: Below, we've listed a few reasons why you should make the switch.

They reduce your carbon footprint

Fast fashion, including the underwear industry, is filling our landfills at an alarming rate. It also uses a lot of power and water consumption and releases harmful chemicals into the environment. Choosing sustainable alternatives is a great way to combat the detrimental impact that the fast-fashion industry causes. In turn, it also helps to reduce your environmental footprint!  

They help to reduce landfill waste

Much of the current underwear industry is made using non-renewable resources that are harmful to the environment. Additionally, they can't biodegrade, so they end up residing in landfills for hundreds of years whilst releasing harmful toxins into the environment. 

Our biodegradable underwear decomposes within 180 days, meaning that by investing in sustainable knickers, you are helping to reduce the environmental waste caused by the knicker industry! 

Reduced Pollution

Biodegradable materials naturally decompose; they do not require chemicals or harmful processes to help them break down and don't release toxins when they biodegrade. With this in mind, their pollution contribution is kept to a minimum.

Better for your body and the environment

Sustainable fabrics are scientifically proven to be healthier for your body. They are not grown using harmful chemicals or fertilisers and are more breathable than alternative fabrics such as cotton. 

We believe that TENCEL™ modal is the best fabric choice for underwear. It boasts a super-soft and silky texture that feels luxurious against your skin and is breathable, durable, and long-lasting. 

They support ethical companies and working conditions

Shopping sustainably isn't just great for the environment. It also means that you support factories that offer their employees good working conditions and fair pay.  

At Stripe & Stare, sustainability is at the core of everything we do; we research every factory we work with to ensure they are free of child and forced labour. We also ensure that all employees within our supply chains have a safe work environment and are paid the living wage or above.

 A girl wearing a B-Edit thong stood in front of a window

How to dispose of biodegradable briefs

As a general rule of thumb, underwear should be replaced every 6 months to a year; we've covered the tell-tale signs that your knickers are ready for the afterlife in our blog, how often should you replace your underwear. Below, we've covered what to do with your bloomers once they're ready to be replaced. 

Bury them in your garden

It's as simple as that. If you've bought knickers from our main collection, including our underwear sets, packs, and pick and mix knickers, you will first need to cut off the elastane to dispose of separately. However, you can skip this step if you're burying our B-Edit knickers.

Next, bury the knickers in your garden in living soil, which is soil full of microbes, bugs and other forms of life. For the most part, if you water your garden and it has plants growing in it, it will be a perfectly good environment for your knickers. Your knickers will then naturally break down and dissolve into the environment within 180 days!

Pop them in your compost bin

If you would prefer, you can compost your knickers. Simply cut up your B-Edit underwear into small pieces and mix the pieces in with your compost. As when buried in your garden, the pieces will break down and decompose within 180 days – almost as if they never existed!

Sustainability at Stripe & Stare

With over 13 million garments filling up our landfills every week, taking responsibility has never been more important. We take sustainability seriously, so we created our B-Edit collection to offer a sustainable underwear alternative that breaks the cycle of waste and pollution. 

Though your knickers might seem like a small place to start, every purchase makes an impact; you can make a world of difference with every step you take towards supporting a greener, more sustainable planet. 

Looking for more ways to shop sustainably? Like knickers, gym wear makes terrible hand-me-downs – so if often disposed of unsustainably. Our 100% biodegradable activewear collection is filled with stylish, soft, and durable leisure wear that will support you as you train without compromising comfort!