Going green down there

Photo: Sarah Murray

You buy organic, ride public transit and recycle. It's time to achieve the truly intimate green lifestyle.

Many companies now offer a wide-range of organic underwear -- numerous panty cuts, bras and lingerie for women, and boxers and briefs for men. These sustainable alternatives to your traditional unmentionables are often made using hemp, bamboo or, most popular of all, organic cotton.

Cotton is the easiest
Cotton, possibly our favourite fabric, is also one of the worst for our health and the environment; growing cotton uses close to 25 percent of the world's insecticides. Organic cotton is a better choice since it's produced without the use of these dangerous toxins.

Clean is comfortable
Canadian Organic Cotton Company makes its brand of Clean Undies with 100% American Pima Cotton products. Pima is considered the best organic cotton (previously known as American-Egyptian) favoured for its extra long fibers.

Clean Undies are particularly durable and comfortable since they are manufactured with five types of stitches (the average pair only uses one or two to save time and money). Available in a natural colour with an assortment of cuts for men, women and children, they also feature one of the best varieties of sizes from XXS to XXL.

Sexy and cute
Okay, I know what you're thinking – you love those silly prints on your panties or boxers and don't want another pair of beige underwear even if it is healthier. Don't worry, there's plenty of colour out there. Buenostyle in British Columbia, distributes colourful panties made of 96 percent organic cotton and 4 percent Lycra. And they use only low-impact dyes which are less harmful to the environment. Panties come in vibrant greens or reds and feature a cherry intertwined with the cheeky logo ‘eat organic' on the front.

Hemp to the rear
Hemp is underwear offers a soft and cosy fit, particularly when combined with silk. Hemp Organic sells a fine version of the hemp/silk boxer for the guys and a very pretty thong for the ladies. Rawganique's 100 percent hemp boxers proved to be so popular with the ladies, the company now carries a unisex version in a wide range of colours.

Functional and a great conversation piece
Mentioning you are wearing bamboo skivvies can be a great icebreaker at parties. It's not as strange as it sounds, bamboo actually makes a durable fabric with the softness and sheen of silk or cashmere. Test it out with Faeries Dance's hypoallergenic bamboo thong with smooth seams or with their classic bikini or string bikini cuts.

Guys can have their own cute logo with the "Sirloin" line from Bamboo Clothing. These boxer shorts come in basic black and are popular for their ability to absorb sweat, stay odour free longer and breathe in hot weather.

CIN2 has plenty of sexy bamboo styles for men designed by underwear guru Gregory Sovell. Who knows, maybe your guy will start to resemble one of their models.

Shirts of Bamboo has an excellent line of women's and mens undies that are a blend of cotton and bamboo. Guaranteed to be help you stay cool and dry.

Butta promises underwear for men and women that, well, feels like buttah. This cotton or bamboo underwear is produced in Sub Sahara Africa as part of the Made in Africa initiative, so when you buy undies from here you are helping to create jobs in Africa.

Shannon Wilmot is a freelance writer based in Toronto.