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August 5th marks International Underwear Day. Since the first concept of underwear was developed (the loincloth, made from cotton and worn by ancient Egyptians), underwear as we know it has come a long way. Today we live in a world of fast fashion and over consumption and the underwear industry has a lot to answer for.
“The globalised market for fashion manufacturing has facilitated a “fast fashion” phenomenon; cheap clothing, with quick turnover that encourages repurchasing.” This demand for rapidly produced, low-cost clothing items (including underwear) has been pushing supply chains to breaking point since the late 1990’s, to where human and environmental factors are simply not sustainable and are often cut out of the equation entirely.
In 2013 an eight story commercial building called Rana Plaza collapsed in Bangladesh killing 1,124 garment workers and injuring 2,500. This is a direct result of poor working conditions and an over-population of factories due to brands demanding more from their suppliers, faster and at a unit cost that doesn’t allow for humane workplace conditions. This is not uncommon, and similar ‘sweat shops’ have since been under fire, although still continue to take advantage of vulnerable workers in the developing countries where production facilities are often based. The Fashion Revolution movement is working to educate consumers on instances of human rights violations within the fashion industry and encourages millions of people to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. You can read more about this and our Bare for Good campaign here.
The fashion industry is also one of the highest polluting industries in the world and 25% of globally produced chemical compounds are used in textiles, which are shown to be toxic for human health as well as our environment. Furthermore, just one synthetic garment (nylon, polyester or acrylic) can shed over 1,900 fibres, known as microplastics, per wash cycle. A shocking 34.8% of microplastics in our oceans come from textile fibres, and inevitably end up back within our own food chain.
It is obvious that fast fashion is having a devastating effect on people and out planet. What if you could do one thing to help – switch your underwear?
Here are Mighty Good, our mission is to produce the world’s most ethical underwear and set new standards within the fashion industry. Backed by an A+ rating in the highly respected Ethical Fashion Guide – the Baptist World Aid Report – each year since our inception in 2016, we bring you certified Fair trade organic cotton underwear and basics for all shapes and sizes. This means that factory workers are not only paid a living wage but treated with dignity and respect. It also means that your underwear is free from chemicals that are toxic to both you and the environment – seems pretty basic, right?
Join the revolution, switch your underwear to premium ethical basics and help change the world from the bottom up.
If you are interested in finding our more about the social and environmental issues within the fashion industry, some resources we can recommend for further research include;
Watch: The True Cost
App: Good on You