*This review is unsponsored though I purchased the Wama underwear at a discount and used my referral credit to purchase the Everlane underwear
I've become quite the underwear tester these days, or maybe it's just because there are a lot of ethical underwear on the market today. Well I've reviewed PACT in the past (which I loooove love love) as well as Hesta (which I don't like). Today I'll add Lively, Everlane, and Wama to my ethical underwear reviews.
First up Lively, which quite frankly doesn't really fall under "ethical" IMO, even though they have their own factory where they can "extend [their] company values and standards to our LIVELY factory family" (taken from their website). When I asked for further details about their production practices, this is what I got:
Our supply chain is supported by a world class manufacturer that has been in the business for over 60 years! They are experts and engineers in this category of business, which is why we partner with them as it is important for us to have not only a well designed product, but one with amazing quality.
Our manufacturers have partnered with us to ensure that our LIVELY ethos holds true to the factories and workplace in which we produce. They built a factory dedicated to LIVELY that we have owned for 4 years; it is brand new, full of light and a beautiful place to work in southern China. We meet and exceed fair labor practices and wages. The staff of thirty is comprised of mostly women who have the finest workmanship and passion for their craft. We know that in order to make a great product, everyone involved in the LIVELY brand has to be happy in the work they do and we want them to be #livingLIVELY!
So yes technically they can be considered ethical, but something about their copy here seems fake (like really, the factory women have a passion for making underwear?). Anyway either way I won't be purchasing underwear from them again since theirs are made from rayon and spandex (all synthetic) and I like my underwear to be 100% cotton. Also the instructions for washing call for hand-washing and there's no way I'm hand-washing these undies every time. Fit and feel were okay.
Ah, the much marketed Everlane underwear. I purchased the black bikini undies in medium (I'm a size 4-6 on the bottom but prefer my underwear to be on the loose side--nothing worse than an underwear band constricting my belly). And well, they're good. I can wear them all day without giving them a second thought (a sign of good underwear since you're not supposed to have to think about or deal with undergarments). In fact, they feel pretty much the same as my PACT bikini underwear. Everlane's is made with 92% supima cotton and 8% elastane while PACT is 95% organic cotton and 5% elastane. So if I have to choose between the two, I'm going to stick with my PACT since those are made with GOTS certified, fair trade organic cotton (for almost the same price as the Everlane ones, and the PACT ones do go on sale periodically). Conventional cotton (even the supima kind) rely heavily on pesticides and fertilizers that pollute the waterways and the environment, so whenever I can, I try to purchase organic cotton preferentially. As much as I love Everlane, PACT is still a clear winner for me on this item (you can read my PACT review here).
Now here's something different in the ethical underwear department: underwear made from hemp from Wama. Well 53% hemp, 44% organic cotton and 4% spandex to be exact. These are not your everyday underwear. The material is a lot thicker and feels more substantial but still very soft. It's like the light sweater of undies, but don't worry it won't make your bum hot since the material is quite breathable. Right now they only come in a boy short form, which I'm not a huge fan of (I just prefer plain 'ole bikini bottoms). Also because of the thicker material it will show some VPL with some of the clingier fabrics and form fitting bottoms. But if you're a boy shorts kind of gal, this brand is definitely worth a try. Since they're quite pricey, use TEMPORARYHOUSEWIFEY20 to get 20% off your order until May 31st. Also check out Leah's review of them here (and learn more about hemp production as well)!
Naja (not pictured)
When I did the Naja bra review, I also ordered one pair of their cheeky knickers (which are basically boy shorts to me). These are made with 94% "Peruvian" cotton and 6% elastane, and claim to "save the environment" because they digitally print the designs on the undies (opposed to dying them I guess). The fit on these were not great (kept giving me wedgies-- not fun) and the designs are all pretty weird and ugly. And then they're $22 a piece so I'm going to say just pass on these.
So which is the brand I'm going to replace all my ratty VS underwear with? You probably guessed it, PACT! Can't beat comfort and organic cotton. Next I'll be trying PACT's organic cotton tees and do a PACT vs. Everlane vs. Grana vs. Cuyana vs. Amour Vert tee review so stay tuned for that!