‘But what do you do when you need new underwear?’. This question I get asked a lot when I tell people I only buy second hand clothes. So far, I had always answered with: ‘I don’t know, actually’, because since I started really commiting to only buying second hand, I had always had enough underwear still. But, now the time came when I needed a new set and I started making choices. I never thought I would be showing my underwear on the internet, but today I am!
Why getting rid of the old underwear
Over the past year I have gotten rid of a quite a lot of underwear. That’s because I became much more critical. It had to fit me well, not irritate and maybe even more important: it had to made me feel sexy. Even though I had some sets which made me feel like that, I also had some that didn’t. And I am not fine with those anymore. I highlight it with clothes too all the time: they should make you feel good and sexy! And yes, I also have a sweater to wear cozy at home which is maybe not that sexy, but I am generally speaking. Especially with underwear, if you wear a pretty set underneath your clothes, to me, the whole outfit feels better! It makes me feel good. So the underwear I had which didn’t do just that, went out the door. Also, I kept some underwear which didn’t suit me well because of my figure, but I though: ‘Maybe one day it’ll look better, maybe I’ll once get slimmer’. And I now know: this is crazy. Those sets are only going to make me feel bad even though I am happy with my figure. So, those went out the door too. And then I had some underwear which irritated my skin sometimes, but I still kept it because they were pretty. Ridiculous! Most of the time it was polyester.
Where to get rid of the old ones
Well, let’s be honest. You can’t bring your old underwear to a second hand shop. I don’t know if I find that right or wrong. It could be a second hand thing, but it makes people feel disgusted. They are still clothes, and I buy those second hand too, so why not? Anyway, there are people who offer their old underwear at second hand sites. And here again, I am going to be honest: that just felt wrong and weird. So I didn’t do the same. I brought all the old underwear to a textile recycling bin, and hope they can make something else out of it still.
Second hand or new underwear?
So now there was a new challenge: buying underwear. I guess I am open to buying second hand, especially bra’s. Since the bra that suits me best is a second hand one I got from a friend, so. There are people who buy underwear and then realise it doesn’t fit or it’s not their style. Then it’s second hand, but never worn. I searched a bit but then I decided to go with new ones because I had one very important criteria: the material.
Buying new underwear
So, the material was the reason I went to buy new underwear. But I had some more criteria. And those are: fair fashion and sustainability. From a sustainability point of view second hand would have been better, yes. But I didn’t want that so with the new underwear I wanted it sustainably made. And then: fair fashion. This is sooo important to me. I recently wrote about the series Sweatshop and before that about The True Cost. If you have seen those, you know how terrible fast fashion is. People earn so little, have to work 6 days a week long days, they starve for our clothes. Literally, people die. I don’t want to support that, ever. I wish for a good life for everyone on this planet, not just me. And it’s important to not just want that, but to act like it. Last but not least: the material. As I said this was the reason to go with new underwear. My goals are to have a plastic free wardrobe and so underwear is a part of that. Most underwear is made out of polyester, which is plastic. And when you wash plastic, there are microplastic released into the water which can’t be filtered out easily anymore. That’s why I also don’t want recycled polyester. Another reason why I don’t want recycled polyester: it is sweaty. Polyester is just a sweaty material, because it’s literally plastic. And if there’s one place where you do not want to be sweaty, it’s down there.
So, with these three criteria I went looking for a new set. Eventually I found a great set on sale at Underprotection. Underprotection is an amazing Danish brand. I know, Denmark is far and the factory itself is in India (a small factory with 20 employees, most even them can be seen on the website), but most clothes are unfortunately made in far countries from here all over the world. I haven’t found pretty underwear made in the Netherlands just yet. All the clothes from Underprotection are ethically made, it’s fair fashion. The people who made my clothes get a fair living! As you can read on the website, they work as sustainable as they can. Water use, energy use, chemicals, it’s all considered. Underprotection has certifications of course, you should always watch that! Companies do everything to make themselves look good, so certification is key. Underprotection has the The Global Recycle Standard, The Global Organic Textile Standard, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Oeko Tex and Fair Wear Foundation license. Luckily, they offer clothes which aren’t polyester too. I have to say, most of their collection is recycled polyester, but they also have for instance lyocell (made from Bamboo). I looove their sets, they’re all so pretty.
‘Bamboo. This garment is made of bamboo which is a sustainable fabric. Bamboo is sustainable because the material has a good absorption capacity and grown without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Farmed bamboo stabilizes the earth with its roots, preventing erosion. It takes in greenhouse gases and produces oxygen. In fact 35% more oxygen than an equivalent stands of trees. Next to that bamboo is also stronger than cotton and has almost the same feel as silk.’ – Underprotection
What set did I buy?
I first bought one set, and see if I then have enough underwear. If I don’t, I’ll go looking for another set. I bought the Petra set. It is made out of bamboo and was in sale. In total the set cost me 39 euros, for a bra and one underpants. I like to buy sets, because I really love it when the pieces match. It don’t think it’s expensive. For a bra and undies at Hönkemoller you’d pay the same (and that’s not fair nor sustainable). And of course, you can buy it cheaper at Primark for instance (same thing as Hönkemoller). But the important thing is: the money goes to the right people with fair fashion, and that’s why price doesn’t matter to me. And also, we forget how rich we are here in the Netherlands. We forget it’s about priorities. In stead of spending the money on sigarets and a coffee every morning, we can choose to spend it differently. Anyway, it’s just important to remember that we are the people who can change the fashion industry.
Am I happy with the set?
I am not going to place a photo of myself here haha, but I think you can believe me on my word: it suits me perfectly! The material is so comfy and not sweaty at all. It’s a type of set I’ve never had before (high waist) and that makes it so much fun. I like having different shapes and colors everyday. The package came to me in paper, but unfortunaly it was covered in plastic because it was send to me. But that’s okay. I found out later that they have selling points in the Netherlands too, I’ll look for that soon! I am so happy with my new set of underwear!
And you? What do you think of this set? And where do you buy underwear?