Last Updated on May 9, 2023 by The Filtery
A lot of fabrics are not only made of plastic, but they’re also almost always treated with chemicals that can have negative health effects.
Buying natural, organic, and toxin-free clothing is almost always a good idea, but it’s perhaps never more important than when it comes to the fabric that’s right up against your privates all day!
So in this article, we’re going to talk about why fabric choice matters for vaginal health and why organic underwear is the best choice. Then we’ll give you the best organic cotton underwear brands that you can feel good about wearing all day, every day.
BTW, this article is focused on organic cotton underwear for women that’s made in the USA. For more organic cotton underwear that’s made ethically around the world, click here. And for men’s organic underwear, click here.
This guide contains affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.
RELATED: The most comfortable organic cotton bras
Why Organic Cotton Is Better For Health
Conventional cotton is grown using herbicides and pesticides. Although it’s unclear whether or not (and how much) of this pesticide residue ends up in the final product, people who want to play it safe prefer to stick with organic materials when they can.
It’s not just about the pesticides, though. Brands that use organic fabrics for their products are also more likely to use other non-toxic ingredients, such as plant-based and/or azo-free dyes. They are also less likely to contain toxic PFAS.
Not to mention, organic cotton also requires significantly less water to grow, doesn’t strip our topsoil of vital nutrients, and is just better for our environment overall.
What Does Breathability In Underwear Mean?
Some types of fabrics allow moisture to flow through them, keeping the fabric drier as a result. Other types of fabrics keep moisture trapped. Cotton is generally more breathable than synthetics like nylon or polyester.
Breathability means more airflow. It means that moisture won’t get trapped in the fabric of your underwear, which means you won’t have to worry as much about sticky, sweaty environments that are more conducive to bacterial and yeast infections as well as skin irritation and chafing.
Is ‘Made in the USA’ Better Than ‘Made in China’ (or Elsewhere)?
It’s an easy assumption to make that ‘Made in the USA’ automatically means the product is better than if it’s made somewhere else. If something is Made in the USA, that means it’s of higher-quality, right? It means it’s made ethically and not in a sweatshop, right?
As a US-resident, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to buy goods that are made in the USA. There’s a lower carbon footprint because there’s usually less shipping the product around the world. Also, buying US-made products contributes to the local economy and keeps manufacturing jobs in the States.
BUT, there are also plenty of factories around the globe that prioritize quality, transparency, and ethics. AND although generally, worker rights and labor regulations are stricter and more tightly monitored in the U.S. compared to other countries in the global south, ‘Made in the USA’ does not always equal ‘ethical’ or ‘sweatshop-free.’ (Yes, there are sweatshops in Los Angeles.)
That’s just something to keep in mind as you shop around and choose which brands are best for you. All that being said, the brands below are all made ethically in the USA out of (mostly) organic cotton!
These Are the Best Organic Cotton Underwear Brands That Are Made In USA in 2023
Here are our favorite organic underwear brands that are made locally. (For even more organic brands that are made ethically around the world, click here.)
KENT’s skin-friendly underwear is made out of 100% GOTS organic pima cotton for the utmost breathability and comfort. They’re completely synthetic-free, which means no spandex, elastane, or toxic chemicals. This makes them a great options for individuals with sensitive skin.
They’re all made ethically in California AND they’re completely compostable, too!
Price Range: $24 – $144 (for a 7-pack)
Style Options: Bikini, hipster, high-waist brief, thong
Araks panties are made from 80% GOTS organic and 30% recycled cotton and come in a variety of gorgeous solid colors. While the organic cotton decreases the amount of pesticide used in the process, the use of recycled cotton decreases the overall ecological footprint of the panties and increases circularity.
Araks also works with a mill that uses solar power and zero wastewater, and prioritizes safe chemical management.
Price Range: $25 (on sale) – $165 (3-pack)
Style Options: Classic bikini, hipster, thong, & others
3. Object Apparel
Object Apparels’ underwear is made by hand in Detroit, Michigan out of organic cotton (plus 5% spandex) and non-toxic, water-based dyes. They have a wide variety of sizes and styles so that you can get what’s most comfortable for you. We simply LOVE their beautiful designs and fun patterns! They’re shipped to you in plastic-free packaging, too.
Price Range: $42-$49
Style Options: Regular briefs, high rise, boy shorts, boxer briefs
Thunderpants super comfy underwear is made out of 90% fair trade certified New Zealand organic cotton yarn combined with 10% spandex for increased comfort. They have a lot of fun patterns (designed by local artists!) along with solid colors, too. These “wedgie-proof” undies are cut and sewn in a women-owned, minimal-waste factory in Portland, Oregon.
Price Range: $24-$26
Style Options: Hipster, high-rise, sky-rise
5. Rayne & Skye
These undies made from a blend of OEKO-TEX certified organic cotton and soft TENCEL (eco-friendly bamboo) are a bit on the pricier side, but they’re worth it if you’re in the mood for a splurge! They’re “handmade in the Northwoods of Wisconsin” and come in a variety of really gorgeous, nature-inspired colors. They have toddler undies, too!
Price Range: $18 – $50 (3-pack)
Style Options: Mid- and high-rise briefs, boy shorts
6. Sustain By Kat
Sustain By Kat set out to make the first 100% natural underwear by cutting out ALL synthetics, even from their dyes, elastics, thread, etc. They carry several different colors of GOTS certified organic cotton undies (yes – cotton grows in color!), along with plant-dyed panties as well. Everything is ethically made in Los Angeles.
Price Range: $36
Style Options: Low-rise and high-rise briefs
Pansy’s panties are made from 90% organic cotton, 10% recycled spandex, and non-toxic dyes. Their organic cotton is grown in Texas, milled in North Carolina, and then their underwear is designed and sewn locally in San Leandro, Novato, and Oakland, California. These come in a collection of gorgeous, nature-inspired colors.
Price Range: $32-$42
Style Options: High-rise and low-rise briefs, french cut, thong, shorts
8. Brook There
Brook There’s underwear is made from 94% GOTS certified organic cotton and 6% spandex. In some of their styles, they use silk for the trim, instead of a synthetic material. Their organic cotton is milled and dyed in California, then the fabric is shipped to a factory in a small Massachusetts mill town where their small team cuts and sews each piece.
Price Range: $28-$36
Style Options: Organic cotton briefs, standard bikini, hipster, thong, short,
Bad’s underwear is made with 64% GOTS organic cotton, 28% sustainable hemp, 8% lycra, and low-impact dyes. They are elastic-band-free and come in black, white, and natural. They’re manufactured by a small team in Southern California using a technique called “flatlock stitching” to reduce fabric bulking and create a better fit.
Price Range: $23 – $75 (3-pack)
Style Options: Briefs, boxer briefs
10. Blue Canoe
These panties are made from 28% organically grown cotton, 66% organically grown bamboo, 6% spandex, and non-toxic dyes. Everything is manufactured in America, from start to finish.
Price Range: $20 (on sale) – $39
Style Options: High-cut panty, full brief, boy short, bikini, hip hugger
Even More Organic Cotton Underwear Brands
Here are a few more organic cotton underwear brands that are not made in the USA. Check out this guide to find out more about these brands.
- Pact (You can use the code THEFILTERY15 for 15% off full priced items)
- Lé Buns (You can use the code THEFILTERY15 for 15% off)
How Often Are You Supposed to Get New Underwear?
Because of how bacteria that doesn’t always fully come out in the laundry, some gynecologists recommend that you swap out your underwear every 6 to 12 months(!). For many people, that’s a lot!
But other doctors disagree, saying that as long as you’re washing your underwear regularly (after each wear), then you can be safe to keep your underwear for as long as it’s not falling apart, saving you a lot of money and waste!
After all, not all bacteria is bad. Just like our gut microbiomes, vaginas have a microbiome as well. A healthy one is maintained through a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria.
If you really want to give your laundry an extra boost to make sure you’re keeping your underwear as clean as possible, you can use an additive such as Branch Basics oxygen boost.
And when you are ready to do a top drawer swap, there are some underwear brands like Knickey that have recycling programs. Instead of throwing your old undies into the trash, you can send them in where they will be sanitized and recycled into something new, like carpet padding.
To Wear Or Not To Wear: Going Commando
In order to increase breathability even more, it’s good to sleep without underwear if you can!
- The best hemp underwear brands
- The comfiest organic bras
- Where to find TENCEL underwear
- Organic thongs
- The best maternity underwear and nursing bras
- Organic boxers for men
- Organic brands that make size-inclusive underwear
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