For Sydney-based intimates brand Mighty Good Basics, the name says it all. The brand was born out of a “disheartening search for ethically made, environmentally conscious underwear and basic wardrobe items”.
Brand Director at MGB Elena Antoniou explains: “The fashion industry is one of the main global polluters and contributors to social injustice. Because underwear is an everyday essential that (almost) everyone wears and disposes of more frequently than other wardrobe items, it can have a particularly negative impact on the planet.
“When we began the Mighty Good journey, it was almost impossible to find ethically made and
sustainable underwear, particularly at home in Australia. We decided we needed to create an alternative – premium basic underwear that keeps your bottom comfy and your mind at rest. We literally set up to change the world from the bottom up.”
Mighty Good Basics is a homegrown Australian brand with its pieces designed and shipped from its office in Sydney. These garments – men’s and women’s underwear in various cuts – are made by a small-scale, ethical factory in India.
“We go to every length to ensure suppliers and makers we work with are certified Fair Trade and operating at the highest ethical standards,” Elena says.
“They carry certification under the Fair Trade Labelling Organisation (FLO), the Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) and the SA 8000 Social Accountability Standard – the highest industry standards to ensure our garment workers are paid a living wage, provided with decent working conditions and professional support.”
In line with its values of ethical production and transparency, Mighty Good Basics shares detailed information about the suppliers it works with on its website.
When choosing fabrics for the range, the brand looks for low impact, sustainable fibres – with the current range being made exclusively from GOTS certified organic cotton and a small amount of elastane.
“After extensive research, we found organic cotton to be by far the most sustainable option,” Elena says.
“The Textile Exchange commissioned a Life Cycle Assessment for conventional versus organic cotton and found that organic cotton was far better for the environment, using 91% less water, 62% less energy, 46% less CO2, 70% less soil acidification and of course there is no use of GMOs or toxic chemicals.
“Unlike conventional cotton it does not require excessive amounts of water to grow and unlike bamboo, it doesn’t require intense chemical treatment before it can be usable.
“Organic cotton is also sustainably farmed in many parts of the world, including India. It’s also incredibly soft on the skin, low-allergenic and takes to natural dyes quite easily. The elastane is for stretch, shape retention and product longevity.”
Of course, fabric sourcing is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to the fashion supply chain, and Mighty Good Basics’ values look at the end-to-end process.
“Environmental sustainability has always been a core pillar of the Mighty Good brand, and our entire production process is extremely waste conscious. We receive our range via sea freight (lower carbon output than air freight) without tags, stickers or other unnecessary plastic packaging,” Elena says.
“We then pack customer orders into our reusable cotton drawstring bags and send in 100% biodegradable bags. In an at-home compost, these postage bags will degrade completely within 60-90 days.
“In addition, we are currently working on an underwear recycling program, to completely close the waste production loop… watch this space!”
The Mighty Good Basics underwear is designed to look and feel good on all shapes and sizes. To ensure there’s something for everyone, the brand stocks sizes 8 – 22 with seven styles for women, and three styles for men.
But underwear is only the beginning. Elena says the brand’s mission “to create the world’s most ethical underwear” is stronger than ever.
“We’re currently working on a new range to be released over the next few months, featuring some stunning new colours and styles, extending our range beyond just underwear into everyday basics.”
This article was created in partnership with Mighty Good Basics.