Why You Should Look Beyond Your Cotton Underwear?

DATE: March 16, 2023

For ages, cotton has been the go-to fabric for men’s underwear, providing a level of comfort, breathability, and availability that has been unrivalled. But with technological advancements and innovative manufacturing processes, newer materials have emerged that offer superior performance and sustainability. Let’s explore why it’s essential to broaden our horizons and look beyond cotton underwear. We will also examine the unique requirements of the Indian subcontinent’s diverse seasons and explore some of the crucial factors one must consider while choosing men’s underwear suitable for this region.

Cotton Dilemma: Why the Most Popular Fabric May Not Be the Most Comfortable

Cotton is a popular choice for undergarments for men due to its affordability and availability, but it has some limitations when it comes to comfort. While cotton may be comfortable initially, it can become gradually rough and lose its shape after multiple washes. In contrast, bamboo and modal materials stay soft and retain their shape, making them a more comfortable option in the long run. Modal is a type of rayon made from beech tree pulp, and it is known for its softness and durability. Bamboo is a natural fiber that is sustainable and eco-friendly, and it has similar properties to modal in terms of softness and durability.

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Durability-wise cotton and bamboo undergarments for men are known for their strength and longevity as compared to micro modal. However, proper care and avoiding high heat extends the life of these materials. The fabric quality, and construction style of underwear, such as the stitching and elastic, also impact men’s underwear’s durability and longevity.

Another important factor to consider in men’s underwear is moisture-wicking properties. Moisture-wicking fabric is designed to draw sweat away from the skin and help it evaporate quickly, keeping the wearer cool and dry. Cotton is a breathable material, but it can also retain limited moisture, thus causing discomfort and irritation when worn for a longer duration or during hectic work days. In contrast, bamboo and modal are known for their superior moisture-wicking properties, as they can absorb up to three times more moisture than cotton while still feeling dry to the touch. This makes them an ideal choice for men’s underwear, particularly for active or athletic men who need underwear that can keep up with their sweat levels.

Unleash Your Style: Discover the Surprising Alternatives to Cotton Underwear

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Cotton may have been the basic and plain choice for men’s underwears and men’s inners, but it has its limitations. Over time, the colour fades away, and the fabric is prone to pilling, Cotton becomes gradually rough after multiple washes due to its fiber structure. The fibers in cotton are twisted and interlocked, which causes friction and abrasion during washing and wearing, leading to the loss of softness and shape over time affecting the garment’s appearance and comfort.
Fortunately, there are many stylish alternatives to cotton, such as Tencel, Micro Modal, and bamboo. These materials are easy to print and available in a wide range of prints and designs, giving you the freedom to express your personal style. Additionally, Tencel, Modal, and bamboo are known for their durability, and they have a low tendency to pill and fade, making them a great investment for long-term use.

Why Cotton Isn’t Always Up to the Task: Exploring Alternatives for Different Activities

In addition to its limitations in providing support and moisture-wicking capabilities, cotton may also become harsh and abrasive after long usage, causing itching and discomfort. This is because cotton fibers tend to break down over time, losing their softness and becoming rough to the touch. On the other hand, alternatives such as Tencel, Micro Modal, and bamboo have a natural softness and retain their shape even after multiple washes, making them a more comfortable option for extended wear. Additionally, these materials have excellent moisture-wicking properties, which helps to keep you dry and comfortable all day, even if you’ve an active work life.

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Apart from these concerns, cotton is also prone to pilling, which occurs when small balls of fibers form on the fabric’s surface, affecting both its appearance and comfort. This happens because cotton fibers are not tightly woven together and are more likely to loosen and break, causing the fabric to become rough and lose its shape. In contrast, performance fabrics like polyester, nylon, and spandex are tightly woven and have a smoother texture, reducing the likelihood of pilling and maintaining the fabric’s appearance and comfort over time. Thus, considering the above factors, it is essential to choose the right fabric for your specific needs and activities to ensure maximum comfort and support.

Beyond Cotton: Why Your Underwear Choice Could be Hurting the Environment

Drowning in Water Waste: The Surprising Truth about Your Clothing’s Water Footprint
When it comes to sustainability, cotton is not the most environmentally friendly option. Cotton is a water-intensive crop, with it requiring approximately 25,000 cubic meters of water per hectare to grow cotton, depending on the region. By comparison, bamboo requires approximately 1,000 cubic meters of water per hectare, making it a highly sustainable option for clothing production. Modal, on the other hand, requires around 2,500 cubic meters of water per hectare. No wonder sustainable clothing is increasingly embracing fabrics like bamboo and modal.

Soil health for the long-term sustainability of agriculture

Soil erosion is a natural process that is accelerated by human activities such as agriculture. Cotton crop is known for its high impact on soil erosion. It is typically grown as a monoculture crop, which means that it is grown in the same area year after year. This can lead to the depletion of soil nutrients and increased soil erosion. Additionally, the use of heavy machinery for cotton cultivation can also contribute to soil erosion. However, Bamboo and Beech wood trees are two popular alternative crops that are more sustainable and can help to prevent soil erosion.

Bamboo has an extensive root system that helps to stabilize soil and prevent erosion. The root system of bamboo also helps to retain water and nutrients in the soil, which reduces the need for irrigation and fertilizers. This also helps to preserve the soil for future generations.

Beech wood trees (natural source for modal fabric or micro modal fabric) have shallow root systems that help to hold soil in place and prevent erosion. They can also grow in a variety of soil types and regions, making them a very versatile crop.

The economics of pesticide use in cotton

Did you know that only cotton consumes 25% of the pesticides used in America? The reason cotton crops require so much pesticide is that they are typically grown as monoculture crops. Monoculture crops use large areas of dedicated land to grow only one type of crop. These crops are more vulnerable to pests and diseases because they lack biodiversity. Additionally, the use of heavy machinery for cotton cultivation disrupts soil health making these crops vulnerable to pests and diseases.

In contrast, crops such as bamboo and beech wood trees are resistant to pests and diseases because they are grown in natural ecosystems. These crops can be grown using organic farming methods, which reduces the need for synthetic pesticides. Additionally, the root systems of bamboo and beech wood trees help to retain nutrients in the soil, which makes them less vulnerable to pests and diseases.

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In this article, we emphasize the need to broaden our horizons and consider alternative materials for men’s clothing that offer both comfort and sustainability. There are many upcoming brands in the apparels category in casual clothing, formal clothing, or men’s undergarments which focus on both comfort and sustainability.  Modern Crew is such an emerging brand that has launched men’s inners and lounge wear which use modal, bamboo or a mix of these fabrics with cotton. You can explore Modern Crew’s Men’s undergarments and Lounge wear range here for a comfortable day in your home or office:

  1. NEXT SKIN Micro modal Men’s underwear briefs
  2. NEXT SKIN Micro modal Men’s underwear trunks
  3. NEXT SKIN Micro modal Men’s underwear Short-trunks
  4. GLIDE Bamboo Cotton Luxury Men’s Vests

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