Boody is what all companies should aspire to be in terms of process transparency and resource sustainability. While some companies and industries are inherently harder to be more sustainable, it’s never difficult to be transparent. Boody exceeded all my expectations, and I would highly recommend this brand to friends, family, and strangers.
Boody’s boxers are made from viscose, spandex, and nylon. The contents of the underwear are 95% viscose and 5% spandex, with its upper trim being 88% nylon and 12% spandex. Starting off, nylon is a plastic created from crude oil. The creation of nylon leads to the release of nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Nylon also requires extensive amounts of water to cool each fiber. This is a similar story for its other fabric: spandex. Spandex is created from petroleum and requires an extensive amount of energy to manufacture. Additionally, spandex is not biodegradable. While the underwear isn’t made entirely of nylon and spandex, both of these fabrics are incredibly unsustainable products that industries need to shift away from.
Moving on to the great materials used in Boody’s underwear, its use of viscose from bamboo is very sustainable and a great alternative to fabrics like cotton. Bamboo is a great alternative for cotton in underwear and clothing items because bamboo requires much less water compared to its alternatives. Moreover, bamboo grows extremely quickly making it an efficient resource.
Overall, Boody’s use of organic bamboo that’s manufactured using environmentally-friendly processes (see next section) combined with industry-standard fabrics like nylon and spandex makes it more sustainable than many alternatives on the market.
While bamboo is less water-intensive than cotton, its manufacturing process can still be incredibly draining. Moreover, combining that with poor farming practices can lead to intense harvesting cycles that destroy the land being used. Boody details where it farms its bamboo and that it receives certification from The Organic Crop Improvement Association. Additionally, they have great documentation of their manufacturing process, which (spoiler alert) is pretty great.
The process starts with growing organic bamboo with no pesticides or fertilizers. Boody only uses rainwater for its bamboo, thus it requires no irrigation. To turn the bamboo into fabric, the wood is placed in a solution to soften the fibers. Boody tells consumers that its system is a “closed-loop”, meaning that all liquids used are recycled and all softening solvents are captured and removed. One cause for concern is what’s done with the solvent after, as Boody does not disclose this. However, over the years, wet processors have gotten much more efficient and environmentally sustainable to let manufacturers reuse solvents and prevent the dumping of chemicals. Once the bamboo has been transformed into usable fabrics, its spun into yarn and treated with natural dyes. The products are then sewn by workers being paid fair wages—per its website.
Overall, Boody’s process from worker wages to bamboo farming is fairly sustainable. They hold themselves accountable for their zero-waste manufacturing and eco-friendly bamboo processing system by being incredibly transparent about both processes. Boody has an entire page dedicated to a detailed account of how it makes its products. Moreover, Boody does not mark up its products higher than its competitors, so everyone can get a comfortable and sustainable underwear without the extra cost.
Boody goes the extra mile in transparency. The company has an open door for any questions on its entire bamboo farming and manufacturing process. It discloses the farms it uses, the harvesting patterns, the benefits of bamboo, and the way its fabrics are made in a plant. Boody sources its raw materials from farms in China that are in accordance with The Organic Crop Improvement Association, the USDA National Organic Program, and IFOAMand to ensure its bamboo farms are chemical-free, organic, and naturally grown with fair wages being given to its workers. Boody even explicitly states that “customers deserve to know where their clothes come from, how they’re made and who is making them”. Boody also highlights all of its certifications, with an in-depth explanation of what each means. I would encourage all prospective or future customers to look through Boody’s “About Us” section to learn about each certification, their process, and what the company stands for.