fashion

ROAD TEST: I wore bamboo underwear for a week to see if they're comfier than regular undies.

When we hear the word bamboo, we automatically think of big, cute, fluffy panda bears eating and sleeping their way through life (living the dream).

Lately, bamboo fibre is becoming more popular by the day – but why? It seems odd to think that a chewing toy for our black and white furry friends can be turned into fabric for skivvies, leggings and even underwear.

Now a staple in its own right, bamboo is making its way into the mainstream underwear market; it’s more affordable and accessible than ever, and people (myself included) are beginning to wonder what all the fuss was about.

Watch: How much do we waste in Australia? Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

What is bamboo underwear?

As our country succumbed to fires and floods all within a summer’s week, Australians are becoming more aware of their individual impacts on the climate and environment. We recycle, reuse and reduce waste, drink out of paper straws, buy keep-cups and even go meat-free on Mondays.

When it comes to our clothing choices however, many people aren’t aware of the environmental impacts some fabrics and dyes have on the planet.

This is where bamboo fibre comes to the rescue. It turns out that bamboo, while being the fastest growing plant in the world, actually uses one-third of the amount of water required to grow cotton – it also doesn’t attract pests like cotton does, so there’s no pesticides or fertilisers required for growth.

As a naturally renewable resource (almost zero carbon emissions), bamboo helps reduce greenhouse gases and produces 35 per cent more oxygen than equivalent trees. So we can agree it’s better for the planet than your regular cotton-blend undies, but does it benefit your lady bits?

bamboo underwear australia
The bamboo undies look exactly the same as cotton undies. Image: Supplied.
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Bamboo fibre is antibacterial and anti-fungal, which can reduce the risk of developing really fun vaginal infections.

Plus, it doesn’t wrinkle or get static, it’s hypoallergenic, and fights bad bacteria that causes odour. It also has thermoregulating properties, meaning it keeps your butt warm in winter and sweat-free in summer.

But do bamboo undies actually do what they promise, and are they comfy to wear? I wore bamboo undies for a week to find out.

I even put them to the ultimate test and went to a hot yoga session (this was before our current self-isolation times) – the perfect combination of sweat, lots of movement and risk of wedgies.

What does bamboo underwear feel like?

For everyday use, they were really light and breathable whether I wore jeans or leggings out and about (before the current social distancing and isolation measures, of course), or stayed home in my trackie dacks (which is what we're all doing now). When it comes to form-fitting clothes where bumps are easy to spot, I wouldn’t wear bamboo undies as they aren’t seamless... yet.

During the course of my hot yoga session, I was surprised to feel—or should I say not feel—irritation from my undies.

They didn’t move the whole time, no wedgies were created and they felt light as a feather, as if I didn’t have anything on.

When it comes to sweating, I usually do a lot of it whether it’s hot yoga, playing soccer or weight training, so I was pleased to feel the bamboo fibre helped wick moisture away but didn’t hold the sweat like my cotton undies.

bamboo underwear australia
"I wore a Target pair for hot yoga and they DELIVERED." Image: Supplied.
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How to wash bamboo undies and where to buy bamboo underwear in Australia.

With washing, they’re pretty easy, just treat them as delicates in a cold wash and air dry so they keep their feel and shape well.

Bamboo undies are fantastic if you’re looking to stock up on new undies, but can be pricey depending on where you go. While more affordable brands like Kmart stock their 3 Pack Bamboo Blend Midi Briefs for $12, one pair of Jockey Parisienne Bamboo Full Briefs from Target will set you back $14.

If you’re shopping online, Vee Underwear offers their Bikini, Boyleg or G String style for $19.95 each, while O2wear offers Bikini and Boyleg for $16.95 each.

bamboo underwear australia
These are what the Kmart bamboo undies look like." Image: Supplied.
bamboo underwear
Here's me in the Target undies. Image: Supplied.
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bamboo underwear australia

Bamboo underwear review – my final verdict.

After wearing bamboo undies for a week in any situation I could think of, I’ve come to the happy conclusion that I didn’t waste my money on such a premium fabric.

As someone who sweats a lot, is environmentally conscious, and making an effort to lower my individual carbon footprint, it’s nice to know that I can rely on a fabric that offers the ultimate comfort, hygiene and versatility that bamboo fibre does.

Plus, if you’re prone to getting infections or thrush, it might be time to make the switch to bamboo undies and see the results for yourself!

Feature Image: Supplied.

Have you tried bamboo underwear? What do you think of them? Comment below!

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