It is the layer you wear closest to your body. Know where your underthings come from.Add-it-up: Each garment has a story from when it is conceived to when it reaches your door. From the creation of fibers, to the spinning and dying of yarn, to weaving, cutting, and sewing-all fashion whether labeled as eco-friendly or not has an environmental and social impact. To bring a garment from concept to hanger requires countless choices from materials, to design, to where a garment is made. Since we shipped our first collections in 2010 Between the Sheets has been committed to sharing the story for each new collection.
Creating a sustainable, ethical, and conscious business is an ever evolving journey, not a destination. Read on to learn how we source it, make it, ship it, and how you can care for it.
You can also read more about the choices that went into selecting the materials for each collection below. We are always looking for ways to improve our transparency. Over the coming months we will be adding information quantifying each garment's environmental footprint to a new environmental impact tab on our product pages.
How We Source It
Although no garment has zero environmental impact, the sourcing of raw materials that go into a garment matter. We are conscious of sustainability, ethics, and environmental impact when choosing the materials that go into each garment. This includes both the raw materials and the distance these materials have to travel to reach NYC (the method of and distance of transportation can add significantly to the total environmental impact of a garment).
Given the global nature of the fashion supply chain, and the specialized fabrics that are integral to intimate apparel many of the fabrics and fibers that are used in our collections come from overseas even though they are purchased from US based suppliers.
For each collection we detail the fabrics and materials that we use and share our insight into why each material was chosen. This ranges from the made in the USA laces that trim all of our intimate apparel collections, to the fabrics used in our loungewear and much of our intimate apparel made from the regenerated cellulosic family of fibers. These include modal fabrics made from sustainably harvested and processed beach trees and rayon. The blend of fibers varies in each fabric so we strive to be transparent in discussing the mix of plant based and inorganic materials such as spandex and in some cases polyester that help our fabrics stretch and last longer.
As we grow so does our buying power, and Between the Sheets will continue to develop our collections with other organic, eco-friendly, and sustainable materials- we also remain committed to staying transparent about the decisions that go into our designs so check back or feel free to email us if you have any questions.
You can also read more about the choices that went into selecting the materials for each collection below.
How We Make ItSustainability goes beyond the raw materials that go into each collection. With our factory in NYC's garment center we are able to inspect the rolls of fabric for new collections when they arrive, see the finished garments as they are being pressed and packed, and stop in frequently to visit with the factory owner who has guided the production of each collection over the last five years. We ride the same subway as many of the seamstresses who sew our garments and know they are paid a fair and legal wage.
-As a woman owned business we also have a policy of supporting other women owned business including many of our materials suppliers and our factory.
-Not all made in USA fashion is created equal. Between the Sheets is committed to fair and legal labor and wage practices and is registered with the New York State Apparel Industry Taskforce. No sweatshops, no illegal labor, period.
To learn about Between the Sheet's commitment to being made the right in the USA, click here .
How We Ship ItWe wrap each order in 100 % recycled tissue paper, your packing list is printed on 100% recycled paper, and most orders ship in an 88% recycled plastic poly-mailer. The packing materials, poly-mailer (or box for larger orders) is 100% recyclable.
How You Care For ItYou might be surprised to learn, but 75-80% of a garment's environmental impact happens after it is purchased. The energy required to wash and dry clothing in the end can dwarf the impact of making it. Help do your part to reduce your impact and prolong the life of your garments by hand washing with cold water and biodegradable soap or washing using the cold cycle of your washing machine and line drying. Hot water not only causes a larger environmental impact, but may damage delicate lace and spandex. Proper care, including following care label care instructions, will keep your garment lasting for years to come. When worn try recycling or donating instead of discarding (click here for resources on clothing/textile recycling).
The Nitty-Gritty of Fabric and Raw Materials that Go into Your GarmentRaw Materials- by fiber
Where each fiber weighs in on the environmental scale and why.
Our Between the Sheets Collection Basic Play Intimates and Well Played loungewear and Come Out and Play intimates feature incredibly soft Lenzing modal blend fabrics made from sustainably harvested beech trees.
Although it is often compared to cotton modal is made from beech tree fibers, farmed in a renewable manner, and converted using a closed loop chemical process that does not pollute the environment. Our modal fabrics are woven and dyed in Europe in a vertically integrated mill powered by renewable hydro-power and are Oeko-Tex certified to be free of harmful substances.
Not all modal is created equal. While Lenzing was once the sole supplier of modal worldwide, modal now comes from a variety of sources including those who do not maintain sustainability and environmental protection standards in the cultivation of the beech trees and the processing of beech pulp into modal fibers.
While the Lycra (blended in our modal) is not a natural or sustainable material it provides a high degree of durability, wear, and stretch thus prolonging the time from purchase to landfill.
The signature lace used as trim on all of our intimates styles is manufactured in the US and we have developed custom laces for seasonal collections that are also manufactured in the US. Although there are many overseas lace suppliers by working with a local manufacturer we support the local economy and help to keep lace production in the US. They also happen to make beautiful lace which is another great reason to buy from them!
Laces tend to be made from Nylon or other a blend of synthetics, and we could choose more sustainable materials but there is something about lace and lingerie that goes so well together. Rather than sacrifice design in this case we are using relatively small amounts of something that will make a flattering and appealing garment.
The Nylon lace and mesh from our Petal Play and Airplay collections are sourced from US based textile importers.
The silks used in our Layla L'obatti for Between the Sheets collection are all sourced locally in New York. Because finding local silk mills is not realistic, we chose the alternative of sourcing locally instead of from overseas suppliers. The New York City Garment Center hosts an enormous array of suppliers, the concentration of these resources in the Garment Center is critical to the development of new designers and supports the local garment industry. We choose to pay more to source our silk locally to support the Garment Center's local businesses. An added benefit is that many of these fabrics are dyed/printed locally and can be picked up at a local shop and doesn't have to be shipped multiple times.
Our Venus in Play, Matchplay, Curtain Call, and Make a Pass ranges use a Poly-rayon-spandex jersey knit, made from a blend of polyester and spandex (made from non-renewable sources) and rayon manufactured from a cellulose (renewable plant based) fiber.
While all these fibers are manmade, it has allowed us to offer consumers a wider range of Made in USA, ethically produced, sleepwear at an affordable price. Ideally we would be able to manufacture locally, using sustainable fiber, at a lower price- but those fibers currently command a premium in the marketplace and as they gain wider use the price of the raw materials will make that possible.
Raw Materials- by group:
Airplay - Petal Play:
The sheerness of lace and mesh are not really achievable with anything other than nylon. These two ranges use nylon lace and mesh sourced through US importers. Both ranges are trimmed with our signature made in the US stretch (nylon spandex) lace trimming in lieu of elastics.
Basic Play - Well Played - Come Out & Play:
Our Basic Play, Well Played, and Come out and Play groups are made from a blend of Modal and Lycra. Although picking a fabric which is not 100% modal adds a non-sustainable fiber high Lycra content (10-12%) helps the garments wear better and last longer.
Adding Lycra to the mix is a trade-off that we believe is well worth the fit, and let's face it- before Lycra underwear just wasn't as fun!
Birds of Play:
This collection features an exclusive lace designed by BTS and developed by a local supplier who manufactures lace in the US. A nylon lace with a smaller ecological footprint in that it was designed, developed, manufactured, cut, and sewn all within the US.
Our Playdate group is made from a modal/silk blend. Modal is one of the softest fibers in the world, wicks away moisture, and doesn't pill. By pairing 85% sustainable modal with 15% silk this fabric is both sustainable and a dream to touch.
Venus in Play-Matchplay-Curtain Call-Make a Pass:
Our Matchplay and Venus in Play Collections use a poly-rayon-spandex jersey knit, made from a blend of polyester and spandex (made from non-renewable sources) and rayon manufactured from a cellulose fiber. Curtain Call and Make a Pass use a heavier weight poly-rayon-spandex french terry/jersey knit.
Rayon is made from a plant-based fiber that mimics the properties of cotton, similar to modal it is created from regenerated cellulose fibers. Polyester and spandex lend this fabric durability and ease of wash and wear due to the fibers wrinkle resistance.
We launched these collections to offer more affordable pieces still made in the USA, giving consumers a locally & ethically made alternative to luxury sleepwear produced overseas. Ideally we would be able to manufacture locally, using sustainable fiber, at a lower price- but those fibers currently command a premium in the marketplace and as they gain wider use the price of the raw materials will make that possible.