Let's Talk Spandex
So, it’s time for full transparency and to give a little spotlight/conversation to Spandex.
Spandex can actually go by multiple names and the difference between each is, simply, branding. Spandex, lycra, elastane, they’re all the same in context.
Spandex is the one area of our production that seems to us an unfortunate rock and a hard place. Spandex is what gives our diapers and clothing that beautiful stretch which lends itself to a beautiful fit and longevity of wear for our GWM clothing.
BUT, and the BIG BUT, is that sadly, spandex is not natural. For that amazing stretch and recovery, you need this substance that is, at its core human-made of polyurethane (PU) and polyethylene glycol. In essences, entirely synthetic.
This is a huge BUT that we at sPUNKy have had to swallow for now. In fact, it’s in a way an inevitability that many in the industry have had to swallow. Even our favorite counterparts in the wool industry have spandex in their blends for that comfort and longevity of wear. And, if say, we chose to do without it, spandex is everywhere: in bras, underwear, children’s clothing, workwear, socks, gloves… everywhere!
***In fact, any "stretchy diaper" also will have spandex in its make up. And our most favorite, perfect fit, longlasting wool will also have it.
So it’s a sort of pill we have to swallow.
BUT! Again, the big "but" here is that there are more sustainable ways in which to utilize spandex, lycra, or elastane.
According to the Global Organic Textile Standard (often simplified as GOTS) if less that 10% of a garment is elastane, it can still be considered organic. This blending of spandex with more sustainable textiles as our Tencel and organic cotton help to improve its sustainability and make it more eco-friendly.
The low percentage of spandex in our diapers, clothing, and in our partnered wool products help to tip the balance a little bit.
Even more ways to tip the balance are to:
-give garments as long a life as possible
-reuse these garments
-compost them consciously
***Did you know that in such low percentages, spandex/lycra/elastane are still considered to be compostable if blended with biodegradable fibers? Ie. Tencel or organic cotton?***
HOWEVER, as elastane is synthetic and made up of plastic like substances, it is wise to compost consciously and to give these items still to facilities that can separate these particles.
***sPUNKy items have no more than 6% spandex in any given blend and are consistently on the search for more environmentally friendly options.
- This conversation about spandex was also a MAJOR factor into the reason why we decided to also offer hemp/organic cotton trifolds as an absorbency option for our pocket contours & fitteds (and as the extra absorbent layer in our Heavy Wetters). We wanted to have a staple absorbency option that didn't involve spandex but relied entirely on natural fibers. -
We're hoping there's a more environmentally friendly spandex innovation in the near future. <3