"Anything that touches our skin can be potentially hazardous to our health. We’re trying bring back a choice to the consumer." ~ Jeff Garner, Founder, Designer Wolf x Rose
Wolf x Rose is an intimates collection for both men and women that makes a commitment to using GOTS certified organic cotton, hemp, plant based dyes and cotton rubber elastic. This was important to both designer Jeff Garner and his business partner, Matthew Shubin, in part because both of their lives have been affected by the loss of a loved one due to cancer. And, while there aren’t direct links to inmate apparel affecting our health, there are links to big brands using chemicals like formaldehyde on their underwear and bras that have been linked to cancer. To add to the research that is already out there, Jeff and his team are also in the process of studying these links further through their own study that will not only determine exactly which chemicals or metals are in our clothing, but also how long it takes for our bodies to absorb these components. After all, if our skin can absorb extracts and chemicals from sheet masks or lotions, wouldn’t we also be absorbing what’s in our clothing?
We’re not taking short-cuts because of the price or because it’s difficult.
What’s In Wolf x Rose?
“With the boxers I wanted a little more softness and a little more affordability, so I mixed it with cotton,” Jeff said. “I also designed a 100% hemp boxer that has a little looser fit and is just gorgeous, but it’s at a higher price point.” Part of the cost is that hemp fibers are longer and require different machines than the readily available cotton ones. Both fibers in the Wolf x Rose range are sourced from farms in the U.S and are certified organic. Even the elastic and waistbands are made with cotton to ensure that anything touching our skin is organic and natural.
When it comes to the dyes, Jeff only uses dyes sourced from plants that he either grows himself on his farm or from other local farmers that he collaborates with. Marigold is used for the yellows and eucalyptus for reds and browns. As for other colors that depends on what’s available. “We’re on a calendar schedule,” Jeff points out the biggest difference between commercial chemical dyes and plant-based dyes is that, “chemical dyes are in powder form and colors can be achieved within seconds. It’s easy and affordable, which is why people don’t want to change from synthetics.” However, with popular dyes used in the textile industry being labeled carcinogens or mutagens, Wolf x Rose will continue to only be inspired by nature for their beautiful colors.
We have a responsibility. As designers know what’s in our clothes. We have a responsibility.
Getting Turned On To Hemp
Hemp isn’t just for hippies. While a few of us might confuse it with its controversial cousin, marijuana, hemp is actually a plant with very different properties. To being with hemp doesn’t have the chemical composition to get you high. Secondly, it’s legal and has been grown for decades for its fibers which are known for being strong and durable. These properties are one of the reasons why it could become the next BIG sustainable material for the fashion industry.
Remember the slogan, ‘cotton, the fabric of our lives’? Well, it why not ‘hemp is the fabric of our lives with a little bit of cotton thrown in?’ Cotton is a thirsty crop that requires more than 5,000 gallons of water just to produce 2.2 pounds. Furthermore, it’s overproduction has been linked to soil erosion, contamination (from pesticide use) and pollution. Hemp could offer a clever alternative to cotton since it requires half the amount of water that cotton requires. It’s also able to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide while returning 70% of nutrients back to the soil. As a fabric, it has a few particularly special properties that makes it ideal as a fabric meant to be directly on our skin.
- It’s good for your health: It’s the more intimate parts of our body that are prone to sweat, moisture and smells. Hemp is an ideal fabric to touch these areas since it has antibacterial properties and can protect your skin from a range of bacteria. It’s also absorbent and breathable, so that moisture and odors aren’t trapped in the fibers but are ‘repelled out’.
- It’s zero waste: Every part of the hemp plant is useful. The seeds can be eaten. The leaves, flowers and bulb are extracted for its oil. And, the stalks are used to make fabric.
- It gets softer with age: After every wash you’ll notice that hemp fabrics become softer. And, the fibers are durable so hemp underwear will last while becoming even silkier against your skin over time.
What It Feels Like To Wear Hemp Underwear For A Week
Wellness Feed Writer Rebecca Lane tried out a pair of Wolf x Rose hemp underwear to share what she thought after a week with her most intimate self.
“I have been wearing my hemp underwear for just over a week now and have no thought to throw it into a load of laundry anytime soon.
The fabric is soft on my skin and stretches to the shape of my body to make wearing it extremely comfortable. And, as someone who works out every other day I can tell you that my usual sweaty musk cannot even be detected.
However, the one adjustment I have made to my usual routine is to stop wearing underwear to bed. While a habit from my days growing up, I do want to make sure that I am giving the underwear some time and air to breath, which now happens while I am sleeping.”
We also asked Jeff how long he enjoys wearing his intimates for. “Well, if you want me to be honest, I’ve traveled in them and I’ve spent months without washing them,” he told us. “Hemp is porous is nature and a natural wick & away, therefore it doesn’t hold smell. It’s also antifungal and antibacterial.” But, Jeff was quick to note that he’s also an avid surfer who will sometimes hit the waves in them and considers that to be his ‘wash day’ for his hemp underwear.