“$32 for ONE PAIR?! How do you sleep at night?” -Tammy, Boise
“They look great, but not at that price. Hard pass.” -Ash, Tacoma
“Sorry, but why would I pay $20 for one pair of underwear when I could buy a 5-pack for that much at [redacted]?” -Erin, Seattle
The short answer? Sustainability.
Sustainability is the ability for us to do business in a way that positively impacts the environment, community and society as a whole.
Now for the long answer.
First things first: we’re really excited to announce that as of early 2022, we’re officially B Corp certified. Certified B Corporations are legally required to meet and maintain extremely high sustainability standards for environmental impact, employment, and governance. Simply put, it’s a way to be absolutely sure that we’re a force for good. Check out the B Corp website to learn more: https://www.bcorporation.net/en-us
When it comes to sustainability, we start right at the beginning. Cotton production can be a thorny subject (learn why here), but we’re hard at work finding ways to use organic and recyclable fabrics in as many designs as possible without compromising quality, comfort or cost. We’ve incorporated BCI-certified suppliers into our supply chain, which helps us guarantee that the cotton we’re using comes from a sustainable and farmer-centric process.
We’ve also obtained OEKO-Tex certification for all of our cotton products. This means that every single cotton-based textile and treatment we use is guaranteed safe, responsible and sustainable. Our Merchandising and Product Development teams invest heavily in finding new, innovative suppliers and fabrics. For example, our Eco Fleece capsule collection is built in a cotton/recycled polyester blend, which is partially comprised of plastic water bottles!
The real star of the sustainability show is TENCEL™ Modal. It’s spun from the pulp of beechwood trees, so it’s naturally biodegradable, breathable, and durable. It’s also unbelievably soft. We’re really proud of that one.
Our factories and manufacturers are more than partners to us. They’re part of the TomboyX family. That’s why it’s crucial that we choose them carefully and make sure they’re happy, safe and well-paid.
The majority of our facilities are certified by WRAP and the Fair Labor Association, two of the leading organizations guaranteeing fair treatment and competitive wages for factory workers. We’re hoping to have all facilities certified soon. Both of these certifications are audited and renewed every two years, so we can trust our standards are being met even when we can’t go visit the factories ourselves (but yeah, we do that too).
Packaging & Shipping
Did you know that the individual zipper bags we pack your comfies in are biodegradable? We’ve had about a million conversations around sustainable packaging, and we’ll keep talking and making changes until we one day find the perfect solution (spoiler: there probably isn’t one, short of deploying a TomboyX staff member to hand-deliver your order on a bike). We know it might seem a little bit wasteful that we pack each item in a separate bag, but there’s a lot to consider here.
Keeping our products separate keeps them clean and pressed, and it makes it so that your new things haven’t been handled by a bunch of people at the warehouse level. It also keeps garments safe from the elements. If a pallet gets wet or gets left out in the sun during the shipping process, the chances that tons of individually-packed undies will be affected are pretty slim.
Also, fun fact: the average TomboyX order contains only 3 items! While some folks prefer to order in bulk and overhaul their whole underwear drawer in one go, most of our customers only order a few items at a time, which makes individual packaging a perfectly fine solution.
Hiring & Employment
In addition to our female founders, our C-Suite is comprised of 80% women. 63% of our Managers and above identify as LGBTQ and/or minority, and 39% of our overall team identify as LGBTQ and/or minority. We want our team to be a reflection of the diverse community we’re designing for, so we hire carefully, fairly, and intentionally.
We also pay our staff above-industry-standard wages, both because we believe that’s the right thing to do, and because that’s how we can raise the industry standards.
TomboyX HQ moved to a new, Gold LEED Certified building in 2022. LEED certification means that a building has a reduced impact on the environment by generating less waste and using less water and power, and Gold is the highest level. Look out for a virtual tour soon!
We recently hired an expert sustainability consultant to audit our entire company, top to tail, and provide us with an Annual Impact Report. As soon as we’ve got the full picture, we’ll be able to put together a 3-5 year GHG emissions reduction plan- and we’ll share it with you.
We’ve also started talking about the life cycle of our garments. What might come next once you’re done with your TomboyX undies? How can we recycle our products in a hygienic, cost-effective way in order to reduce landfill waste?
Soon, we hope to add the option to purchase carbon offsets for shipping your order. For the uninitiated, carbon offsetting is when a customer or company purchases an emissions reduction measure as a way to offset the harmful footprint of shipping. Cool, huh? You can learn more about carbon offsets here.
We’d like to extend a huge, heartfelt thank you to the members of our TomboyX community who reach out to us demanding more accountability and transparency around our sustainability efforts. You make us a better company, and we’re lucky to know you.