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Wolf + Rose Is on a Mission to Make Carcinogen-Free Hemp Undies

Wolf + Rose wants to change the way people relate to “their most intimate selves.”

The burgeoning California-based brand, which is currently crowdsourcing its first collection on Kickstarter, envisions a line of plant-based unmentionables free from potential carcinogens and other hazardous chemicals.

Wolf + Rose has a very personal connection: Founder Jeff Garner, the designer behind sustainable fashion house Prophetik, lost his mother to breast cancer in November. Our closets are awash in toxins that skin, our largest organ, easily soak up, Garner said.

“What we put on our bodies is going to be received by our bodies, which has health implications,” he added. “The heavy dyes, the synthetic dyes, it all adds up, and I didn’t want anyone to be affected the way I was when I lost my Mum. We shouldn’t be putting anything which isn’t natural on our body, which is why we are doing this.”

Wolf + Rose, which will ply men, women and children alike with its underwear, plans to keep it clean by employing a blend of Global Organic Textile Standard-certified organic cotton and hemp, plant-based dyes and natural rubber elastic that impart superior breathability while eschewing the use of harmful substances.

“This is not an off-the-shelf product,” Garner said. “Hundreds of hours were spent developing this into a one-of-a-kind fabric.”

The underwear will be sewn at a small family-run factory in the coastal California town of Costa Mesa, though some of the production may eventually be outsourced to China.

“We will always keep some production in the United States as it’s one of our mandates to support local small business,” said Olivia Corwin, Wolf + Rose’s chief sustainable officer.

The Covid-19 pandemic nearly upended the company’s launch, but Wolf + Rose decided to press on with its direct-to-consumer model, which it expects to face fewer headwinds because it isn’t affected by factors such as foot traffic or brick-and-mortar closures.

Not to mention, comfy undergarments are more relevant than ever.

“While certain sectors of fashion like evening wear have been severely curtailed by the pandemic, other niches such as basics and underwear are still going strong,” Corwin said. “Everyone is in the same boat right now: we are all sitting at home in our underwear.”