PACT Packs a Clean Pair of Undies


pact_imageGoogle the words “sustainable+underwear” and you’ll find a surprisingly large number of hits–566,000 as of today. That’s probably a good omen for Jason Kibbey and Jeff Denby, who recently launched PACT, an underwear company that is designing and manufacturing drawers with a conscious.

PACT is a story of three’s: three styles (thong, bikini, boy short for girls; trunk, boxer brief and boxer for boys), three prints and three causes. The startup is working with three different non-profit organizations, after which it has named three fabric prints.

Purchase a pair of unmentionables in the 826 National print and PACT gives 10 percent of the sale to 826 National, the nationwide literacy advocacy group spun out of 826 Valencia’s Dave Egger’s education joint in San Francisco. Same goes for the Oceana print. It benefits Oceana, which is working to clean the world’s oceans and protect their inhabitants. The Forest Ethics print…well, you guessed it. Forest Ethics is a land conservation group focused on the boreal forests and rainforests from Canada to California.

Kibbey and Denby have established relationships with a number of textile companies and sewers within a 100-mile radius within Turkey, so the undies go from raw fabric (95% organic cotton and 5% elastane) to finished product in a minimal distance. Then, they’re shipped to a fulfillment center in Illinois (though PACTis based in Berkeley, Calif.). They say they’ve also subcontracted with farmers and cotton pickers who are paid a fair price and that the dyes used are free of heavy metals.

Each pair of skivvies is packaged in a bag made of scrap fabric, to reduce waste, and shipped in a compostable bag.

Aside from being light on the Earth, PACT is striving to be achingly hip, working with industrial designer Yves Behar, who founded the San Francisco design studio fuseproject and whose other clients include One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), Herman Miller and 3P faves Mission Motors.   PACT has even recruited a world-class underwear designer. Yes, there are underwear designers. If there weren’t, we’d all probably have some severe grundy problems on a daily basis.

Freelance writer Mary Catherine O'Connor finds that a growing number of companies are proving the ways that they can make good financially, socially and environmentally (as the triple bottom line theory suggests).With that in mind, she contributes to Triple Pundit, as well as to Earth2Tech and other pubs focused on sustainability. She also writes The Good Route, an Outside Magazine blog that addresses the intersection of sustainability and the active/outdoor life.To find out more, or to reach her, go to

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