From the Man who gave us the term “wardrobe malfunction” comes news of the latest in eco-fashion. According to People magazine, Justin Timberlake has taken to covering his nether extremities in soy fiber undershorts. Soybean protein fiber is being marketed as a "vegetable cashmere," a new eco-friendly luxury textile. Those who've tried it vouch for soy's soft feel, luster, washability and durability.
A Short History Of Soyled Shorts
Soy in clothing isn't new. Henry Ford first preached for the bean back in the 1940s and was photographed wearing the first known soy suit and tie (above, amid the haycocks). Soy fibers had largely disappeared though, until recent developments in China. They've created a new fiber made from the leftover dregs of soybean oil and tofu production. With the advantage of being a renewable resource and a by-product of food manufacturing, soy textiles have organic certification, but cost 30% more than organic cotton and hemp due to accessibility issues and material costs today. This means the new soy clothing is being marketed as a higher end fabric, with the hope its unique texture and patina will support the price-point.
Where can you get soy clothing? Right now only the leading eco-clothing stores carry it: Under the Canopy and Of The Earth. But others are getting involved. Mikka-clothing, a Danish-Chinese company, has set up shop in China. Soy, watch out!