City uni graduate develops bamboo pants

Hamish Lawson with a pair of his ethically produced pants made from bamboo fabric. Picture: Greg Macvean
Hamish Lawson with a pair of his ethically produced pants made from bamboo fabric. Picture: Greg Macvean
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THEY are the intimate undies that would surely seal the deal on the sluggish courtship of Edinburgh’s pandas... it can only be bamboo boxers.

While Yang Guang may struggle to slip into the bizarre briefs, thousands of punters have already been snapping them up, amid claims the smalls are “as soft as silk” and “the most comfortable ever”.

Created by a city-based entrepreneur, the DaDa drawers are mostly made from bamboo fabric and come in three chic designs: shorty, truck and retro.

Now it is hoped the ethically produced pants will compete with big high street brands like Calvin Klein and Diesel for a footing in the men’s luxury lingerie market.

Budding businessman Hamish Lawson, 28, said designer labels lacked invention, their sole creativity being “sticking their name in large writing on the waistbands”.

The Heriot Watt graduate hit upon the idea of bamboo clothing while attending an ethical fashion conference several years ago. They are now being manufactured for him in Sri Lanka.

“I realised there was a gap in the market for an interesting underwear brand that was ethical and sustainable,” he said. “So I came across bamboo and noticed how soft it was. It was more like silk, so I started developing my own composition of fabric made up of 65 per cent bamboo, 27 per cent cotton and eight per cent elastic, and it turned out to be the best, most comfortable fabric – way more comfortable than cotton. I couldn’t believe it myself.”

Mr Lawson, who lives in Broughton and previously ran a business delivering Chrismas presents dressed as an elf, said customers are often initially wary of his bamboo creations until they try them on.

“People’s first reaction is that these must be a very scratchy pair of underpants, but then they love it.”

Since launching in November, more than 2500 DaDa pants have been sold over the firm’s website. Mr Lawson credits the funding and guidance of the Princes Trust’s Youth Business Scotland award, BT Scotland and the Young E-ntrepreneur programme for helping him start up the business.

James McClafferty, partnership director at BT Scotland, said: “Our E-ntrepreneur scheme gives a helping hand to fledgling businesses of all kinds. Hamish’s take on his product is innovative and contemporary and we’re delighted to support his venture.”

‘Insanely comfortable and soft’

Cards on the table, I was expecting to be pulling on a timber-clad pair of pants here – like something you would find in a garden centre . . akin to a wooden chastity belt or pan-pipe briefs.

But to my surprise the black, stylishly-designed drawers were insanely comfortable, incredibly soft, supportive and a step up from the – now tattered – pairs of Calvins piled high in my washing basket at home.

Sporting an elastic pink waistband with the Da Da brand name resting over my left hip, the bamboo underwear would not look out of place beside more established designers and at £18, they are cheaper than their rivals.