|"Sexy lingerie seeks new owner". Image courtesy of theasianfashionjournal.com.|
I was innocently doing some article research when I came upon this image on The Asian Fashion Journal. It's nothing shocking I guess, I see second-hand underwear for sale almost every day of my life on the streets of Nairobi, nothing new there. I love markets waaay too much to criticize them, so this isn't easy for me to admit...
But when is it all too much? How ethical is it to recycle underwear, for anonymous populations to send used undergarments to developing economies for us to wear again? I mean, an H&M top is one thing, but frilly panties is quite another, non? I can't help but feel like we're getting the raw end of a deal here.
The flip side of the coin is that the majority of developing country populations do not buy brand new panties and bras because of the disparity in quality (second-hand vs. locally-produced). And then there's the obvious question of price. It's just cheaper to buy second-hand on the street than, say, at Woolworth's at the mall. Again, raw deal.
Are the Europeans/Americans/whoever who dutifully donate their used underwear for shipping to us poor Africans to blame, or is it our own fault for being such willing consumers. Or are we all unwitting participants in global economies of scale? Or maybe there's nothing wrong at all with wearing second-hand underwear! *Confusion all around*