Tag Archives: Burkina Faso

Unfair Fair Trade: Reflections on Underwear and Electronics

Being a mother consumes more of my time than I would have thought prior to having my daughter. With home life and vocation in the mix, some things that I need take a back seat, like new underwear. So, when Christmas time rolled around this past December, and I found myself at the mall – a place I tend to avoid – I made a point of buying new underwear for myself as I went about buying for others.

I don’t want to spend too much time talking about my underwear preferences, but I need to say two things: I’m a very small person, and I like black cotton. While shopping at a department store, I visited their lingerie department and came across three women representing Jockey who were setting out their latest wear. I asked them about XS 95% cotton underwear and watched them furrow their brows. Cotton isn’t the main fabric of choice for their line or any other line in the store (petroleum-based microfiber is where it’s at). As I mourned the lack of cotton choices, they mentioned that I could try a “lower quality brand” like Victoria’s Secret, but warned, “you get what you pay for.”

Off I went straight to Victoria’s Secret, as my goal at a mall is always to get in and out as quickly as possible. Lo and behold, they had an entire table of 95% cotton underwear in myriad patterns, styles and colors – and in XS no less! Furthermore, it turns out their cotton blend has organic, fair-trade cotton in the mix. Bonus! Despite the long line at the registers, I was thrilled. I already had my gifts for others in hand, so I headed home to throw away a bunch of old underwear and start anew.

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