Where underpants come from

I’ve successfully completed one week out of 52 in my quest to avoid made in China. You might be wondering why I’m doing this. I have several reasons. China is producing many of the world’s goods and doing so with a poor track record on the environment and workers’ rights. Chinese-made products are often poor quality and don’t last very long. Chinese greenhouse gas emissions are high, largely due to all the products China is making for us. We are exporting our carbon emissions to China. Chinese-made products are cheap and it’s tempting to purchase things we don’t need. If I focus my purchases on locally made goods I’m also supporting local jobs and industry.

I’ve created an order of preference for myself: Scottish-made, British-made, EU-made, rest of world, made in China. Electronics will be tricky. I think almost all are made in China but I don’t buy these very often and will search for alternatives when and if the need arises.

The title of my post is stolen from a book recommended to me by a reader (thank you!) in the comments of a previous post. It’s called Where Underpants Come From by Joe Bennett. It’s true that most underpants are made in China but not all! Made in New Zealand are Thunderpants. These are $28 and look very comfy. Out of Manchester are Kinky Knickers.  Do you know any good brands of underpants that are not made in China?

 

8 Replies to “Where underpants come from”

  1. I never gave this issue much thought: after reading your post I went to my lingerie drawer and checked the labels on all of my underwear. My favorite brand, alas, is made in China; my second best is from Thailand; my least favorite were made in Sri Lanka. I know there is a locally made (California) brand, Pansy, but the prices put me off. Forty dollars for a pair of knickers is hefty for the majority of us, even if they’re made from organically sourced cotton and are ethically made by local labor. Anyway, thank you for bringing this up. I will be more diligent about reading manufacturing labels before buying a garment.

    1. Pansy! They look good https://www.pansy.co (I’ll paste the link in case anyone else is looking for locally-made underwear). Part of the reason it’s so cheap in developing countries is because the workers are not paid very much and often work long hours without breaks. Some factories even employ children. If the only ethical way to manufacture a pair of knickers is to increase the cost of production then we as consumers need to pay more also.

  2. Surely the solution is for us not to charge so much for our own goods! I buy a lot of electronics from China because UK and EU electronics are just SOOO expensive.

    1. The reason they’re so cheap in China is because workers are paid so little and work long hours without breaks and work 7 days a week. If we want to pay people a fair wage with working conditions we are used to then we need to pay more for the product.

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