While many argue that second-hand clothes are cheaper, its important to state that the word “cheap doesn’t always mean good for you. Just ask the corrective surgeons on Botched.
Of course you could buy second-hand underwear at very cheap rates, but end up spending way more , fixing whatever problems they come with.
Wait a minute, have you ever stopped to think of how these under wears are cleaned, if at all? Don’t you think that most of this okrika dealers do not even bother washing them since they believe the buyer is likely to do that at home. The underwear is just packed together, dusted off and displayed for customers to buy.
LEADERSHIP Sunday explains that bacteria, fungi, parasitic and viral infections can last for really long times on underwear.
Note that , if the previous owner had some kind of infection before handing them over, you’re at risk of getting the same infection.
Very disturbing is the fact that despite the ban placed on the import of fairly used clothes, the business still booms .
The famous Nyanya , Karu, and Karimo markets among others, are famous for the trade in consignments of second-hand clothes including pants and bra usually sourced from United States of America, Italy, England and other European countries.
Before now, the commonest items on offer in any ‘bend down boutique’ are shirts, trousers and skirts. Today, however, the scope of the trade has been expanded to accommodate virtually every fashion item and accessories. On offer, these days are all types of clothes, shoes, bags, night gowns and even underwears, like bras and panties. These come in various sizes and grades for men, women and children.
Although, used clothes were viewed as the exclusive preserve of the low and medium income earners from the outset, patronage today, however, cuts across every social strata. A dealer in the wares at Nyanya market confirmed this when he told our correspondent that “there is nobody that doesn’t buy our products. All these big men you are seeing, even some honourables, their wives comes here to buy clothes for their children.”
LEADERSHIP Sunday reports that most of the ladies who patronise this bend down select okrika dealers said they preferred fairly used pants because they last longer than new ones.
Ann Adedeji, who spoke to us at the Wednesday Nyanya market said: “I get more colourful bras and pants that are most times not available in boutiques and at the same time I get value for my money as they are durable.
“You can only get unique bra designs here because here is the main place for fairly used underwear.”
Victoria Akono, another customer, said she opted for fairly used underwear after she suffered an embarrassing experience with a new underwear.
Akono explained that the hook of the bra came-off while she was in a meeting and was left in an uncomfortable position all through the meeting.
“Since that incident, I stopped buying panties and bras from boutiques,’’she said.
Ladies in Karmo Market told LEADERSHIP Sunday that they were durable and cost effective.
Mrs Odey Beauty who was at Karmo Market said apart from durability, most of the farily used pants and bras had trendy designs and were colourful.
Mr Dauda Samuel who sells used panties in Karmo Market, said, “its a profitable business and I am growing in it because I have boutique owners who come to buy in bulk; they wash and package them and resell at exorbitant rates and I am aware.”
Miss Nkechi Chima, who also deals in fairly used panties and bras, said, they are durable and cheaper than new ones.
Chima added that used bras held the breast firmly and the elasticity was retained for a very long time, unlike new ones.
“Used undies are cheaper and last longer than new ones; that is the reason people come for it,” she said
For Ojoma Ibrahim, it is more of a bandwagon thing. “The truth is that people, especially children look smarter and cute in these bend down stuffs than new ones. And since nobody wants his/her children to look as misfits or second-class citizens, all of us now buy these second-hand clothes. At least, to look like others”.
To some of the dealers, the boom in the industry is not only an answer to fervent prayers but an alternative to unemployment.
A 27-year-old graduate and merchant in second-hand bra and pants told our correspondent that she wasted four years after graduation waiting for an elusive white-collar job.
“Today I’m happy that, at least, I’m doing something. It may not be what I would have loved to do as a graduate of Business Administration and Management but it is better than being idle.”
Medical experts are however of the opinion that while we celebrate the cheap rates of these underpants and bra, we should be consciousn of the fact that human diseases, especially the sexually transmitted diseases, are transmitted through body fluids (blood, sweat, urine, Fluid, vaginal discharge and so on) and the causative organisms implicated in a lot of these diseases have been isolated in clothes of people with these diseases.
They told LEADERSHIP Sunday tha Infections such as vaginal and skin candidiasis, scabies, ring worm, body lice, chicken pox, gonorrhea, syphilis and hepatitis (types A, B, C, D and G) can be transmitted through clothes previously used by infected persons.
They explained that the risk is even more if the clothes are not properly washed, disinfected and ironed before use.
According to them, “The category of clothing that are more culpable are underwear which most people do not iron before use do to the material with they are made which does not allow them to withstand that much heat.”
“Washing with regular detergents may not be enough to get rid of some of these bacteria and the eggs of some parasitic organisms which are naturally conditioned to withstand harsh conditions for survival; for these, strong reagents are sometimes needed to get rid of them and you will need to iron them after to be double sure.”
They advised that , “If you are buying these materials, ensure that you use antiseptics to disinfect them, line them out in the sun and iron them before use.” And for underwear that cannot be ironed directly, they said, “ you can do “shadow ironing” – place a material on the underwear when it is still a little bit wet and then “iron-dry” it; better still, avoid buying such materials entirely
A Consultant Dermatologist Dr. Ifechukwu Ukwaji explained that “the risk of infection becomes higher where the patron (user) fails to wash, disinfect and iron the used clothes before using
A Medical Counsellor, Georgina Asakwe said, “there is no contesting the fact that there are great risks in using second-hand clothes, especially underwears because fungi infections like Tinea (Ring worm), and viral infection like genital warts and even parasitic infestations such as scabies, body lice, etc, can be contracted, aside STDs.
She said, the truth is that the possibility of contracting these diseases become higher if the used clothes are not thoroughly washed and ironed before use.”
Used bras, pants can cause bacterial infections :
A Medical Personnel, Mr Yusuf Nasir From Federal Medical Center, Abida in a phone call warned against the use of fairly used bras and pants, saying it could cause bacterial infections.
He advised that since the health status of the initial user could not be verified, it would be advisable for individuals to desist from buying used pants and bras.
“Some bacterial infections could occur when we use fairly used panties because the health history of the initial user was not known.
“Skin rashes, eczema, syphilis and other bacterial infections may occur,” he said.
Another health expert, Adewale Adetutu wuestionef, would you risk your health just to save a few kobo? That’s the question i want my friends to sincerely answer. She advocated a natonwide crackdown on secondhand undergarments currently on sale at local markets.