In Lagos state and many parts of the country, one will find all kinds of fairly used wears, popularly called second-hand underwear, displayed for sale. They range from bras, panties, night gowns, singlet, knickers and many more.
Wherever these second hand products are sold, especially underwear, women and young girls usually throng such places to buy. Some women even go as far as wearing the underwear to be sure it’s their size.
ENCOMIUM Weekly on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, had a chat with sellers of fairly used underwear and women who patronize them…
MARYANN OBI, a student said, “I buy second-hand bra because it fits me better than the new ones you find in shops and supermarkets. Most times, I don’t get my size because I am very busty but since I started patronizing second-hand, I don’t have to worry anymore. Moreover, they are very much affordable compared to the new ones that are too expensive.”
A 300 level undergraduate who does not want her name mentioned said, “I patronize okrika under wears because they last longer than the new ones. You use the new ones for three months and they wear out. And when I buy them, I wash them thoroughly and sterilize them before wearing.”
MRS. NAOMI TOCHUKWU: I patronize second-hand underwear because they are stronger than the new ones. They are cheaper too and I wash them before wearing them.
MRS. ADENIKE: Okrika under wears are better than new ones because they last longer and are cheaper. They are designer bras not like the new ones that you wear for like three months, then the iron starts getting bad. Then it causes injury. With the second-hand bras, nothing like that will happen.
Most times I have to dash them out because I will wear them till I am tired of them. Also, when I buy, I don’t wear them immediately because of diseases. So, I soak them in warm water and disinfect a day before I wash and dry them.
EZE PROMISE, one of the dealers of second-hand under wears said, “Why women prefer second-hand under wears to new ones is because of the quality and they last longer than new ones made in Nigeria. Also, they are cheaper than the new ones depending on the grade.
Like a bra of grade one is sold for N1,000 and those of low grade are sold for N300 or N200 each. There are some that are sold for N50 depending on what you want. Before people use to be shy to patronize us. Some of them will be hiding. But now, if you come here in the evening, you will see how full my shop will be with women selecting the ones they like.”
“No customer has complained of any sickness or disease as a result of wearing second-hard underwear because there is a chemical they spray on them before transporting them to Nigeria.”
CHUKWUDI ALOZIE, a marketer of under wears, who has been into the business for 5 years and owns a shop at Abule Egba, Lagos, said that people patronize fairly used underwear because they know what is good. Our customers are made of low class, middle class and working class ladies. In fact, we have some of universities and polytechnic students who patronize us whenever they are on holidays.
Some women even gave us money to keep, so whenever we get new stock, we select their own first because we know what they like. These are the ones we call stable customers.
Even some people who run boutiques come here to select from us to sell in their shop. Most times it is not the quantity, it is the quality of what they want that makes them come here. Even sophisticated ladies and bankers patronize us because of the quality of what we sell. Most of them tell us that the second-hand bras and pants are better than the new ones.
ENCOMIUM Weekly also spoke with a doctor to find out the dangers of second-hand underwear.
ADERINWALE, Tyrol Medical
What are the dangers of using second-hand underwear?
Using second-hand underwear exposes the individual to a risk of certain contagious diseases suffered by the primary or original owner of those underwear. For example, hepatitis. Also, chemicals and other scents applied to those clothings in making them appealing could be allergic to some people’s skin causing allergic dermatitis.
As a medical practitioner, what advice will you give ladies who use second-hand underwear?
They should stop wearing them because medically and health wise, it is not good. Most of them are clothes of cripples or dead people that are imported to Nigeria. So, my advice is that they should stop using fairly used wears and go for new ones.