Talk about airing your dirty laundry. In an undercover investigation, NBC’s “Today” show found multiple major retailers–GAP, Nordstom’s, Bloomingdales, J. Crew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Victoria’s Secret–not only accepted returned underwear that were soiled but also restocked them for customers to purchase (except J. Crew and Saks). The underwear sleuths purchased panties from the stores, took them home and removed the little paper protective thing in the bathing suits, applied baby oil to the crotch of the underwear and marked purchases with black dots on the tag to see if they would be restocked. Time and again store clerks simply took the obviously used panties (and many never even looked to see if they were used), refunded the customer and were caught on camera putting them back on the shelf or rack. If you just threw up a little in your mouth, I understand. Of all the stores, I will have to say I am the most disappointed in Victoria’s Secret. They know the intimacy of underwear! How could you Vickie?
Well, after the episode “Secret Filth Exposed“ aired the stores dirty secrets, the undercover panty patrol went back to a new mall and found that the major retailers they originally visited changed their policy (or rather reemphasized in no uncertain terms what you do with dirty draw’s). One store bagged the used underwear and marked it for disposal. But retailers such as Target, JCPenney, Wal Mart and Marshalls were also added to the second round and just like their predecessors, Wal Mart and Marshalls took used underwear and restocked it. I can’t imagine purchasing panties off the shelf and putting them on–though sometimes you can’t help it especially if you’re caught in a situation without underwear if your luggage is lost, your bag is stolen or you have a panty emergency. But from now on, no matter what, ALWAYS wash your bathing suits and underwear before wearing them. I went shopping yesterday and every shirt and the pair of jeans I bought is being laundered today. Mom was right. Always have on a clean pair of underwear. Oh, and NBC, this is the kind of consumer journalism you went to Columbia for! Rock on.