Time to buy new panties, knickers, bloomers, draws, step-ins – call them what you will.
I am a simple woman with few needs – I want full coverage, cotton and no silly plastic packaging.
But as you know buying such is not easy!
Where to go? Well Marks and Spencers is the traditional choice for pants. Veer away from the five packs in plastic bags and look at the knickers on hangers.
The hanger is of course plastic. However the boy behind the counter assured me the hanger was REUSED – not recycled – REUSED. So on purchaseleave your hanger behind, pack your panties in your own bag and off you trot!
You might be able to find some cotton ones though last time I was there they were all synthetic fibres.
Ready Hung Clothes
I used to think that when the clothes arrived at the shop they came in boxes? and were unpacked. Then they were hung on hangers that would, if I refused them, be re-used to hang more clothes. This is not the case. Many clothes now come by which I mean packed in a plastic bag and already hung on its own hanger. I’ll just say that again. Every piece comes with its own hanger! If I refuse a hanger chances are it will not be reused but thrown away.
Recycled Or Not
Though the bags and hangers can be recycled I have no way of knowing if they will be. Even if they are, recycling is only a more responsible form of waste disposal. It still comes with an environmental cost. Just because plastic can be recycled is no reason to use it to create everlasting trash and in such ludicrous amounts.
However Marks & Spencer assured me that they reuse the hangers. You can see our conversation here
While these pants are not entirely plastic free they are a lot better than most and benefit others.
I particularly like the bikini style pants, with a lovely rose based print. 100% cotton, made under fair trade conditions by Malabar Memesahib Welfare.The pants come in a pink organza drawstring purse. Available in white, pink and spotty.
There are other styles to choose from including a stylish fair trade hipster style knicker are made from turquoise bamboo jersey.
N.B. The organza bags, lace and elastic are all synthetic but the production team are fantastic! And they don’t come ready hung on plastic hangers or in plastic packs. I think it is a good trade off.
Malbar Mamesahib is organised by Kerala Crafts, a charitable body established in 2001, registered as a charity in October 2010.
“Its objects are to help provide an alternative to a life of poverty by supporting 5 projects in Kerala, Southern India:
- Valsalya Bhavan – an home for rescued girls aged between 5 & 16 years
- Adelaide Bhavan – independent living for older orphaned girls
- Vimala Welfare Centre – meeting the needs of marginalised women
- Malabar Memsahib – a women’s stitching co-operative in mid-Kerala
- Fair Cotton Cooperative Alliance – a range of fair trade cotton products”
They are a member of The British Association for Fair Trade Shops and a recipient of a Fair Trade gold award.
You can buy on-line and you will need to check out the packaging. Better still shop local and get them from
85 Main Street
Tel: 01535 647776
(other shops can be found on the stockists page)