Where underpants come from

Labour rights article written on the 15 Nov 2010

Where Underpants Come From takes us on a journey to discover the origin of undies. This journey begins when author Joe Bennet purchases a 5-pack of Made in China underpants for $8.59 at his local New Zealand supermarket.

Persevering through awkward conversations with reluctant sourcing companies, and several unreturned phone calls, Bennet eventually finds his way to the factory floor in China where the real learning starts.

The book is an entertaining yet thoughtful perspective on global trade and the emergence of China as the Mecca of manufacturing. It also demonstrates how a simple item of clothing can possess a very complex manufacturing history—as Bennet travels thousands of kilometers over many months just to uncover the origins of his undies.

Make sure your undies are made under fair conditions

Write to Pacific Brands owner of iconic Australian underwear labels Bonds, Berlei and Holeproof.

Check out more articles and resources on labour rights across the garment industry

Image: Fernando Moleres/Oxfam Intermon