Russian Undie Ban Update: Is Economic Woe Just Around the Corner?

In America, “Panties for the President” would probably have more to do with boundaryl-ess females (and a bevy of boys) gushing over ol’ Barry’s beach physique than public dissent. 

But over there in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan however, it’s a protest against the new lacy undie ban (quick recap: underwear that contains less than 6% cotton will be banned come summer because of 'health'). We wrote about it recently, and have some important updates for you.

First of all, people are flippin’ furious. Women took to the streets to protest this ridiculous ban, sometimes wearing underwear on their heads, with first graders everywhere rejoicing. Russian pop star Viktoria Daineko, outraged by the panty outlaw, tweeted: “What? I’m emigrating.”

Though cotton is one of the better undie materials, it’s not bad to wear other types either. Microfiber underwear made from synthetic materials may seem sketch, but it actually disperses moisture for quicker drying. Lace—the target of the protest—is usually made from cotton, but can contain synthetic fibers. One lingerie shop employee stressed the specifics of the underwear’s design: “90% of our range is underwear made of synthetics. But the panties have a cotton insert.”

Little things like this make skeptics believe this ban is a weird economic power battle... and I think we can agree this new ban is not a profitable move.

Russian shops could lose up to 90% of synthetic fiber based underwear which is um, HUGE dip in revenue. Currently, the Russian underwear market is estimated to be worth about $30 billion and actual crotch concealing (for the most part) underwear makes up about 60% of this figure. And obviously all these women are still gonna snatch up the underwear they love, but they'll just have to choose internationally-sold brands instead.

Just as the snobby sales associate in Mean Girls said, "you could try Sears," because only mega stores like that usually ship globally. To recap: $18 billion is a pant-load (sorry) of domestic Russian money to lose.

So let's be real. The protests are ferocious and everything from our free-choice to economics say this proposed ban is a bad idea. Keep yer knickers on though for now—the ban won't go in effect until July 1st, 2014.


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