Russian women protest synthetic underwear ban

Authorities say that the ban is to prevent the sale of underwear that don't have adequate moisture absorption.

Ananth Baliga

MOSCOW, Feb. 18 (UPI) -- Women have been protesting a new law that will ban any underwear with a less than six percent rate of moisture absorption in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Protestors in Almaty, Kazakhstan, were arrested and thrown into police vans after wearing lace lingerie on their heads, shouting "Freedom to panties!"


The ban was first proposed by the Eurasian Economic Commission in 2010, which regulates the customs union, and is set to go into effect this July despite the fact that the Russian Industry and Trade Ministry tried to overturn the rule after complaints from manufacturers.

One of the official reasons given for the ban is that lace and other synthetic materials do not absorb enough moisture, especially compared to cotton. Moisture absorption in most synthetic lace panties is around 3 to 3.6 percent, below the 6 percent threshold.

"Panty science" aside, nearly 80 percent of underwear sold in Russia is foreign made, and it is estimated the ban could result in 90 percent of products disappearing from store shelves.

[BBC] [The Moscow Times]

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