Who doesn’t love the smell of new blouses, skirts, shirts, etc. as they unpack their bags from trips to the boutiques within or outside the country? Most people slip these clothes on without even thinking of washing them first; after all, they are new.
After a personal experience at one of the well-known boutiques in Accra, I saw how innocent consumers could purchase problems for themselves unknowingly. At this boutique, a sweaty lady tried on a blouse and then took it off.
Now, as soon as the lady left the shop, the sales attendant just put the garment back on the rack… Yeah I know, disgusting! There was no effort to even disinfect the garment. Can you imagine the kinds of bacteria that lady could have transferred onto that blouse that she didn’t buy in the end? And that was a blouse… Imagine if it were a pair of trousers or jeans that get close to your intimate areas!
The above story covers brand new clothing but, how about the “obruoni wawu” or as we all call it, second hand clothing? It is common knowledge that most of the trendiest fashions worn by a majority of females in Accra come from one major location; Kantamanto!
Oh yes! We know about those who go there at 5am on Wednesday and Saturday mornings so that they can be the first to make their “selections” when the bales are opened. I’ve heard ladies say they just ironed the clothes immediately after purchasing them and wore them to their events, parties, etc. However, do they know about the implications as far as hygiene and the health is concerned?
I decided to see what experts say about this issue and you wouldn’t believe the revelations on the Good Morning America website. A team of experts in the States conducted some research by buying “new clothes” from various stores and tested them for germs and found very disturbing results. They found representation of respiratory secretions, skin flora, and some fecal flora on one blouse, discovered evidence of feces, skin flora and respiratory secretions, especially in the armpit and “close to the buttocks,” on another jacket.
The biggest surprise came when they tested a silk blouse. Could you believe that they found vaginal organisms, yeast and more faecal germs? Quoting what one scientist said when discussing the results, you may understand why you should wash your new clothes before wearing them.
“Some garments were grossly contaminated with many organisms … indicating that either many people tried it or … someone tried it on with heavy contamination,” he said. “In a sense, you are touching somebody’s arm pit or groin. So you want to be protected that’s all”. Gosh! Imagine what it would be like if it were a bra… Ladies, please take a cue cus that’s really gross.
So, in order to protect yourself from these harmful bacteria, I beg you, please wash your new clothes, “obruoni wawu” and underwear before wearing them. And if possible, wear clothes underneath while trying on new clothes and wash your hands after shopping as recommended by the experts.