Hanesbrands Donates 50,000 Pairs of Pantyhose to Fight Gulf Coast Oil Spill
Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based Hanesbrands announced today that it is donating 50,000 pairs of Hanes, L’eggs and Just My Size pantyhose to be used by nonprofit and grassroots volunteer groups that are making oil-absorbing hair booms to fight the Gulf Coast oil spill.
The groups will stuff the pantyhose with human and pet hair to make booms that absorb and trap crude oil. Oil is reclaimed by squeezing it out of the pantyhose-and-hair booms, which will then be reused to collect more spilled oil from Gulf Coast waters.
“We are collecting hair and pantyhose from throughout the country to make 1 million hair booms over the next three weeks,” said Jeff Golden, vice president and co-founder of The Sunshine and Shores Foundation in Destin, Fla. “Hair acts as a sponge. When you put these booms in oil-polluted water, they absorb the oil and leave the water crystal clear.”
Hanesbrands will donate 12,500 pairs of pantyhose to Sunshine and Shores and will donate 37,500 pairs to San Francisco-based Matter of Trust, an ecological charity that collects hair and pantyhose to make booms and oil-absorbing mats.
“We take average length pantyhose and stuff them as tight as we can with hair,” Golden said. “We tie the hose together end to end and cover them with mesh. The texture and structure of hair traps the oil. You put the booms in the water to absorb the oil and then squeegee the oil out of them in an oil barge to recycle the oil. The booms can be used a hundred times over. This is a proven and efficient way to protect our communities.”
Hanesbrands, which is the leading marketer of women’s sheer hosiery in the United States, will begin shipping the pantyhose this week from its Clarksville, Ark., and Winston-Salem sheer hosiery manufacturing facilities. The donated hosiery will be off-quality product that would normally be recycled.