As I often do as laundry day approaches, I dropped into the Gap to buy some black t-shirts the other day. While there, I also picked up some socks and underwear. The smallest purchase, the underwear, came with a disturbing array of gapshortspackaging waste: a cardboard band, a plastic hanger, a piece of cardboard inside, a cardboard label on the waistband and a sale sticker.

I put the paper and cardboard stuff in the paper recycling, but I seem to have no choice but to throw away the hanger. At least when I get a shirt or pants with a hanger, I can use it in my closet, and when I get too many wire hangers from the cleaners, I just bring back a bunch of them. I also was guilty of taking a plastic bag (15% recycled plastic) rather than buying a reusable bag (kudos to Gap for stocking them, jeers for not asking me if I wanted to buy one at checkout) or bringing my own. Unlike the hanger, I will reuse that plastic bag once or twice.

So the Gap has some awareness of environmental issues and waste, but not enough to reduce the amount of paper and plastic that comes with a single pair of shorts. On the womens’ side, panties were arrayed on a table or in plastic boxes, with nothing but the price tag, so we can deduce that it is possible to sell underwear at least to women without the excess packaging. Maybe some men need their boxer briefs to be hanging on a hook to buy them, like stuff in the hardware store.

I’d expect better from a store selling that product(red) stuff.