By Kim Soo-hyun
The winters in Korea are cold, so cold that even a heavy duck down coat won't do. The fierce wind pierces within making it inevitable to wear more and more layers of innerwear. But instead of wearing several layers of T-shirts, most Koreans until now chose to wear "naebok." The long sleeved cotton underwear costs only 20,000 won a piece and it can be found in underwear shops nearby. But despite its practicality, warmth, and reasonable price of the naebok, the younger generations are refusing to wear naebok in that it does not match their high fashion trends. Despite the rejections, however, the Korean Federation of Textile Industries (KOFOTI) made a new attempt of holding ?he Naebok Sarang (Love) Fashion Show, on Nov. 11, Textile Day, at the Textile Industry Showroom in Yeoksam-dong.
The purpose of the event stated by the KOFOTI was to encourage a nation-wide campaign for people to wear naebok. According to the Korea Energy Management Corporation (KEMCO), Korea is currently undergoing an energy crisis in which there is a 97 percent energy dependence on fuel from abroad. Also, the dryness caused from heating is said to result in skin and respiratory organ diseases. But wearing naebok causes a 3 degrees Celsius rise in body temperature and thus, is naturally bound to bring less usage of energy needed for heating.
The event also proved to the public that naebok not only saves national energy but also comes in various colors and serves many well-being purposes. Naebok today includes natural materials that are extracted from peas, milk, and green tea for those with sensitive and dry skin. Also, some contain mineral extractions for antibacterial, sterilization and electric wave blocking purposes.