Yes, prisoners used to sew lingerie for Victoria’s Secret — just like in ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 3
Article exploring historical practices of prison labor and their depiction in modern media.
A lot of Season 3 of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” revolves around underwear.
The plot line starts at the end of the fifth episode, after the private prison company that takes over Litchfield announces a “special” new job for 40 inmates: Sewing underwear for a lingerie company called Whispers, which you might assume is a stand-in for the similarly-titled Victoria’s Secret.
Well, turns out you can assume correctly: Surprisingly, the story line isn’t far from reality. In 1995, the National Institute of Justice released a study that confirmed garment manufacturer Third Generation contracted sewing work in the early ’90s to a prison through a deal with South Carolina Correctional Industries. Victoria’s Secret, along with other companies, wound up buying the apparel through Third Generation — that were actually made by inmates at the Leath Correctional Facility in Greenwood. Read more.