Second hand clothes has become an essential need of individuals in various countries, especially African countries. I never really cared about second hand clothing, when I see something I like I buy It, it has always been that simple until I came across a post on second hand clothes in Africa by Fashion Revolution. This totally changed my view and I began to see the effects of Second Hand clothes to the growth of various African countries.
Second hand clothes are popularly known as Okrika in Nigeria, salaula (selecting from a pile of rummagimg) in Zambia, Mitumba (bundles) in Kenya and Obroni wawu in Ghana.
It has been identified to have numerous benefit, one it can be very CHEAP, it creates jobs for stall owners, Street vendors, style entrepreneurs and tailors. It has bevome a necessary evil.
It definitely has it cons, the importation of second hand clothes primarily destroys the garment and textile manufacturing industries in the countries that receive them. Fact!
Second Hand Clothes (SHC)are mostly donations by garment consumers in the West given to charitable organisations which are sold in bulk to textile recyclers who sort, grade, compress them for the export markets. 70% of donated garments end up in Africa, African countries are the world’s largest destination for SHC. The clothing literally travels the world and has an economic ripple effect that far exceeds customer’s expectations.
One of the limitation to the development of the textile manufacturing industries in Africa is due to the constant importation of Second Hand Clothes.
In the 1960’s to the early 1980’s the clothing and shoe industrial sector in East Africa was thriving and producing for both local market as well as the export market, employing thousands of people. According to the Eastern African Community (EAC), a regional economic grouping, agreed in 2016 to complete a ban on used clothes import by 2019 for the development of the economies.
Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda are raising taxes on second Hand Clothes and at the same time offering imcentives to local manufacturers.
The ban on the importation of second hand clothes in Africa is important for the growth of the economy. This ban cannot just take place over night, preparations have to be made not just for the development of garment and textile manufacturing industries. Also, there is the need to cater for the people by providing employment/job opportunities.
We should only consider to stop the importation of second hand clothes when necessary actions have been carried out.
It is primary that we grow our economies and our industries.