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A woman wearing a then trendy blue top and leggings in 2012. Her top was in fashion in the UK as of about 1998-to date, the leggings as of about 2012-2017 and the shoes as of about 1995-2018. Author: Pei Hua Yeap.

A woman in a then trendy purple faux wrap dress and black leggings on 10 November 2009. Her dress was in fashion in the UK as of about 2016-to date, Her t-shirt was in fashion in the UK as of about 1995-to date, the leggings as of about 2005-to date and the shoes as of about 2005-2018. Author: Maegan Tintari.

A woman wearing a dirndl. Some things are not just fashion statements or clothing Zeitgeist. Author: Nemoralis.

A Rwandan farmer on 30 September 2017. Some places have thire own native fashions. Author: Masako Kato.

Background[edit | edit source]

Since WW2 and the 1980s even more so, many 'disposable fashion' stores like: H&M (founded in Sweden during 1947), Old Navy (founded in California during 1994) and Forever 21 (founded in California during 1984) mass-produced clothing at dirt-cheap prices. Inevitably tonnes are left unused or little used at times and need to be disposed of, especially if fashions only last for a few years instead of decades.

Overview[edit | edit source]

80,000,000,000 articles of clothing were made in 2018, which is way more than the world realistically needs.

2015 UK clothing sales in the UK were worth £44bn and an average household has £4,000 worth of it (mostly women's shoos and men's fitness wear. On average 30% of clothes has not been worn in a year. Damaged clothes are recycled as stuff like insulation materials, and soiled garments either end up in landfill or incinerated. Those that can be sold are, mostly to Africa. The World wide wholesale of second hand clothing was valued at more than £2.8bn ($4.3bn) in 2015. £140m worth of UK clothing went to landfill in 2015.

Were they come from[edit | edit source]

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Where they go to[edit | edit source]

10-30% were sold in the UK during 2015. A massive 351m kilograms of clothes (equivalent to a total of 2.9bn in T-shirts) that year, with the top 5 destinations are Poland, Ghana, Pakistan, Ukraine and Benin in 2015.

The USA exported more than £380m ($600m), or 351,000 tones of it in 2013, the top 4 recipients being Canada, Chile, Guatemala and India 2015. Honduras, Pakistan, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Poland, Peru etc., in 2017 and\or 2018.


In 2018 about 10% US second hand clothes are re-sold in the United States about 20% are too stained or torn for resale, and are then recycled into rags and industrial fiber filling; and about 70% end up bein exported to other nations including Poland and Peru in 2018.


Between 2007 and 2012, used clothing imports to Costa Rica rose by 50%, 87% came from the U.S. and 10% from Canada, with 21,700,000lb pounds of used clothes came into the country.

The impact[edit | edit source]

Economic impact on givers[edit | edit source]

The used clothing trade represents as many as 40,000 jobs in the US, and globaly, generates around $3.7 billion in profits in 2018.

Economic impact on recipients[edit | edit source]

Plans were laid in the 1950s and 1960s were to make Africans capable of making there own basic goods, like clothes, to helped to make them more industrialised as in China, Malaysia and South Korea.

France and the UK did some of this, but it tailed off in the early 1970s. The USSR and China tried, but the USSR was an ecanomic wimp by the 1980s and China was still largely developing it's own economy until the 1990s.

Western banks and thire corporate allies forced African and Central American nations to liberalise their economies to please Western governments' ecanomic doctrine in the 1980s.

Western governments lent African governments lots of money in the 1970s as part of the Cold War policy in Africa, but massive interest repayments. They also ignored human rights abuses and endemic corruption to.

Many countries like Zambia, Nigeria and Ghana once made thire own clothes and cotton, but were the industries were wiped out in the 1990s and now the people are so poor they could only import cheep imports. In Xipamanine Market, Maputo, Mozambique, a used pair of jeans will typically cost £2.90 and a T-shirt £1.50 during 2015. The average daily income in Mozambique is just £1 in 2015.

Western Second had clothes form significant market share across Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Uganda, second-hand garments now account for 81% of all clothing purchases in 2015.

Cultural impact on recipients[edit | edit source]

The imported second hand clothes neither match local fashions and body shapes.

They have been nicknamed in several nations as:

  1. Mozambique: roupa da calamidade (clothing of the calamity).
  2. Nigeria: "okirika" (bend down boutique), kafa ulaya (the clothes of the dead Whites) or even "London clothes".
  3. Ghana: "obroni wawu" (clothes of the dead white man).
  4. Zambia: "salaula" (selecting from a bale by rummaging).
  5. Congo: "sola" (to choose).
  6. Zimbabwe: "mupedzanhamo" (where all problems end).
  7. Kenya & Tanzania: "mitumba" (bundles) or "kafa ulaya" (clothes of the dead whites).
  8. Costa Rica "ropa americanas" (American clothes).

Health impact on recipients[edit | edit source]

Some countries such as Zimbabwe moving to ban imported underwear, which is disgusting and could carry VD if it is not property cleaned.

Laws[edit | edit source]

Some countries such as Zimbabwe moving to ban imported underwear, which is disgusting and could carry VD if it is not property cleaned.

Rwanda announced a ban on imported used clothing in 2016.

Charities[edit | edit source]

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Political blowback[edit | edit source]

Some countries such as Zimbabwe moving to ban imported underwear, which is disgusting and could carry VD if it is not property cleaned.

East African critics see it as a way of humiliating and economically wounding the region.

Rwanda announced a ban on imported used clothing in 2016. The Trump regime imposed tariffs on goods imported by the bloc of East African nation in revenge for Rwanda's act.

  • Honduran economist Claudio Salgado told Tiempo in 2018:
“We’re the trash can of the highly-industrialized countries,”

Also see[edit | edit source]

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Sources[edit | edit source]

  1. https://thepostcalvin.com/the-billion-dollar-business-of-donated-clothes/
  2. http://thepeahen.com/second-hand-clothing-in-costa-rica/
  3. https://www.dw.com/en/second-hand-clothing-for-developing-countries-a-blessing-or-a-curse/a-15856826
  4. https://www.vox.com/2018/3/13/17082288/used-clothing-mexico-goodwill
  5. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/tunisia-used-clothing-export-charity-donation/
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/these-african-countries-dont-want-your-used-clothing-anymore_us_57cf19bce4b06a74c9f10dd6
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/24/new-york-city-clothes-drop-off-scams_n_5617336.html
  8. https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/Costa_Ricas_Textile_Industry_Dips
  9. https://www.centralamericadata.com/en/article/home/Textile_company_to_close_factory_in_Costa_Rica_in_December
  10. https://carpechepe.com/tourist-info/shop/lou/
  11. https://news.co.cr/second-hand-clothes-a-125-million-industry-in-costa-rica/23987/
  12. http://thepeahen.com/shop-ethically/
  13. https://greenheartshop.org/blog/fashrev-how-to-ethically-get-rid-of-old-clothes/
  14. http://thepeahen.com/shop-ethical-fashion/
  15. https://www.sumak-travel.org/the-juanilama-community-rural-tourism-in-costa-rica/
  16. https://www.unwto.org/newspress-release/2015-12-07/united-nations-declares-2017-international-year-sustainable-tourism-develop
  17. https://www.dw.com/en/second-hand-clothing-for-developing-countries-a-blessing-or-a-curse/a-15856826
  18. https://www.sumak-travel.org/the-juanilama-community-rural-tourism-in-costa-rica/
  19. https://www.vox.com/2018/3/13/17082288/used-clothing-mexico-goodwill
  20. http://www.weardonaterecycle.org/about/issue.html
  21. https://www.one.org/us/blog/what-really-happens-to-your-donated-clothing/
  22. https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/tunisia-used-clothing-export-charity-donation/
  23. https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/a34301625/where-to-donate-clothes/
  24. https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/sustainable-fashion-blog/2015/feb/13/second-hand-clothes-charity-donations-africa#comment-47509657
  25. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jan/30/immunological-unicorn-the-australian-lab-growing-coronavirus-and-its-startling-discovery
  26. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/29/trump-russia-asset-claims-former-kgb-spy-new-book
  27. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-30227025
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