Tuesday, May 08, 2012

bend down boutiques

A third of all globally donated clothes end up in sub-Saharan Africa. Nicknamed "junks" in Sierra Leone, hand-me-downs account for the majority of outfits in a country where seven out of 10 people live on less than $2 a day. The industry has ballooned to $1bn in Africa since 1990. Ivory Coast, where around 20 tonnes of secondhand clothes flooded the country last year. In neighbouring Ghana, 10 times that amount arrive in an average year.

Quite apart from the ethical issue of donated goods becoming tradeable commodities on which middlemen can turn a profit, there is the threat to local textile industries, swamping fragile domestic textiles markets to consider. 12 countries in Africa are among 31 globally that have now banned their import.


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