Even though these two countries prohibit imports of this trade, they still find themselves receiving and benefiting from products of this trade
Secondhand Clothing Trade
SECONDHAND CLOTHINGTRADE Justine Fitch
Argument Should we send used clothes to be given to people in the Third World countries? Or should we help people there to make or buy their own clothes? Do secondhand goods around the world benefit or hinder countries?- Developing countries who don’t have established economies- benefits- Opposition: Countries look towards becoming developed through focusing on exports rather than imports .- They are relying too much on SHC imports.
Secondhand Clothing Industry Industrialization Mass Production Halt (domestic production) Growing business> 2002 The New York Times reported that of the approximately 2.5 billion pounds of clothes donated to charity in America each year, as much as 80 percent is shipped globally United States- 1 of the largest exporters Toronto, CA Biggest importers of secondhand clothing: Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South America, Asia, and Eastern Europe Different meanings around the world Affordability or Mimic Western Style Some of the largest donators of clothing include: USA, Germany, Canada, Belgium, and the Netherlands
Globalization “Globalization is the process whereby the world’s people are becoming increasingly interconnected in all facets of their lives—cultural, economic, political, technological, and environmental” Developed vs. Developing- secondhand clothing due to lower levels of income Developed- Export SHC Developing- Import SHC Secondhand clothing trade is dominated by economics unless there is governmental interference Secondhand clothing can be found in more than 100 countries across the world
Charitable Organizations Largest source of SHC United States: Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, St. Vincent de Paul, Amvets Europe: Oxfam, Terre, Humana, Abbey Pierre Dispose of their massive stock for a large sum of money to secondhand dealers Salvation Army, Colorado Springs, CO Many bins in the United States often appear that they are for third-world relief, when in reality they feature names of non-existent charities Norwich, England Germany
Thrift StoresBuffalo Exchange (San Francisco,CA Other major contributor Warehouse feel Plato’s Closet and Buffalo Exchange- growing businesses Buffalo Exchange is growing in which their earnings topped $3 million in 2006 with $43 million in revenue- They recognize top fashions and receive products from fast fashion mavens Zara and H&M Plato’s closet- guides for the employees on whether or not they should accept specific clothing based on the style and year of the product (they have to be within the last year) “Thrill side”- hunt of fashion
Secondhand clothing process Garments are passed on through donations to charities, community groups, or commercial collection banks Sold to textile recycling plants- are sorted, graded, and put into bales Recyclers look for type, fabric, and quality of the garment when sorting Clothing can be categorized into more than 400 groups Poor quality garments may be processed into fibers or used as rags in industrial establishments Lower quality items are also sent off to Africa and medium-quality is sent to Latin America Bales of clothing may be received by local traders or local trader’s market stall in which people can buy the clothing right away Oxfam International
SHC helps countries around the world Can be thrill-seeking: satisfy specific needs, recreate 16-foot mountain of secondhand clothing- Hong Kong clothing The world’s largest destination of secondhand clothing is in Sub-Saharan Africa- 26% of total world exports in 2004 Exports of this trade: Malaysia, Singapore, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Japan, India, and Cambodia by receiving close to 20 percent of word’s exports in 2004 Other: Tunisia, Kenya, Uganda, and Guatemala Developed countries: Japan, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands
The meaning of SHC “Thrill” side consumers throughout the world like to rummage, browse and look for clothing in different places to satisfy their specific needs they cannot find elsewhere “Quality-and style-savvy consumers recognize the potential that may not be immediately apparent in garments” - Karen HansenSeptember issue (2011)- Marie Claire Recreating the clothing into “something-6 of Australia’s top fashion designers visit St else by means of embellishment,Vincent de Paul Society op-shops to recreate patchwork, buttons, and trim, amonggarments many other practices” Hansen-They made 6 one of a kind creations that wereauctioned through Marie Claire to raise moneyfor St Vincent de Paul Society.
SHC in Kenya Second hand designer bags: Gucci and Louis VuittonClothes and shoppers at the Adams Arcade market, Nairobi “Although the second hand clothes imports have undermined the textile industries in Kenya, they have provided more affordable choices for Kenyans and employed many, hence a welcome trade.” http://www.iq4news.com/lauramkenya/fashion-second-hand- clothing-booming-business-kenya
The meaning of SHC- Zambia Satisfy individual preferences- mediates between individual and collective desires Worn by any class, not just the poor wanting to mimic western style Referred to as “Salaula”- both men and women prefer to reconfigure clothing to mimic western dress Appreciate the clothing they receive
The meaning of SHC- Haiti Secondhand clothing trade from shoppers in Boston and Miami deals with a large unregulated market of pepe Beyond significant for survival- tents or stuffing in upholstery Hanna Rose Shell and Vanessa Bertozzi documentary- visuals of the streets explicitly show rags of all colors lying on the roads Far worse problems Enjoy refashioning the garments Bundles of used clothing being unloaded from large cargo ship in Miragoane, Haiti. Miami and Boston in the United States are large intergenerational markets
The meaning of SHC- Haiti Countries are able to purchase far cheaper clothing than they would be able to afford with domestically produced clothing. Zimbabwe and Kenya: affordability of clothing is more important especially during harsh times Zimbabwe: SHC should not be the blame of their economic disadvantages as it is often due to political wars and government exploitation Secondhand clothing may complement domestic production rather than hinder it Not producing “equivalent competing goods”- garment makers in Zimbabwe, they do not blame SHC and do not view it as competition. http://www.secondhandfilm.com/project.html Western style clothing
Employment Opportunities In developing countries the trade is creating more jobs than ever Trade helps with the global economy creating jobs such as wholesalers, importers, traders, and vendors Cleaning, repairing, re-styling, and distributing Rwanda- textile and manufacturing facilities provided no employment to their people Used shoes for sale in the Nyamirambo market until the secondhand clothing trade developed there creating jobs in handling, cleaning, repairing, and restyling
Recycling and the environment Keep the textile and apparel industry more environmental friendly Recycling reduces environmental impact if consumers are properly educated Consumers can easily buy secondhand clothing which reduces affect on the environment because the life of a garment is extended Yarn and fibers can be recycled and used for a future product India doesn’t allow importing of SHC, they do recycle their clothing domestically involving barter, donations and resale
Opposition Lack of domestic production- hurts developing countries Destruction of local livelihoodsThere are several challenges for industries in developing countries1.) Unreliable and expensive infrastructure Nigeria experiences high fuel prices, a lack of consistency with power and electric, and a lack of water supply Affect how long producers have with producing garments and other textile products2.) The cost and availability of raw materials for textile producers One of the biggest raw materials that causes problems for developing countries is cotton which requires constant quality development to meet standards3.) Cost and availability of fabrics for clothing producers Senegal and Ghana struggle with sourcing options4.) Other challenges include: competition from imports, widespread customs fraud, outdated capital and failure to take advantage of trade preferences
OppositionJob lossAccording to Oxfam International, it is hard to determine how many jobs have been lost because there are other factors that may affect this other than secondhand clothing trade alone.
Opposition Dishonesty Complex process of secondhand clothing, Philippines information regarding products can be misconstrued Anthropologist Karen Hansen discovered that many people believe their cast-off clothing is just going to charity for a good cause when it is really sold to the poor. It allows countries to rely on imports rather than improve domestic production- Veseth Charities not honest, don’t always have best intentions- charities should come clean Clothing bins that are placed on the street in the United States and Western Europe which claim to belong to charities when they are not
Countries who do no import SHC Philippines- believe it harms their local production but is recently finding imports due to illegal shipment from Hong Kong Philippines also does not import due to dumping Haiti also experiences dumping where clothing often covers the ground India- does not allow imports of SHC but do allow imports of woolen fibers which are used for blankets, knitting yarns and wool fabrics Other countries do not participate in imports of secondhand clothing due to health reasons. Charity shop tags, trimmings & leftover wool garments from India Tanzania-prohibit the import of used underwear to prevent from diseases
Summary There may be negative sides to the industry such as lack of domestic production, the positives outweigh this main factor Many developing countries rely on the trade for a means of clothing since they cannot afford infrastructure to produce their own clothing The meaning of secondhand clothing differs amongst countries but this is significant when determining who accepts the trade Some prefer secondhand clothing because they may not be able to afford the latest fashions, while some prefer SHC just for the thrill of finding new fashions that they can recreate Second-hand clothing is falling as a share of total clothing imports due to the increase of cheap imports from Asia
Sources http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk http://www.maketradefair.com/en/assets/english/shc_0905.pdf Garner, M. & Kunz, G. (2011). Going Global http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1627026,00.html http://www.jstor.org/stable/3694995 Hansen, K. (2001). Salaula: the world of secondhand clothing and Zambia http://www.bergfashionlibrary.com/view/bewdf/BEWDF-v10/EDch10032.xml http://reason.com/archives/2008/07/25/the-afterlife-of-american-clot Rivoli, P. (2005). The travels of a t-shirt in the global economy: An economist examines the markets, power, and politics of world trade. Veseth, M. (2005). Globaloney: Unraveling the myths of globalization