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Clothing donations can destroy a nation

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posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 03:21 AM
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This may seem like an extreme and hyperbolic statement but when we analyse what has happened to some East African nations we can see there is much truth to this. If we look at the industrial revolution of the US, England, Germany, Italy, France and other European nations, as well as Japan and more recently developing nations such as China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, you will see that one of the main industries on which they relied to pull themselves out of poverty was textile production, largely clothing and some things like blankets or carpets. Look at the clothing sold in big box stores over the last 30 years and you'll see that MUCH of them are made in these developing countries. I am still waiting to see one made anywhere in Africa, and that isn't because they can't make clothing if there is a market or demand for it, it is because of many other economic factors that influence the profitability of this industry in Africa.


While researching recycling I looked into what was done with old clothing and found that MUCH of it, that which is still wearable and doesn't have "vintage" value (what a scam) it is very often boxed or baled up and shipped over seas to a developing country, often East and West sub Saharan Africa. I don't know if the charities sell the clothing or if it is donated (for tax deductions of course) but once it is in the countries it is then sold relatively cheaply in markets across the countries. I was told that there is a massive market in Kenya in a town or market called "Mutombo", and it has been described as a large rag market with scrap clothing from rich nations. So by people doing what they think is a good thing ends up making a profit for some "non-for-profit" company and completely decimating the textile industry of the country on which the scrap rags are dumped. This is really dumping waste products on another country and should be illegal.

A number of years ago a few countries in East Africa banned together to either ban or heavily tax/tariff these clothing imports and the "rag dealers" ran to their government officials (largely in the US) and cried that their business was being hurt by these foreign governments. This resulted in sanctions being placed on these countries who were trying to protect themselves which crippled their economy and the taxes/tariffs were later dropped.

These East African countries where people used to grow cotton (including Egypt) soon found that there was no local market for their product and exporting was much less profitable, so much so it wasn't worth the production - this is largely b/c of smaller production plots where they don't have he benefit of expensive equipment, fertilizers and insecticides/herbicides. The effect of no cotton production worked in conjunction with the end of the personal level textile production, where clothing used to be custom made, it was now generic waste from the US/Europe. This also didn't allow them to create an industry where they could produce clothing for locals and Africans as well as making textiles for export.

So when you take your clothing to donate, you should try to find out where it will go asd find out who owns/runs the charity, because that makes a HUGE difference as to where it will end up and if anyone will be hurt by it.




posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 03:47 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

This may sound very stupid, but about a year or so ago i took a few of my jeans/shirts that were too skinny for me since i gained some weight, i gave them away to one of those 'salvation army' like places

Next thing i know the items are for sell on some thrift store down down the road about 5/10 a piece

LMFAO!

Charity is a very big business in third world countries.. for sure



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 04:05 AM
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originally posted by: Malisa
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

This may sound very stupid, but about a year or so ago i took a few of my jeans/shirts that were too skinny for me since i gained some weight, i gave them away to one of those 'salvation army' like places

Next thing i know the items are for sell on some thrift store down down the road about 5/10 a piece

LMFAO!

Charity is a very big business in third world countries.. for sure


Yes, you will see this with almost any donation store. I've found thrift stores are VERY often 99% rip-off for the person donating. They will hide the people who are really profiting from the organization because non-for-profits can very easily transfer assets between each other (NFP -> NFP) with little to no oversight and or reporting.

If you donate to a charity that claims to Christian, they may give or sell the the clothing to another charity, such as a moslem or white supremacist charity. Now the other organization has the items, they can do with them what they like, such as sell them for profit. These secondary charities might be one that supports terrorism or hate, but they have a layer of protection as to where they are getting their funding. They could also be paying their president or board members exorbitant salaries which means very little goes to a good cause. Of course this all can be done in the "first" charity that received the goods from the originator - it doesn't have to be a second link in the chain.

The thing is that it is more difficult to transfer the goods to a for-profit business as it's price and transfer must be approved by the board (unless it's small items & personal sales & these are tracked as well). There is a whole industry of lawyers set up to extract as much $$ from these charities as possible. You might find one person being on the board of 10+ charities and getting paid well for it, while doing very little and getting legal cover by NFP lawyers & places like the ACLU.

I've found that the BEST way to get rid of unwanted items is to post online or in the paper (often free for free items) and see who calls about it. The problem with this is I've seen a local thrift store selling a rare item that was locally listed for free a few days prior and it was for sale for over $100 and they lied to the "seller" that it was going to the thrift store. They wouldn't budge on the price even though I knew where it came from and it was all profit for them.

I'd rather an individual take some free items and re-sell them than a supposed charity doing this. A person doing this shows entrepreneurial spirit and wants to support themselves and w/o that they may resort to crime. If you aren't willing to go through the process of selling the item and they are, well that shows they have some work ethic IMO.



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 04:11 AM
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This is a really good post. Thought provoking and it's something I had never considered when donating clothes. One thing for sure is that charity is definitely a big buisness!



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 04:56 AM
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Yep, all sold by the ton.

There was a legal hoo-ha where I live a few years back after a woman took thousands £$£ from an African company for tons of donated shoes that she was supposed to ship over in a container, which she then kept and squandered.

Recycling is no different; it's not all about saving the environment, it's all about the dollar.

Even old cardboard can fetch a pretty penny or two by the ton, scrap electronics much more so.




posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 05:51 AM
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originally posted by: DonBay
This is a really good post. Thought provoking and it's something I had never considered when donating clothes. One thing for sure is that charity is definitely a big buisness!


I guess I could have expanded on the way it destroys a nation as I lacking a little in the effects and I know a lot of people will say that there are other ways to grow a country but if you think about the most fundemental of industries and the basic human needs which are food, clothing and shelter - they are completely taking away the means to provide one of these by themselves and that directly effects the other two sectors (housing & food/farming).

Since textiles could be made from cotton or flax/hemp/etc that all requires farming, so people build up their farming expertise and the more demand they have for textile products, the larger a farm can be built which eventually translates into greater production across the country in other fields of farming. Maybe 1 farmer of 1 hectare (2.5 acres) of cotton, after a few years they can afford equipment to farm 20-30 acres and hire people to work on it which supports the local people in MANY ways (it's like a pyramid of support or wealth generation).

Farming textiles also has demands for manure from cattle farmers, where very poor people could collect this and deliver it to the textile farmers. This gives value to the cattle/animal farmer & the person collecting/transporting and the textile farmer has a much higher yielding crop. This creates jobs and more value in the process.

All of the above jobs stimulates the need for nicer housing, work space/manufacturing, farm buildings, stalls, pens, etc. Since everyone has more income from the above jobs, they can hire people to build a new house or improve on it - which allows poorer people to be able to move out of slums into old houses or get work building and possibly making their own house or fixing it up with $$ from work.

This also creates a reliance on foreign imports of clothing so they have to watch what they say and what the government does. This would be much different if we were talking about exporting plastic toys to these people, where they couldn't build a toy industry. If that was the case, there would be VERY little systemic effect across these countries.

It is amazing how many things are connected when you look at removing one industry. This is the same thing where people talk about keeping the money in the community - blacks really pushed for this for a few decades - shop black, hire black, etc - because keeping the $ in a community give MUCH greater value as it is recycled throughout the community maybe 10-100 times before it is spent outside (or stolen away through illegal sanctions/extortion). Each time that $ is spent in the community is a product of labor/talent/skill and it raises all boats with the tide. It may not seem like $1 can be spent so many times in one community and have more than one positive effect, but that is a complete misunderstanding of how economy works.



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 06:39 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Not sure we should create artificial scarcity and demand to support an industry for which there is no natural market. Why not create products that people need rather that products that already exist in pathological abundance?



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 07:05 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

I saw the documentary about textile waste right after watching the one about plastic and electronic waste.

You don't hear as much about our waste problem as you do about global warming and it is a much more destructive problem that is much easier to fix. It just requires mega corps to give up some of their profit, and it call for us to send less, so it will never be truly addressed,

Many here believe in predictive programming. I suggest a watch or re-watch of Wall-E. I think they hit the nail on the head.



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 07:21 AM
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originally posted by: BiffWellington
a reply to: DigginFoTroof

Not sure we should create artificial scarcity and demand to support an industry for which there is no natural market. Why not create products that people need rather that products that already exist in pathological abundance?



I'm not sure it is creating artificial scarcity by not sending them used clothing or even new clothing. If there are items they can't manufacture then that is different. But in this case we are basically robbing them of the skills and education that would have sprung up around the entire industry (see my above post, not the OP). I would think it would be better to allow them to make their own goods and also have the option to make stuff for export than what is being done. What we have now is a lot of people unemployed because there isn't much money to build non-necessity industries, so instead of people being unemployed or fields laying fallow there could be an entire industry in the place of this barren sector.

On another note, people in Africa always complain about things such as this - that they aren't given the chance to stand on their own and that the "outsiders" are always interfering with their country & undermining the basics of their country - the economy/economics & education. After reading what is happening with this clothing issue, I have to say that there is a strong case for outsider meddling and how much it effects the countries as a whole is a little difficult to estimate, but I think it has to have a fair amount of impact from all the things I've seen.



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 07:27 AM
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a reply to: DigginFoTroof

hmmm - i am largely ignorant of the merits // demerits of this trade

so my only obervation will be - here [ UK ] a common advertising " hook " on some textiles = " egyptian cotton "

with the clear implication that its superior to other countries outputs



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 08:53 AM
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The Salvation Army runs shelters which serves people three hot meals a day during their stay, it buys groceries and clothes for those who can't afford retail, buys medications, fills car tanks with gas so stranded people can get home, among many other ways of assisting those in need.

These things require money. They accept donations to fund some of those endeavors. Their thrift stores enable people to buy good clothes, and children's clothes and shoes, sometimes furniture, at a reduced rate, while raising money to fund their programs. It's legit.

We have a giant "super-store" here for donations. I swear it's like a walmart of used items. I've heard people say they refuse to donate to it because they just sell the items.

Yes, they do. They run domestic violence shelters all over the state. A woman and her children can stay a year or two if needed. They do job training, provide a shelter, (individual little houses each occupied by two women and their children.) They will transport to medical appointments, therapy for the inevitable PTSD, and even pay for lawyers for a divorce of needed. They send a lawyer with them to court if they file assault charges against the perpetrator.

So, food must be bought, utilities bills paid, lawyers paid, vans bought and maintained for transportation, etc. The money from the thrift store goes towards those costs. It's a win-win.

I just wanted to shed some light on this. You can never go wrong donating money or anything else to a Salvation Army.
They are for real.




posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 09:37 AM
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you make rather a good point. i actually see this all the time. here the shops that sell such clothing are called Uki Uki stores. and clothing is only the tip of the iceburg. almost any "surplus" product from many countries are sold this way. the only real things that are not sold from places such as north America are electrical. and this is only due to the fact that North America, unlike most of the world uses 110 electricity instead of 220 (that would pretty much be only the stove plug and possibly a dryer plug only in a North American house). so such items are useless without having a power converter to use them.

and this goes right to cars, trucks and buses on the roads. i have called where i am the Japanese used car lot, due to all the Japanese "surplus" vehicles sold here. mainly due to the rather insane Japanese emission controls in place where you pretty much have to buy a new car every two years, or replace the engine to comply. this is one reason you can find so many cheap engines available for Japanese cars. they replace them, then sell off the used ones cheap. it is so common that most of these used Japanese cars actually have the dashboard replaces and moving the steering setup to tyurn a Japanese right hand drive vehicle into a left hand drive. my old van was like that. the steering wheel was on the left side, but so was the sliding door, making it into a "suicide door", since your passengers have to get out into traffic, not on the sidewalk. in fact just about every public transit bus is bought from countries such as Japan, China, Korea and everywhere else, as a used vehicles. the same goes for trucks and construction equipment. you can imagine just how wonderful this is for pollution, since they are in effect mostly worn out, BEFORE being sold off as surplus. likely one of the big reasons why public transit buses, and trucks are some of the biggest black smoke, pollution belchers on the roads.

even the US dumps vehicles here, how else can you explain the fact that you can buy brand new Ford SUV here for just under $10,000 cheaper than you can in North America, for the same vehicle, or about 1/4 the price cheaper? and remember you are having to pay to ship said vehicle quite literally halfway around the world, which is not cheap. but at least that way the North American manufacturers can sell the vehicles and get at least some cash, and not just leave them with the thousands of brand new vehicles left in lots to rot, in lots and fields, since they can not sell them. this has killed any chance of a real national car builder from being able to form. you just have companies like Toyota building some cars here, both for export and to sell (one reason why almost every taxi is a Toyota Vios, and there are so many private ones on the road). with the only real "homegrown" companies building rather crude vehicles out of used, surplus Japanese engines and parts. and yet again these vehicles are next in line for belching out thick, black smoke out their tailpipes. because many of those engines are well worn before being put into a "new" vehicle. add on top of that such engines and vehicles from other countries are not really cooled properly to handle the tropical climate. something that a vehicle designed and built within the country would be far better equipped to handle.



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 09:40 AM
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I too just found this out. I'm a professional Ebay seller. I go to thriftstores to find collectables and vintage clothes. I asked an employee what do they do with all the stuff that doesn't sell. He said they ship it to Asia by the truck load.



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 09:54 AM
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Agree completely.

Look at East Africa. up till about 4 years ago, I did business with entities in Kenya. Pretty much all middle class Kenyans wear 2nd-hand American clothing. It is the fashion in most of Africa. Especially popular are T-shirts made for local events like high school football homecomings, Boy Scout/Girl Scout t-shirts, etc.

From about 1960 until 1990, the Democrats controlled each US congress' "Farm Bill." Since they couldn't get subsidies approved for farmers, what the Department of Agriculture did was ship America's excess grain production to the 3rd world, particularly Africa.

The reason for the famine in Ethiopia in the 80s (requiring benefit concerts like "We are the world"), was America killed off production agriculture there. Ethiopia is the homeland of Teff, a grain that like wheat, can be used to make flour as well as be used as animal feed.

America gave away so much free wheat in the horn of Africa that native farmers could not make a profit. Which is a crying shame because Teff is much more hardy than wheat, and is an excellent horse fodder. SO much so that Teff in now imported to the US as horse feed!

Basically, America and the EU can flood a small local market with free goods that absolutely destroy all local enterprise, thus insuring "growth without development."

They learned it from the British empire, who used Egyptian cotton to cripple cotton production in India, Turkey and the US. The Egyptians quit growing wheat in the 1800s (even though Egypt had exported wheat since the times of the Roman Empire), and thus had to import wheat from England, trying to saving English farmers at the expense of Egyptian ones, who were more productive.

That's colonialism.

Since that is a racist term, now we call it "Free trade." and "globalism".
edit on 20-4-2019 by Graysen because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 10:06 AM
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Isn't, at the end of the day, up to the governments to police these things? I give my clothes to goodwill... and i think they openly resell for much cheaper.

Why are charities so hard to trust...

Nice thread OP..



posted on Apr, 20 2019 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: blueman12

Third world governments need IMF loans. Not refusing "Charity" is at the top of the list for getting your IMF loan this quarter.

Oh, and dear leader gets money in a Swiss account from Cargill, Acher Daniels Midland, and Beatrice foods. Plus he gets to "inspect" the aid, steal a chunk of it, and sell it in the local markets to pay his troops.




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