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In the beginning, it appears to be a win-win situation for everyone involved; Western charities receive much-needed revenue, African buyers with weak purchasing power get low-priced, well-made clothing, and merchants find eager customers for their merchandise.
But some experts say that the mass influx of cheap hand-me-downs from the West could have a much more negative impact.
"The long-term effect is that countries such as Malawi or Mozambique or Zambia can't really establish or protect their own clothing industries if they are importing second-hand goods," says Andrew Brooks, lecturer at King's College London and co-author of a study called "Unravelling the Relationships between Used-Clothing Imports and the Decline of African Clothing Industries."
"Your t-shirt may be quite cheap for someone to buy, but it would be better if that person could buy a locally manufactured t-shirt, so the money stays within the economy and that helps generate jobs," he adds.
Brooks says that whilst used t-shirts, jeans and dresses can satisfy a basic need for affordable clothing, they ultimately help keep people in poverty.
"Second-hand clothing maintains the status quo," he says. "It doesn't help the poor get richer, it just keeps things as they are at the moment."
Isnt this what the world economy is all about?
Its a question of: There are for most Africans very little hope of ever getting hold of the capital to buy the sewing machines,fabric and apparatus necessary to do so-leave alone the money to pay wages,especially in the difficult starting days of any small business.
ha! sounds like you and I have a lot in common Mid-Century Modern, Atomic age is our family passion and our house shows it. My daughter goes to the Goodwill store on dollar bag day's buys the clothes she likes and other items she knows have value. she resells the one's she doesn't keep to a local vintage clothes store. She helped pay her way through college with this and other things. Her job at a health food store kept her fed with the produce and other blemished produces which the managerment allowed the employees to take home(she's a smart kid,22 y/o, and has a recent state college degree!).
Originally posted by wildtimes
Thanks to you latest posters! So, I'm not alone, whew!!
You have each made excellent points. All true.
Yeah, I live in a house that's 74 years old, filled with found or thrift/garage sale/discarded furniture that will last forever, wear clothes until they're rags, and drive a 97 Honda (my 89 just died ). My husband's truck is a 98, and it and my car are both paid for. We sock away extra money rather than getting 'credit' for large purchases. If we can't afford it, we don't buy it. It's the way families make ends meet.
I also buy scratch-and-dent or close-out stuff when we have to replace appliances, maintain the house, etc.
edit on 12-4-2013 by wildtimes because: (no reason given)
I think that by showing people how to be self sufficient you can help them.