Senegal's Second Hand Clothing Boom
- Published on Sep 8, 2016
- Global Thrift Store (2014): In Senegal, cotton fields stretch as far as the eye can see. Yet this natural wealth is increasingly overlooked in favour of used foreign imports as the country experiences a boom in second-hand trading from Europe.
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"The French throw these clothes away? Really? They throw them away?" Fatou Dia, an employee at one of Senegal's second-hand sorting centres, is surprised to learn the origin of their stock. The country is experiencing a boom in second-hand trading, and separating unwanted garments enables Fatou to equip her daughter with school supplies. "I'm buying it little by little. I buy one thing, and then the next thing the next month. In this way, I manage". What is a lifeline to some is a business opportunity to others. "As far as wealth is concerned, human beings are never sated. Because he who does not have his own house is nothing". For Aliou Diallo, this cheap European clothing was a route to a better life. But in a country whose textile industry is rapidly disappearing from view, are these new imports doing more harm than good?
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