Exporting Used Garments to Poor Countries

Exporting Used Garments to Poor Countries

Last year, I went to see the Africa Fashion exhibit at Brooklyn Museum. Seeing the beautiful traditional fabrics from all over Africa and works of contemporary African fashion and textile designers was exciting and inspiring.

You might be surprised if I tell you that we are threatening regional textile cultures of many countries by exporting cheap used clothes and shoes. People in developed countries may donate their used garments from good will, but in fact, some of them are exported and end up in Africa and other poor countries are hurting the local traditional textile industries, because imported second hand clothes are cheaper than the traditional indigenous garments they used to buy and wear.

Traditional textiles are handmade and environmentally conscious by nature, and made from local materials. People made them locally and consumed them locally for generations. But many cheap second hand clothes from developed countries are partially synthetic, and foreign to their native soil. It's time for us to realize that we are just exporting garbage.

According to Green America, 700,000 tons of used clothing gets sent to other countries annually. We should responsibly take care of our own effects. Scrap Artisan creates not only well crafted products from recycled materials for sale, but also instructional videos. So that more people actively participate in the movement of protecting our planet. We all live on one planet.

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