The trade has been been politically contentious for decades, largely on the grounds that it threatens domestic industries. The Philippines has prohibited imports of used clothing since 1966, while more countries, from Indonesia to Rwanda, have followed suit in the last decade. The latest flashpoint is Uganda, where President Yoweri Museveni pledged to ban the trade late last month.
Increasingly the waste created by these imports is also an issue — if not always part of the political conversation. Roughly 40 percent of everything that passes through Ghana’s Kantamanto market, one of the world’s largest secondhand clothing hubs, is not fit to sell and ends up in landfill, according to nonprofit The Or Foundation.
But banning the trade raises its own complexities: The sector supports tens of thousands of jobs in both importing and exporting countries; many consumers rely on it for affordable fashion; And even without used clothing, domestic industries would still struggle to compete with cheap imports from China.
Read the full story on why secondhand fashion is so political. #linkinbio