Friday, August 11, 2006

Second Hand

Please go read this article about second hand clothing making its way to Africa and having a huge effect on local economies over there.

What do you think?

5 comments:

Theodora said...

Fascinating and disturbing. I remember going to Uganda in 1993 and seeing a used clothing market. The missionaries shopped there too.

Three things to wonder about...I wonder when the "tipping point" is, when Africa *cannot* produce clothes any more and so will either need recycled clothes or go naked...I wonder how you get Americans to stop buying and discarding so much goddamned stuff...I wonder what you can do with recycled clothes that would be useful and helpful. Could we turn it into paper, for example?

Also, there is a patch of floating debris in the Pacific Ocean somewhere between Alaska and Hawaii. The currents make a slow swirl in that place, and so all the plastic bottles, flip flops, garbage bags, etc., that reach the sea end up in the Great Patch. It's TWICE the size of Texas. We are apparently doing the same thing to Africa.

Amy said...

That is fascinating. I had no idea that is what happened to so many clothes given to Goodwill. I agree with Theodora, Americans buy too much stuff. I try not to overbuy clothes, which of course begs the question, how much is enough? Especially given our Lord's directive to not worry about what we are going to wear...

the womom said...

This is very interesting---thank you for posting.
I go back and forth with Goodwill.
Working with homeless children has made me really question the way shopping at Goodwill has turned "shabby chic"---it seems the side-effect will only be higher priced items for those who are truly in need--yet recycling and buying American-made is also important.

alana said...

Whenver I throw away something that is hopelessly worn out I wonder about recycling possibilities for fabric, such as paper as theodora mentioned.

Meanwhile, there are dust rags, old cloth quilts, rag rugs, etc. that could be made...if one were industrious.

I think lack of domestic industriousness (I'd rather watch TV thann do something with my hands in the evening) is ONE component of the problem. Overconsumption is another.

alana said...

I should clarify: I'd rather watch a DVD than do something with my hands. No TV here.