Mivumba exporters press case for no ban
KAMPALA, UGANDA- Leading processors and sellers of used clothing ( mivumba) to Africa have issued a new statement defending the industry and insisted any proposed ban would diminish the lives of their customers.
The Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART) and the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) said last week even if the region was to ramp up production, it is unlikely that clothing would be affordable for those area residents.
‘According to the research-based opinion of TRA. This is further demonstrated by the fact that most, if not all, textiles manufactured in Africa are exported for sale in developed countries, including the US and UK, as opposed to being sold where they were created. With many in the East African Community living on the equivalent of $1 to $2 or less per day, secondhand clothing provides many with their only affordable access to quality apparel,’ the statment reads in part.
Referring to a recent article from Rwanda, SMART and TRA says 80% or more of the country’s population could not possibly pay to clothe themselves if they had to depend on new apparel alone.
‘Millions of tons of secondhand clothing are in demand and being purchased globally, while very little, if any, of apparel manufactured in developing countries is sold within those countries. The secondhand clothing that US and UK exporters ship into East Africa is prepared and selected specifically to meet the price and quality demands of East African populations. They are not unwanted goods dumped in the African market’, the statement reads.
SMART and TRA says the secondhand clothing industry helps close the loop on post-consumer textile waste.