Mivumba ex­porters press case for no ban

East African Business Week - - NEWS - BY JOHN SAMBO

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.

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