Art Prints
 

Out of Africa : Donated clothing and other things


This week one particular entry in Leyna’s blog caught my attention. “14 September 2018. There is a huge mystery I need to learn more about. There are TONS of clothes here coming from the US. Not only the well known domestic brands but also items such as T-shirts from small hometown events in the states. One of the weirdest ones I have encountered is one from a camp in St. Louis Missouri (through the Education Department at the St. Louis Zoo)


where I used to work. One of the men involved in my study on sea turtles and fisheries was wearing a shirt from the camp! What are the chances?! In another instance, a colleague bought an H & M vest for his kid on the side of the road (as I’ve said - you can get anything on the streets).”

The blog posts a link to an article from the BBC reporting that our local thrift and charity stores sell the locally unsold donated clothing to different countries. In the case of the USA, most of it seems to go to “other” countries (see https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30227025) , including to the U.K., which in turn sells and sends a big chunk of its donated items to Ghana. The items end up being sold on the streets just as witnessed by Leyna. So much for not wanting to adhere to globalism. 😊😊😉 (just an observation from the last UN meeting).

I agree with her that this has good and bad aspects. It does indeed prevent the clothes to end up in the landfill, by sending them to foreign countries where they are offered on the cheap. At the same time, while it does some good on one front, it also undermines the local textile industry and takes away from the local culture. Besides, I agree with Leyna, donated clothes should NOT be resold. They should be offered and given for free. What’s the use of cheap if you don’t have the money to spend? What do you think? I’d welcome feedback and thoughts on the subject.