The Impact of the Second-hand Clothing Trade on Developing Countries

Publication date

01 Sep 2005

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The global trade in second-hand clothing (SHC) is worth more than $1 billion each year. Supporters of the SHC industry point out that the trade creates employment in the receiving countries (transporting, cleaning, repairing, restyling, etc.). It also provides low-cost clothing for people living in poverty. At the same time, however, there are concerns that the trade may be undermining local textile and garment industries, and livelihoods in some developing countries.This review was initiated to consider the evidence of the impact of the SHC trade on developing country producers and consumers. It focuses particularly on West Africa, as Oxfam International is active in promoting the livelihoods of cotton farmers in the region and consequently has an interest in the regional textile and clothing sectors.