General News of Thursday, 12 February 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Ghana is the second highest receiver of used clothes (obroni wawu) from the United Kingdom (UK). According to a 2013 figures from the United Nations Comtrade Database, Ghana spent $65 million on importing used clothes from the UK. These clothes according to the BBC were donated to charity homes but ended up being bought by new owners as they were traded off for profit. The UK is the second largest used clothing exporter after the US. It exported more than £380m ($600m), worth of discarded fashion overseas in 2013.
The 10 top destinations in 2013 were Poland, Ghana, Pakistan, Ukraine, Benin, Kenya, Hungary, Togo, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and The Netherlands, the UN figures indicated.
Effect on Ghana’s economy
Dr Andrew Brooks, a lecturer in development geography at King’s College London, in his book Clothing Poverty, believed that the flow of old clothing from the Western world as well as the availability of cheap, new garments from East Asia – has had a negative effect on local textile industries in many countries.
This was particularly so in Sub-Saharan Africa, where a third of all globally donated clothes are sold, he said.
Dr Brooks pointed to Ghana as an example of a country where local industries have been particularly negatively affected.
According to him, Ghana’s textile and clothing employment fell by 80% between 1975 and 2000.