It is well known by now that most clothing which exists in Africa has been sent there by western civilization. Charities all over America and Europe gather unwanted garments and pack them into shipping containers to be sent to African port cities. Somewhere along the way, capitalist middlemen get a hold of them and the trickle down process of used shirts, jackets, pants, shoes, hats, sheets, and anything else begins.
Vacuum packed bushels of clothes, labeled something like “t-shirts XL heavy 100lbs,” are bought up by another tier of resellers and sorters who pick through the menagerie in search of the most fashionable, the most hip garb. Stuff of good style is sold to the more upscale of second hand clothes stores. The rest is bought up by whoever wants it: any number of resellers or small time hawkers hoping to take advantage of impulse-buying fashionistas in busy parts of town, or who set up stalls in central markets. At the bottom are the consumers, who end up paying decent prices for the used wardrobe filler. Continue reading