The problem I have chosen is local designers loose to second-hand Stalls . This is problem due to the fact that people would rather buy a guess top at a flee market or stall second-hand at the price of R60 than at the guess shops for R480 . (Pilane, 2018)These stalls where second clothes are being sold , from underwear , shoes , dresses , pants , skirts and tops are put up in the street from Rissik to Hoek street of Johannesburg CBD . This has become a problem because not only is it causing chaos in the streets but because designer clothing as well as fast fashion items are being sold for less than its worth in the streets causing the designer clothes and items to loose its value . (Pilane, 2018)
The selling of second-hand clothes amongst us in our streets is a problem that has only increased since the 1990’s . (Pilane, 2018) The sale of second hand clothes started in the 1990’s (Pilane, 2018) in the street De Villiers , this caused chaos and led to the streets in Johannesburg looking horrid
Figure 1- Consumer between stalls
(“Redirect Notice”, 2018)
Due to this chaos an organization was started up called the African Traders Organisation , long for ATO. ATO took action in what they called ” Operational Clean Sweep” but only in 2013 after ATO was fully registered . (Pilane, 2018)This then allowed metro police Johannesburg to clear the city centers of these illegal trading stalls as well as allowed the metro police to confiscate their belongings and goods . (Pilane, 2018)
The majority of these traders are Nigerian where the other traders consist of South Africans and Malawian , these traders had a scheduled week and on certain days like Mondays and Thursdays they would take all the second-hand clothing they have collected and set up their stall to start their sales for the day . Traders then from other parts of Africa such as Kimberley and Mozambique , would then come into town to then buy these second-hand clothing items in balk only to have them resold in their communities (Pilane, 2018) . (Pilane, 2018)This all being the only way of income . (Pilane, 2018)
All of this however is seen as a criminal pursuit and because of the on going criminal activity of importing second-hand goods and clothing it has cause South Africa to implement new laws by 2002 on these importations . (Pilane, 2018)A manager from International Trade Administration , Rika Theart , claims that one can not import second-hand goods and clothing without a import
(Pilane, 2018) . Although our streets are considered horrid , the biggest second-hand clothing stalls
and sales are in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa who out of the total exports done they receive at least
30% of exports . (Karen Transberg Hansen
permit that has been issued . (Pilane, 2018) Second-hand clothing is also only allowed to be imported if the items all together match up to 2000kg (Pilane, 2018)and these clothes are also only allowed to be imported if it is for people who aren’t well off and or if to be donated to welfare organisations and NOT to be sold , (Pilane, 2018)stated by the South African Revenue Service , but clothes are still being imported to be sold and not donated leaving some of these glamorous items to loose value in these stalls .
All talk about these stalls but this has become a proper business amongst the locals . An article published in 2012 by Taryn Mackay states just that (Mackay, 2018) . In the streets of Johannesburg traders would wait from early hours in the morning (Mackay, 2018) , although still dark and cold , for the bales to be opened and for them
to collect the best thrown out items , (Mackay, 2018)filling up barrels and barrels of clothing they would then sit with the light of their phone screen and check which they would like to put out for sale , selling items such as fur coats and tartan skirts from the price of R10 . (Mackay, 2018) Although these traders are also never alone . (Mackay, 2018)They would have their bosses from Nigeria , (Mackay, 2018) watch over them and their shoppers as the items are being sold in order to make sure that the job is being done . (Mackay, 2018)
Figure 2 – Second-hand Shoes
(“Redirect Notice”, 2018)
These stalls fight for attraction and attention from buyers through music as well as on going shouting of items and their best prices . (Mackay, 2018) The trade of second-hand clothes run globally , clothing donated to charities are sold and exported in huge amounts through Africa and this has become a well-off money making scheme . (Mackay, 2018)Although it may seem like an on going operation only in Africa it is a problem that takes place world-wide . (Mackay, 2018)A journalist from Atlanta , Dan Chapman , (Mackay, 2018) states that the exports from the United States alone make a turnover of 1 billion in 2006 and this is without the thought of all the shipments from European countries for example the U.K , (Mackay, 2018) which contributes to the importing into South Africa . (Mackay, 2018) All of these on going imports and exports , South African textile unions started to have problems due to the fact that it caused local
designers in the fashion industry to suffer under their selling of their unique garments . (Mackay, 2018)
Figure 3 – Second-hand stalls Kenya
(“Redirect Notice”, 2018)
While these trades are an ongoing operation no one is considering the fact that these operations are affecting our local fashion designers and textile industries . A great example of this is the on going textile industries in Kenya and how they are being affected by the buying of second-hand clothing named mitumba . The buying of mitumba is very common in Kenya due to the fact that their people find it much easier , quicker and cheaper to buy from these stalls then to go into their shops owned by locals to buy clothes and other items and because of this it has caused their already struggling , textile industries to go down . (Majtenyi, 2018)
The selling of mitumba started in the 1980’s (Majtenyi, 2018) in Kenya but at that time their textile industries were doing well and were employing 30% labor (Majtenyi, 2018)into their factories but because of the impact on mitumba , (Majtenyi, 2018)the textile factories already started to take a down fall in the early 1990’s and this says a lot about the on going operation of second-hand cloths being sold . (Majtenyi, 2018)With the down falling in the textile industries in Kenya a law was also implemented to decrease the constant imports of second-hand clothes in 2000 . (Majtenyi, 2018)
The labor in these industries has also fallen and an example of this is also how the textile industries in Kenya went from employing 200 000 (Majtenyi, 2018)workers to only being able to employ 20 000 (Majtenyi, 2018) causing plenty job loss which then also just adds to the on going selling of second-hand clothing seeing as they have more consumers buying their clothing because they are jobless and cant afford anything else . (Majtenyi, 2018)
It has been researched that 80 percent of Africa’s population prefer second-hand clothes (Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion ) to new cloths and if this isn’t seen as a problem for our designers then there is simple no hope . In this article the writer states that in certain areas of Kenya like Kampala , there are clothes and other items that are outselling the unique local designs from African designer who even have some of their designs handmade but
it is not just our African stalls causing havoc for our local designers , Japan and Asian (Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion )countries also become part of these business schemes which has complicated the fashion design industry in our country even more causing more fall back in local designer shops and businesses . (Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion ) Stated in an article that was published Monday , 16 October 2017 , the journalist adds that these second-hand clothing industries have caused a underbid in locally produced clothing . (“Second-hand clothing showdown brewing – Agoa.info – Figure 4 – S.A Fashion Week
African Growth and Opportunity Act”, 2018) SecondHandClothesImpactingtheGrowthofAfrica’sEmergingFashion -S.AFashionWeek
Although Stephen Manzini being founder of Fashion Week in Soweto , states that there are plenty of local designers , the growth in our fashion locally has been slowed down and is taking time to find its feet in the country thus our designers are starting to sell and try and get their work oversea to help them ern their name in what they do . (Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion ) . President of New York Fashion week also states that every single African designer that participate in Fashion week in New York come from Africa , around about 50 – 75 % are Africans . (Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion )
When looking at this issue one asks ones self , well why aren’t there bigger actions being taken ? and there are . (Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion ) The EAC
(East African Community) has implied to at least six African countries that is would be best to have imported clothes , items and shoes banned completely latest 2019 . Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion
This agreement is not only being run locally but also in other countries involving ours too for example in 2016 a meeting was held with the Trump administration to inform the importance of banning imports of second-hand clothing as well as to showcase the effect this has on communities and local fashion industries but although these statistics and statements were made and shown the U.S trade representative strongly disagrees and feels that 40 000 jobs will be at risk due to the closing of the trade market involving Africa .( Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion ) The U.S trade representative also stated the trade market sayingthat,andIquote, “…
Second Hand Clothes Impacting the
Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion)
With this being said and mentioned above , the East African organization sit with a problem that faces the stopping of imported second-hand clothes and goods without disrupting their relationship with the U.S
imports from Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda totaled $43 million in
2016, up from $33 million in 2015. U.S. exports to Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda were $281 million
in 2016, up from $257 million in 2015. Finally, the East African region purchased $100 million of used
clothes and shoes, mostly from Europe and the United States in 2001, and in 2015 $151 million worth.
In fine, it is an American interests to keep things as they are.” (
(Second Hand Clothes Impacting the Growth of Africa’s Emerging Fashion) so it leaves them at square
one again facing the matters of the destruction in local fashion industries because of these stalls and
although we intend to mean well by donating and throwing away our used up garments we are only
adding to poverty caused by job losses and the struggle for our local designers to improve and grow in
their talents .
(“Second-hand clothing showdown brewing – Agoa.info – African Growth and Opportunity
This problem carries illegal traits too like a few mentioned above as well as this example where India
struggles with smuggling of second-hand garments under the radar and the majority of these clothes are
not wearable but clothing that has been mutilated (meaning cut up , broken down) and it is not a few but
consists of 60% of all the clothing that’s being smuggled into India
(“Second-hand clothing showdown
brewing – Agoa.info – African Growth and Opportunity Act”, 2018)
but just where there are winners there are loosen in every business aspect and in this case it runs both ways for the traders because where others
are loosing jobs this is now creating jobs for example the textile recycling association in Kandla employees +- 3000 people a year to manage the second-hand trading and recycling . (“Second-hand
clothing showdown brewing – Agoa.info – African Growth and Opportunity Act”, 2018)
There is a way to understand this issue because when you look at the pricing of clothes , being a sensual need , people of poor families can not afford new clothes but what fashion industries especially in the fast fashion industries don’t understand is that , yes lowering costs on garments are a great deal but they are only adding to their problem which is people can not afford clothes through lowering their payments they pay their employees to cutting on their labor and also having cotton farmers and other farming of fabrics to add to the joblessness through having to also cut on their labor wages .
This is an on going battle that seems to have no end to it and it is a sad topic to look into but as a designer I feel it is needed to look deeper into this problem that is not just created from scratch but that has started and grown due to other issues regarding clothes in the fashion industry and I see it as a continues battle amongst communities and local as well as international designers that has to be faced day by day until a great solution can be implemented world-wide because at this stage the only way to make an impact regarding this problem of second-hand trades in clothing is to have countries come together to solve this , but for now all I can offer to help this on going operation is to start a small business located in different communities that can buy these second- hand clothes for a little more than price offered off the street in bulk allowing these people at the stalls to still have an earning .
After buying these clothes in bulk I will take it back to my running factory and have these clothes washed and taken apart , allowing job opportunities back into the fashion industry so this way I will also be helping with job losses locally , after this process these clothes will be up- cycled , meaning I will see what I have and design accordingly using these wasted fabrics and then legally have them sold to local communities for reasonable pricing through putting up local little walk in shops which also bring in more labor .
Although I have this solution there are obviously , like with any idea , constrains and there are a few constrains regarding this business idea which is money , of cores money because nothing in todays day and age can exist with no money and in order to start this business it will be quite costly regarding the amounts of labor , fuel for pickups , water and lights , washing liquid , thread , rent or loans to buy property and so much more a solution that could help with this is donations but they still keeps the startup process constricted .
Challenges that I will have to face are loyalty amongst myself and employees as well as amongst the employees themselves as well as the hard work of day today thinking from scratch to worthy designs out minimum amounts of certain type of fabric collected .
The impact I would like to make from my solution is to allow people to see there is hope in change , there are a little easier job opportunities and as a designer to another designer I would like designers in the fashion industry to realise that there are ways of designing without heavy costs involved .
In conclusion to my research on my problem it is clear that it is something that is being brawled with for many years and it is something I would like to resolve even if with a small amount of help through my business up bringing described in my solution