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RELEASE: Waste in Ghana's second-hand clothing trade is less than claimed

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RELEASE: Waste in Ghana's second-hand clothing trade is less than claimed

(Information sent by the signatory company)

- Research by the Ghana Used Clothing Dealers Association shows that waste in Ghana's second-hand clothing trade is dramatically less than claimed

ACCRA, Ghana, May 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- New academic research published today in the West African country of Ghana shows that waste in the second-hand clothing (SHC) sector is dramatically lower than previously thought. had previously stated.

The report released by the Ghana Used Clothing Dealers Association showed that less than 5% of second-hand clothing imported into Ghana could be considered waste.

The data-driven report is the first academic study of its kind and demonstrates that the second-hand clothing market in Ghana is a robust and sustainable ecosystem that contributes to the global circular economy.

Speaking on the report, Edward Atobrah Binkley, General Secretary of the Ghana Used Clothing Dealers Association, said:

"The continued use of inaccurate information circulating in some media about the second-hand clothing trade must stop.

"Those who have spent years using and repeating false and inaccurate figures on waste in trade should now apologize for the damage they have caused.

"This report shows that commerce is low waste and an essential part of the global circular economy, providing a solution to the climate change and waste challenges the world faces, as well as the overconsumption of fast fashion that is causing damage on a global scale.

"It is also critical to Ghana's economy and lifestyle, providing affordable clothing to millions of people, while supporting livelihoods across the country and contributing significantly to the Ghanaian government's tax revenue.

"Policymakers should be extremely cautious before continuing to regulate already well-managed and regulated global trade based on flawed data and misleading figures."

The report launched today in Accra found that SHC trading in Ghana serves as a cornerstone of the country's retail landscape, deeply embedded in its cultural and economic fabric. The industry has evolved into a dynamic ecosystem, offering affordable clothing options to consumers while supporting a significant proportion of Ghana's livelihoods, stimulating economic activity and encouraging entrepreneurship.

It also found that the trade was a notable example of the circular economy in action; reducing waste, promoting resource efficiency and enabling sustainable consumption. The second-hand clothing trade is an antidote to the harmful effects of the global fast fashion industry, which promotes exploitative labor practices, environmental degradation, excessive waste generation and unsustainable consumption patterns.

The report examined the multifaceted nature of Ghana's SHC industry, exploring its economic contributions, demographic dynamics and socio-environmental implications, while highlighting opportunities for sustainable growth and development.

The research, which found that on average a maximum of 5% of imported baled clothing could be considered waste, demonstrated that the prevailing international perception is not only wrong, but economically insecure and deeply condescending.

It raises important questions about the prevailing narrative and should lead policymakers in the Global North to reexamine some of the unhelpful cultural assumptions they may have made about Africans' ability to make informed decisions and our agency in the SHC trade.

This research dismantles many of the negative perceptions about the SHC trade, while raising serious questions for activists and governments about what has led them to uncritically accept and propagate a misleading narrative around waste.

A full copy of the report can be found here.

Notes to editors:

For media inquiries or further information, please contact the Ghana Used Clothing Dealers Association: events@usedclothinggh.org, 447759764174, 233540946151

The Ghan Used Clothing Dealers Association

The Ghana Used Clothing Dealers Association is the representative body of all traders and importers of used clothing, bags and shoes in Ghana and was created to represent all traders of used clothing, bags and shoes, regardless of any control or external authority.

The Association was established to ensure the organization of all importers and traders of used clothing, bags and shoes in Ghana into a unified association and serve as their advocate and to uphold the dignity and promote the general welfare of importers, wholesalers and retailers of all used clothing, bags and shoes importers and distributors in Ghana.

The association provides an effective means of communication between importers and distributors of used clothing, bags and footwear and the government, as well as various stakeholders.

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