Second-hand clothing chokes textile industry 

SHARE   |   Monday, 20 November 2017   |   By Shingirai Madondo
Second-hand clothing chokes textile industry 

The sale of second-hand clothing has become widespread in Francistown and the rest of the country. But while it may benefit many people, especially the poor, players in the apparel industry say it harms their industry. Secondhand clothing continues to flood the local apparel market unabated, taking a significant share of the clothing market and leaving local fashion designers and manufacturers teetering on the brink of collapse. A number of players in the textile industry declared during a Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) media tour in Francistown and the surrounding villages that secondhand clothing market has grown considerably and was now hurting them. LEA organised a media tour to give them an opportunity to appreciate their efforts in nurturing and mentoring Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) in the country. Tuincy Tabutshwa of Bush-T Fashions said an influx of secondhand clothing in the Francistown textile market is hurting her business. She said her plans to expand have been thrown into disarray as a result. “Sellers of these secondhand clothing are selling them at very low prices. The prices for secondhand clothing are as low as P50,” lamented a youthful Tabutshwa whose operations are situated at Somerset West Industrial Area in Francistown. Tabutshwa said clients are only visiting them to alter secondhand clothing items. “Fashion designers here have been turned into apparel alters. This is so because the secondhand clothing items are hard to resist. These secondhand clothes are long-lasting but being bought at very low prices,” said Tabutshwa. According to Tabutshwa, the development has resulted in fashion designers cutting off the workforce. Furthermore, Tabutshwa said most of the apparel designers’ plans to expand have been shelved indefinitely. The Commercial Manager at Francistown Knitters Peter Matambo echoed Tabutshwa’s sentiments. Matambo said most of the buyers prefer to buy secondhand clothing rather than designer apparels. LEA Communications Manager, Wanetsha Mosinyi said they will lobby the Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry to regulate the importation of secondhand clothing. 



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