Ghana’s Vintage Enthusiasts Give New Life to Western Clothing Waste

By Francis Kokoroko and Cooper Inveen

ACCRA Reuters – Young men and women in Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead and tie-dye T-shirts stock up on surplus military jackets and Adidas sneakers as the sun sets in the courtyard of a shipping container in the Ghanaian capital Accra. We exchanged live deejays and spun Afrobeat classics. .

Named by 23-year-old founders Prince Quist and James Edem Doe Dirty, the Vintage Gala has sparked a backlash against the global fast fashion industry by encouraging young vintage enthusiasts to encourage their peers to shop second-hand. I was.

“By wearing clothes that were made in the past, you are helping the environment by not using the raw materials and other things needed to make new ones.” Online shop, TT Vintage Store.

“The idea is to encourage everyone to be thrifty with vintage because second-hand goods are not second-rate goods,” Dirty added.

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Ghana receives a large volume of approximately 15 million items of used clothing each week from Western countries and China, many of which are of negligible prices and questionable quality. About 40% of this ends up in large urban landfills, according to the US-based Or Foundation.

Many pass through Accra’s Kantamant, one of the continent’s largest clothing markets. There, bales of used clothes are sold based on the expected quality of the clothing wrapped inside.

Several times a week, hours before sunrise, vintage enthusiasts like Quist and Dartey comb through rivers of imported clothing in Kantamant, which can be resold on their Instagram page, which has thousands of followers in Ghana and abroad. Look for gems.

They believe that buying second-hand not only helps reduce the environmental impact of fashion, but also allows them and their customers to express a unique style that differs from current trends.

Their message is simple.

Outside of a vintage gala event, creative Myra Davis said, “Let’s get rid of the whole idea of ​​wearing vintage only when you’re poor or secondhand only when you don’t have money.”

“I’ve been here for years,” she said. “Why go to produce when there is plenty available?”

(Reporting by Francis Kokoroko and Cooper Inveen; Editing by Peter Graff)

Copyright 2022 Thomson Reuters.

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