Accra, the capital of Ghana, boasts a significant market dedicated to the trade of worn and used clothing. This market plays a crucial role in mitigating the disposal of old garments into landfills or water bodies, thereby contributing to a healthier environment.

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Ghana’s thriving market for second-hand clothing serves as an effective means to prevent the unnecessary accumulation of discarded apparel in landfills and water sources. By providing an avenue for the redistribution and reuse of used clothing items, this market contributes to the reduction of waste and pollution.

An interesting facet of this trade is that in the local language of Ghana, old used clothes are referred to as “Oburonibau,” a term that translates to “clothes of deceased white people.” This unique linguistic distinction underscores the diverse origins and cultural intersections associated with the second-hand clothing trade in the region.

A significant volume of used clothing is procured by Ghana on a monthly basis, with an estimated purchase of 6000 tons. This consistent demand for pre-owned garments reflects the country’s commitment to sustainable practices and waste management. Rather than allowing these items to deteriorate in landfills or contribute to water pollution, the market facilitates their continued use, thus contributing to the overall balance of the ecosystem.


The economic impact of this industry is noteworthy as well. In 2021 alone, Ghana imported used clothing with a total value of 21.12 crore dollars. These imports primarily originate from countries such as Britain, Germany, South Korea, and China. This trade not only bolsters Ghana’s economy but also underscores the international nature of the second-hand clothing market.

In essence, Accra’s thriving market for worn and used clothing serves as a beacon of sustainable consumption and waste management. By reinvigorating old garments, preventing their premature disposal, and offering economic benefits, this market contributes to a healthier environment, while also highlighting the intricate cultural and economic connections that span the globe.


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