Ukay-ukay stores seem helpful in waste management for promoting the reuse and recycling of old clothes. However, the reality of this business is that it not so friendly to the environment.
Traders of second-hand clothes rummage through piles of donated garments from America, China and Europe at the Kantamanto Market in Ghana. Fifteen million used clothing and factory overruns are shipped to the West African country every week, but not all of it would be resold. About 40 percent of the dumped fashion goods are damaged and unwanted ones that end up in overflowing landfills, according to a BBC report.
Polyester and synthetic fabrics then wash into the sea affecting marine life, Roberta Annan, United Nations goodwill ambassador, told BBC. Annan claims the global fashion industry’s overproduction translates to $500 billion worth of wastage every year.
Consumer demand drives garments overproduction, so people can help solve the problem by minimizing their purchases and disposal of outlived clothes. One group of people has another approach to this issue.
Supporters of “Street Stitchers” recently participated in public stitching events in 50 cities across Britain and 15 other countries to mark Sustainable Fashion Week last month. They mended their clothes in front of big fast fashion retailers.
Street Stitching movement founder Suzi Warren said the event aims “to raise awareness on the necessity to repair garments rather than buy new ones.”
Another group’s solution is even bolder than Warren’s alternative to buying a lot of disposable clothes.
Members of the group harvested grapes at the vineyard of the Herdade Canal Caveira Estate near Grandola, Portugal. It was the first of its kind activity of the Portuguese Naturism Federation when they picked grapes wearing only shoes and hats and nothing in between.