May 27, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Kenya’s mitumba dealers push for setting up of re-export facilities

Second-hand clothing (mitumba) retailers in Kenya want the government to set up sorting centers as such facilities would allow the country to export clothing to high-demand markets in the US and Europe.

< p >”Sorting plants will help achieve Kenya’s goal of becoming one of the leading high-value-added, high-wage and high-skill economies in Africa,” said Teresia Wairimu, Chair of the Mitumba Association of Kenya, adding: ” Sorting facilities should be set up in free zones given the benefits of being able to import goods into the zone without paying duties.”

The association, which lobbies for the sector, has asked for evidence of the economic Importance fought and relevance of trade. Kenya and other EAC member countries plan to reduce dependency on second-hand clothing by promoting measures to ban the trade, pushing for the revitalization of the cotton-growing industry and encouraging local fabric manufacturers to increase local clothing production and sales /p>

But for now the trade is thriving, with only Rwanda taking concrete steps towards its eventual ban.

Cost cutting

At a media conference in Nairobi on April 24th the association said that sorting centers will reduce the costs incurred along the supply chain.

Commercial sorting centers sorting second-hand clothes are all located outside the continent, with the main centers being in southern Asia , Canada, Belgium, Netherlands and Hungary. This is despite the fact that Africa has one of the largest markets for used clothing in the world.

According to the Global Production Networks of the Second-Hand Clothing Industry report, four out of five people on the continent wear second-hand clothing . Hand wash.

In the sorting centers, garments are pressed into 50-kilogram bales and exported. Unsorted second-hand clothes are baled into 500kg to 1000kg bales, which limits exports.

“The better sorted used clothes are exported to Central American countries and the worse sorted clothes go to Africa and Asia shipped.” said Ms. Wairimu.

Special Preference

“If all second-hand clothes were sorted here and not abroad, Kenya would gain up to 14,000 additional jobs,” added they add.


But Johnson Weru, senior secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Enterprise Development, said: “One of the things we’ve done is give government procurement a special preference for our local textile industry admit. We are very keen to promote our local textile industry.”

The Mitumba Association said its efforts are intended to complement government action.

“There are too many Misunderstandings and misinformation regarding the role of the second-hand clothing sector following multiple attempts to shut down the industry entirely in certain countries,” said Ms. Wairimu.