It’s mid December and our adventure begins in Gambia. From Gambia we travel through to Senegal. Where Gambia was relatively touristic, Senegal is less. The weather is lovely, about 30 degrees Celsius, we could get used to that!
We travel to Senegal by taxi. What a lovely chaos. There are even donkey carts on the road, it’s incredible. Lots of green, mangroves and of course an abundance of palm trees. The beaches are beautiful, it’s a bounty paradise and has an extremely calming effect.
We are walking through the small town looking for clothing shops and stands. It is very busy and there are loads of different shops. Soon enough we spot a clothing store, and plenty of them. The shops are small and often protected by corrugated cardboard on the roof. Most have a stand set up at either side of the road so they can quickly gather their stuff at the end of the day and take everything home. Every day they come back to their spot to set up their stand again and sell their clothing. All the clothing is neatly sorted, trousers with trousers, a whole collection of used shoes set up next to each other. The shirts are in a bigbag, enough to cater for the high demand.
We talk to a few local ‘shop owners’ to ask how they feel about so many second hand clothing being imported from the West. The people are very happy. They buy the relatively cheap clothing in batches of 55 kg for a very good bulk price. Once in their stand, they sell it per piece. This way they earn a good income every day that is enough to live from, feed their families and the best thing is that they have a constant flow of work.
They tell us that ten years ago there weren’t as many clothing shops, but now there are a lot more because the demand for second hand clothing from the West has risen. The clothing is mainly bought by locals. Even though you see that some still buy their traditional African clothing, most find their way to the clothing shops and stands with our second hand clothing.
We have taken a lot of pictures to give you a better insight on what the clothing markets in Africa look like. Of course this is only a small part of where the clothing is sold. Soon we will share some videos with you from our visit to a second hand clothing store in Poland, a completely different environment which also asks for different kinds of clothing.
- Natascha & Jeroen, Bag2School Netherlands