[GRRN] some anecdotal information about use of "Goodwill" clothing in W

Hobbs, Mary M (HobbsM@mail01.dnr.state.wi.us)
Fri, 10 Dec 1999 12:58:19 -0600

> ----------
> From: Hobbs, Mary M
> Sent: Friday, December 10, 1999 12:25 PM
> To: 'SueBNelson@aol.com'
> Subject: RE: greenyes-d Digest V99 #368
> I have a little bit of knowledge about what happens with Goodwill clothing
> once it's shipped overseas (granted, this is anecdotal information and I
> am not completely familiar with all of the various stages and paybacks
> these items go through on their way to the village...) but, that being
> said, here's what I saw happening with Goodwill clothing when I was a
> Peace Corps volunteer serving in Mali in the early 90's: A lot of
> clothing is shipped and received at distribution points in the capital
> cities of developing countries. From there it finds its way into the
> hands of merchants who market the clothing to rural markets for pretty
> reasonable prices. There was a very active market in second hand clothing
> (referred to as "dead white peoples' clothes", because why else would
> someone throw away something that's perfectly good?) in Malian villages
> and it was very common to see local people wearing T-shirts and other
> clothing from various places around the U.S. While this clothing is not
> given away, one could argue whether or not it's necessarily a bad thing to
> create a source of income for various merchants along the supply chain.
> At any rate the prices at the village market-level are often pretty
> reasonable and there is an active demand for it. In no way would I say
> that this use of second-hand clothing is wasted--things are worn until
> they are literally in shreds, and then some other use is found for what's
> left of the garment.
> Mary Hobbs
> Madison, WI
> ----------
> From: SueBNelson@aol.com[SMTP:SueBNelson@aol.com]
> Sent: Monday, December 06, 1999 3:54 PM
> To: multiple recipients of
> Subject: Re: greenyes-d Digest V99 #368
> Having visited a vast Goodwill Store near Santa Cruz as part of a Waste
> Conference, I am not sure that these traditional stores have any concern
> for
> reuse or recycling at all. The usable items were allowed to stay on the
> racks for only a few days before they were movedout to overseas markets.
> Sorting was very minimal. There was no repair. No attempt to form textile
> reuse firms that might take some for local use. Vintage and other great
> items
> easily went through the hands of low wage workers without oversight. My
> guess is that there is very little returned to the real community. Who
> receives the goods overseas and does anyone check those profits? Sue
> Nelson,
> Los Angekese
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