Ghanaians are battling against the global fast fashion industry by reselling discarded western clothes in ‘vintage’ sales.
Young men and women can be spotted in Ghana’s capital, Accra, bartering over Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead and tie-dye tees, army surplus jackets and Adidas sneakers.
Founders of the Vintage Gala – Prince Quist and James Edem Doe Darey – said they brought together a movement of young fashion enthusiasts to encourage their peers to shop secondhand.
Prince, 23, said: ‘If you wear clothes that were made back in the day… you are helping the environment by not using the raw materials and other things needed to make new ones.’
James, also 23, added: ‘The idea is just to inspire everybody to thrift vintage, because secondhand goods aren’t second class stuff.
‘Shopping vintage makes recycling even better.’
Ghana receives around 15 million items of used clothing each week from Western countries and China. The items are offloaded in bulk, often at negligible prices and questionable quality.
Ghana receives around 15 million items of used clothing each week from Western countries and China (Picture: Reuters)
James Dartey, a fashion retailer, displays second-hand clothes for sale during a vintage clothes gala event (Picture: Reuters)
According to the US based Or Foundation, around 40% of the products ultimately ends up in massive urban landfills.
However, hours before sunrise several times per week, Prince and James comb through Kantamanto, one of the largest garment markets in Africa, searching for gems they can resell on Instagram pages.
They believe buying secondhand not only helps to reduce fashion’s environmental impact, but also allows them and their customers to express unique styles apart from current trends.
The founders of the Vintage Gala are encouraging their peers to shop secondhand (Picture: Reuters)
Young people can be spotted bartering over Pink Floyd, Grateful Dead and tie-dye tees (Picture: Reuters)
Their message is simple: buy secondhand, make a difference.
‘Remove the whole notion that you only wear vintage when you are poor, or you only wear thrifted stuff when you don’t have money,’ said creatie Myra Davis outside the Vintage Gala event.
‘It’s been here for years. Why go and produce more when there’s more than enough available to you?’
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‘Why go and produce more when there’s more than enough available to you?’