Kenya’s used clothes industry still in recovery after COVID-19 disruptions

0
181
NAIROBI, KENYA - APRIL 3: A salesman carries his second hand clothes at Gikomba market in Nairobi, Kenya on April 3, 2017. Kenyan government's exhortation on buying new clothes instead of second hand shopping creates mobility in the textile market in Kenya. (Photo by Noor Khamis/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
FILE PHOTO: A salesman carries his second hand clothes at Gikomba market in Nairobi, Kenya. (Photo by Noor Khamis/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Kenya’s vibrant secondhand clothes and footwear industry is still in the process of recovery months after the government lifted a ban imposed on the importation of the goods following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ban, imposed in March as a precautionary health measure, seriously affected traders and customers in the industry, whose goods are popularly known as ‘mitumba’.

Many traders saw their businesses decline while some were forced out of the industry altogether as they wound up or opted to search for work opportunities in other fields.

Customers, meanwhile, stayed away following the imposition of a night-time curfew and an order against mass gatherings.

CGTN spoke to some traders in Nairobi’s Gikomba market, one of the largest and busiest secondhand clothes markets in the country, to find out their thoughts on the lifting of the ban, the phased re-opening of the economy and the state of their businesses.

Leave a Reply