Shaded by ragged squares of canvas, amid choking dust and the noise of hawkers, shoppers can turn up Tommy Hilfiger jeans or a Burberry jacket for a fraction of the price in London’s Regent Street or New York’s Fifth Avenue.
But a number of countries in East Africa are fed up with the onslaught of secondhand items they receive from Western nonprofits and wholesalers, and want to ban such imports altogether.
Extra21stChromosome: Good thing I donated those facebook likes instead of my Atlanta Falcons Super Bowl Champions gear. Saved so many lives from choking.
nyamiraman: Can confirm, in Kenya we call them ‘Mitumba’. I’m currently wearing a shirt that says ’40th Annual Bluegrass, June 20-23rd 2013′,.Most of my shirts have something similar on them.Most of the sweat pants I have now are also previously owned by some American.
I like them because they are cheap, but in the long term it’s more economical to just buy original new clothes that tend to last longer.
giraffevomitfacts: A friend a friend of mine was in Africa (it’s a big continent, I know) and attended a church ceremony. The pastor was wearing an oversized novelty t-shirt that read **CERTIFIED MUFF DIVER.**
Murdoc_The_Best: I think there was a documentary called “Poverty Inc.” on Netflix that goes into this more in depth as well.
Basically all of our donations stifle economic growth. Why buy a shirt when we get free ones every year from the losing Superbowl team?
TooShiftyForYou: When sports teams win major championships they always have the shirts and hats saying they’re the champs ready to pun on immediately after the game. The clothing manufacturers make apparel for both teams and the losing teams gear is usually donated to 3rd world countries. So it’s pretty interesting that there are thousands of people in Africa wearing “Atlanta Falcons 2017 Super Bowl Champions” shirts and the like.
richiau: I honestly have no idea clothing was actually going there. I thought it went to charity shops for local resale, and then the money went to those countries that needed it.
kovyvok: Fine! There are plenty of other countries that will take my Hootie and the Blowfish 1994 tour shirt.
pricklycoconut: It’s actually pretty hilarious some of the clothes you see Africans wearing with no idea what they say. Saw a Masai boy in Tanzania wearing a “Bush Cheney ’04” t- shirt.
Lots of DARE shirts too.
Voltarity: It’s the same problem with food as well. If we dump a bunch of grain into the market for cheap/free, the people actually producing grain over there- guess what- don’t sell any grain. And when grain production isn’t profitable anymore no grain gets produced.
There may be ways we can genuinely help these people. Infrastructure development and water purification are a couple of those ways. But let’s focus on the diseases instead of acting like our foreign support is the only way these people are ever going to be able to keep themselves alive. Otherwise that may will end up being the case.
SuperPinball2000: Just watched an “Adam ruins everything” episode related to this…
dirmip: Well what can I do now?
SirReginaldBartleby: Want to help Africa? Stop sending money.
-RagnarDanneskjold-: There is a lesson here many don’t want to learn….
clivederekson: Same thing happened with EU dumping its excess farm produce in Africa. Local businesses went bankrupt and eventually the food ran out, and people starved.
Toppi_The_Topic: All aid ultimately screws over underdeveloped countries. Don’t read about teacher training programs in Africa unless you wanna get really depressed.
Tom Hardy’s eye-acting is next level. I thought his Bane was incredible even though his face was covered and you could barely understand him the whole movie.
Alaska_Jack: >> Devastated local clothing industries
Hmm. Isn’t this just a variation of Basquiat’s [Broken Window](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_broken_window) Fallacy?
I mean, it may be true that free clothing is devastating the local clothing industry. But overall, this should be far outweighed by the fact that everyone else is getting *clothing for free*; thus freeing up income that they can then spend *on other things* and creating a more prosperous economy overall.
IM3dpenguin: Similar to the US textile companies all going out of business because of all our importation from Asia?
youseeit: They just got tired of wearing Morrissey World Tour shirts
George_Kaplan: Wasn’t that the plan?
famnf: There’s an excellent documentary called “Poverty, Inc.” that explains this phenomenon and the entire “charity” industry that has a vested interest in keeping poor countries poor. Really can’t recommend it enough. It’s streaming on Netflix.
Jor94: Who’d have thought that you can’t sustain a continent on donations.
viper12a1a: You mean just giving people things undermines their ability to produce and grow?
Cavemandrew: My friend went to Tanzania once and was in a small village and he said it was so bizzare because the kids were all wearing WWF Stone cold t-shirts.
IMO it’s not about take it or leave it.
More like let’s see what’s working and learn from it. Maybe this does create foreign dependency. If so, let’s change how we provide assistance.
I don’t think people are ungrateful, but if the help is having a negative impact why not address it.
WTFwhatthehell: I remember a documentary on the parasitic systems that build up around aid in some countries.
There was one of those programs to provide tools and things like beehives to poor farmers. So a farmer dutifully applied for some help.
Unfortunately the local government was corrupt as hell and a standard way for someone in power to help those he favors was to hand out the legal right to skim money off local transactions.
The charities have to follow local laws of course.
So the aid payment needed to go through a bunch of sets of approvals, the justifications were the standard bollox: the inspection by the governors cousin was to make sure the aid wasn’t drug money being laundered, the inspection by the governors brother in law was to to make sure that the cash was really going to a local and wasn’t some other kind of scam.
Indeed any single piece of inspection you could sort of see someone making some kind of justification for.
But each one also applied fees, after all they’ve got to cover the costs of the “inspections”.
And in the end not a penny reached the farmer.
The systems have been in place long enough that they’ve become expert at diverting charity money.
The charity launched an audit and found that everything that happened was technically entirely within the law, legally there had been no theft.
The worst of it is I remember a similar documentary where they were at one of the relatively rare colleges visiting a business management class. They asked the class who’s planning to start their own buisness after graduation, a few hands go up. They ask the class who’s planning to go work in the “aid industry” and almost every hand goes up. The brain drain isn’t just international, the bright people who should be building local businesses, the most rational thing they can do for themselves on a personal level ends up being entering the aid industry themselves.
reddideridoo: Guess what: It isn’t only clothing.
dantheman1791: Condoms would be a better choice
who_u_callinpinhead: There’s a documentary about this I believe it’s called Poverty Inc. and it’s on Netflix! It’s really interesting, definitely recommend!
oreilly21: No longer feel bad about not donating.
Vorfied: How surprising to see an example of overproduction leading to a glut.
Belrick_NZ: Food imports did the same thing.
Government charity is a scam.
-corporations sell their produce to the government of rich folk.
-government ships to third world and puts their local farmers out of business. (Who competes with free food?).
– local warlords often seize the food and sells to locals thereby securing despot power.
Hell the entire bandaid concerts of 80s funded the Ethiopian war.
greenpinkie: Some goes for those fucking ugly Toms shoes
Ace676: Which is what all foreign aid does. Creates reliance and dependence. The give a man a fish etc. etc. proverb describes the situation quite perfectly.
sooprvylyn: Ive heard this is actually a big problem with charitable ‘humanitarian’ aid to 3rd world countries…they get hooked on Western products and it kills the local economy while Western corporations get a new customer base to get rich off of.
Super681: I think Tim’s or Keds or something does this, I can’t remember which exactly so some one please confirm/correct, but apparently it really hurts local economies and jobs and such despite”having good intentions” but it’s really a marketing gimmick. It drives tons of places out of business. Also a lot of places that take donations usually use “poverty porn” where they take pictures of the poorest and worst conditions they can find and use that to market it despite many other places being pretty okay and then the stuff ends up at one of the okay places and the whole thing is just a mess
cerealmasterbaker: also like usa many don’t want clothing imports from asia (for similar reason to the op).
Breaukin: We should send them our guns instead. That way they can kill their dictators.
RedSyringe: Same with Tom’s Shoes. You done messed up Balake.
SainTALKER: We aren’t going to get that Science victory so we’re focusing on Culture. You play Civ your way and I’ll play mine.
manitobot: The Ethiopian clothing industry was destroyed because of cheap imports
SheepOfZeal: HMM I WONDER WHAT ELSE WE CAN DRAW FROM THIS??