Around 15 million pieces of clothing end up at Ghana’s Kantamanto Market every week. Young locals have entered the business of reselling hidden gems to avoid a build-up of local pollution – all while making a pretty penny and encouraging a sustainable way of life.
In recent years, Ghana has become a major dumping ground for the world’s fashion waste.
The West’s obsession with consuming clothing designed to be discarded after one or two wears is polluting the African nation’s seaside, landfills, and rivers. Though many of these cheaply made products are unusable – high-quality items, designer pieces, and rare fabrics can also be found in the mix of bulk clothing arrivals.
Items of this sort will be sent to Kantamanto market, Ghana’s largest second-hand marketplace. The vending area has gained a reputation for selling Obroni Wawu, a local saying which means ‘Dead Man’s Clothes’.
Noticing the frequency of hidden fashion gems, young Ghanaian locals have tapped into a creative business opportunity. It’s one that helps deal with the endless stream of textiles landing on their soil while earning them a new stream of income.