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Calls for the Government of Ghana to be more Mindful of the Clothes it Imports

The latest UN figures say the UK is the third-largest used-clothing exporter after the US and China. The top two destinations were Ghana and Pakistan, while the largest growing importer was Chile. These countries are becoming overwhelmed with clothing in poor condition that cannot be resold, as well as their own waste. Faced with this crisis, a growing number of entrepreneurs and designers collect textiles destined for landfill – and recycle them into new garments and home furnishings. Kwabena Obiri Yeboah founded KoliKoWear, Ghana says “We saw there was a lot of textile waste – the landfill and beaches are a mess. It’s cheap or free to come by, so why not take advantage and build a business model with it? We took the cheapest resource and turned it into something golden. Three former employees have started their own businesses using textile waste. We encourage that – we cannot be the only people solving this problem. We also run apprenticeships.” Yayra Agbofah founded The Revival in Ghana, where he pays people to collect clothes destined to be thrown away from Kantamanto. On average, I have about three tonnes of waste – thousands of pieces of clothing – in my studio at any one time. My team and I create about 50 garments each week. They patch up T-shirts, and screen print and dye them; as well as upcycle trench coats and leather jackets.