Monday, May 7, 2012

flying goods

Junks, faux markets and bend-down boutiques:  The Guardian reports on the Africa's burgeoning trade in European cast-offs. Critics say the billion-dollar trade risks swamping fragile domestic textiles markets--and 12 African nations have banned the trade. But the desire for famous designer clothes is not limited to the west, and in urban Africa's thriving System D stalls, customers rub the hems of Gucci and D&G seconds. Money quote:
"We call our shops 'bend down' boutiques because we have so many clothes we just pour them on the floor and you just bend down and select," explained Mercy Azbuike, surrounded by piles of clothes overflowing from her wooden shack and piled into wheelbarrows outside. "Even those selling clothes in boutiques [proper stores] are buying from us," said Azbuike, who also travels to neighbouring Benin twice a month to replenish her stock."It's the same boutique but you don't have to bend down so it's more expensive."

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