The State of Second-hand Clothes and Footwear Trade in Kenya

Kenya is one of the largest importers of second-hand clothes in Sub-Saharan Africa because of its use and export to other countries. The second-hand clothes industry contributes to government revenues. The existence of second-hand clothes is a demand-side issue rather than a supply-side issue. For a considerable number of people, incomes in the country can only support the buying of second-hand clothes. This is a reflection on incomes rather than whether the supply of new clothes and footwear is available. The volume of imported second-hand clothes and footwear reflect the domestic demand for these goods among the Kenyan population. Therefore, it is essential to examine the corresponding value of the imports. The value of these imports for the corresponding years shows that the nominal value of imports into Kenya has risen by 80% from Ksh 10 billion to 18 billion in the same six-year period. What this growth in import volumes shows is that along with the overall economic growth and the rise in incomes, imports reflect the demand for second-hand clothing among Kenyan households and that this industry has supply stability.