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African markets seek higher quality used clothing

In recent months, we have seen a slight easing of values of original unsorted used clothing, although some might say that these have not really changed at all. 

Whilst demand in Africa generally is remaining firm, delays in payments are an ever-present issue as are the seemingly ever-decreasing value of African currencies against major currencies such as the Euro or US Dollar.  However, with Sterling at one of its lowest-ever values against both the Euro and the dollar, British exporters have been less exposed to this particular issue. Even so, the low value of the Pound is increasing pressures on operating costs within the UK.

A number of exporters are also reporting that African customers are continuing to specify higher-value clothing for their orders. A consequence is that the volume of clothing going to Pakistan, where they accept a wider range of clothing, is increasing.

With the fast fashion phenomenon still looking as though it will operate at full pelt for many years to come, we are going to have to get used to these continued and increasing pressures on quality. A recent report by the UK children’s charity Barnardo’s suggest that the British public will spend £2.7 billion (EUR 3 billion) this summer on outfits that they will only wear once.

The full textiles market update By Alan Wheeler will be published in the new issue of Recycling International.

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