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Second-hand clothing for developing countries - a blessing or a curse? | Globalization | DW.DE | 04.04.2012

Donating for charity - that's what most Germans think they're doing when they drop used clothing into a collection bin. But their donations are a lucrative business that even affects developing countries.

Bags of used jeans, t-shirts, dresses and shirts: Germans are generous when clearing out their closets to donate for charity.

Too generous, perhaps - charitable organisations in Germany meanwhile receive far more clothing than they can pass on to people in need. As a result, respected aid organisations like the Red Cross allow the use of their name and logo to collectors who have a purely commercial agenda.

The used clothes are sorted and then sold, depending on quality, as raw materials to be recycled or as second-hand merchandise. Collecting, sorting and transporting the clothing costs money so in principle, you can't object to its sale, according to Andreas Voget, manager of FairWertung, a federation of charitable and church-associated organisations advocating more transparency and responsibility in second-hand clothing drives.

The fact is that what we're experiencing right now is a top-down disaster. -Paul Krugman
by dvx (dvx.clt št gmail dotcom) on Wed Apr 4th, 2012 at 12:41:23 PM EST
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