Ghana’s Beaches Choke on Heaps of Discarded Clothes from UK
Fast fashion industry is burdening developing nations with their heaps of used clothes; how long will this go on?
We all have something from fast fashion brands, like Zara, H&M, and so on lying in our wardrobes. The term ‘fast fashion’ refers to a trend where we see new clothing trends that very soon go out of fashion. When fashion changes fast, it means that the clothes that we have already worn just once or twice are no longer required. This is actually a major environmental concern, especially for the West African country of Ghana. The beaches of this country are being clogged by discarded clothes that majorly come from the UK.
Reportedly, discarded or donated garments by people in the UK are exported to various countries, including Ghana. Reportedly, Ghana is the world’s third-largest importer of used or second-hand clothing. Most of its goods are imported from the UK and the USA.
The traders in Ghana try to resell these used clothes but almost half of them are of bad quality. Each year, around 100 million second-hand items are sent to this country, most of which are further dumped on beaches, landfill sites, and rivers. Consequently, these unwanted clothes are choking the environment.
Photographs of big piles of discarded clothes lying on the beach and clogging the sea have been circulating on social media. The fast fashion brand H&M’s clothes are one of the most commonly found items in the dumped clothes in Ghana. Besides Ghana, the Atacama desert in Chile also received around 39,000 tonnes of waste from developed nations each year.
The recent pictures of discarded clothes on the beach of Ghana are sparking global criticism. After all, this is a big environmental concern not for Africa but in Asia as well. How long do the African and Asian countries have to bear the burden of wealthy nations’ dumps?