Kenya Needs Sorting Centres to Enhance Sustainability of Mitumba Sector

By Soko Directory Team / Published April 25, 2022 | 10:21 am




KEY POINTS

Sorting facilities will help realise Kenya’s goal of becoming among the leading high-value economies in Africa. It is estimated each facility can directly create up to 500 jobs with further employment in related sectors.


mitumba

KEY TAKEAWAYS


It is important to ensure that more policy work is required to achieve the necessary balance between promoting local textile industries and support for a growing and jobs generating second-hand clothing sector.


Africa has one of the largest used clothing markets in the world. It is believed that four-fifths of those on the continent wear second-hand clothes, mainly imported from the USA, Europe, India and Pakistan. This is according to the recently released report by the Mitumba Consortium Association of Kenya (MCAK).

The report indicates that the second-hand or used clothing has become an important source of apparel in low- and middle-income countries, much of which is recycled from wealthier nations.

The sector plays a huge role in Kenya’s economy given that the country is today the fourth-largest apparel exporter in Africa. The sector contributes 7 percent to the country’s net export earnings. Today, Kenya is the largest exporter of apparel under AGOA with about USD 600 million worth of exports in 2017.

Furthermore, the sector contributes to the economy in taxes, the sector contributes in excess of 12 billion shillings to the exchequer every year. This is not to mention the multiplier effect supporting tens of other industries such as logistics, clearing and forwarding, insurance, security among others.

However, there is considerable scope for realizing efficiencies and creating more sustainable supply chains in this growing consumer sector. It has been estimated that currently only a fifth of post-consumer garments are collected for either reuse or recycling.

Of these, approximately 40 percent end up in the second-hand clothing market – either being sold in a charity shop in the same country as the donation was made or more often sold on the international second-hand clothing market.

ALSO READ: What Are The Best Ways To Study Business Processes?

This shows an inconsistent mitumba market that isn’t sustainable in the near future. Coupled with the fact that Kenya has tried to shut down the mitumba market severally, policymakers ought to implement new measures to ensure that the second-hand clothing market co-exists with the other textile markets.

To ensure its sustainability, however, the recycling of second-hand clothing is crucial. And while contemplating on the policies to implement, of vital importance is creating an infrastructure of localized sorting centres alongside better control of dumping of unused textiles.

At present, only a quarter of all clothing products are actually recycled. The scope for expansion is enormous. Policy needs to focus on opening up opportunities for trade that benefits both businesses and consumers. Nation-states in Africa would benefit from taking control of the industry through effective policy-making and regulation which opens up the opportunity for trade – both imports and exports- generating increased economic benefit for local citizens and the finances of national governments.

There should be an expansion of sorting centres at key strategic hubs as part of a supply chain network. This is especially so given the increased demand for second-hand clothing throughout the world economy. And as environmentally conscious consumers seek more reused products, African countries need their own long-term growth and development strategies.

An African hub for the processing of second-hand garments would have considerable benefits. Sorting centres that grade used or pre-owned clothes have become more prominent across different countries. At these centres, sorted garments are compressed into bales of 50 kilograms (110 lb) and then exported for sale.

Unsorted mitumba clothes can be compressed into bales of 500 to 1000 kg. The better-graded used clothing is exported to Central American Countries while lower-graded clothing is shipped to Africa and Asia. The hubs for commercial sorting of pre-owned clothes are in South Asia, Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and Hungary.

Kenya is a prime location for such a sorting centre. This would create jobs and increase the export of textiles to the largest African markets alongside the ever-increasing second-hand clothing market of Global North countries.

Sorting facilities will help realise Kenya’s goal of becoming among the leading high-value economies in Africa. It is estimated each facility can directly create up to 500 jobs with further employment in related sectors. Kenya is well-positioned geographically to act as a global hub linking other markets throughout Africa to the US and Europe.

And while this is a sound proposition, it is important to ensure that more policy work is required to achieve the necessary balance between promoting local textile industries and support for a growing and jobs generating second-hand clothing sector.

The introduction of policies to support the expansion of sorting centres in Africa and a hub in Kenya requires the integration of economic, social and environmental benefits from the mitumba clothing industry.




About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

View other posts by Soko Directory Team


More Articles From This Author








Trending Stories










Other Related Articles










SOKO DIRECTORY & FINANCIAL GUIDE



ARCHIVES

2024
  • January 2024 (238)
  • February 2024 (227)
  • March 2024 (190)
  • April 2024 (51)
  • 2023
  • January 2023 (182)
  • February 2023 (203)
  • March 2023 (322)
  • April 2023 (298)
  • May 2023 (268)
  • June 2023 (214)
  • July 2023 (212)
  • August 2023 (257)
  • September 2023 (237)
  • October 2023 (266)
  • November 2023 (284)
  • December 2023 (176)
  • 2022
  • January 2022 (293)
  • February 2022 (329)
  • March 2022 (358)
  • April 2022 (292)
  • May 2022 (271)
  • June 2022 (232)
  • July 2022 (278)
  • August 2022 (253)
  • September 2022 (246)
  • October 2022 (196)
  • November 2022 (232)
  • December 2022 (167)
  • 2021
  • January 2021 (182)
  • February 2021 (227)
  • March 2021 (325)
  • April 2021 (259)
  • May 2021 (285)
  • June 2021 (272)
  • July 2021 (277)
  • August 2021 (232)
  • September 2021 (271)
  • October 2021 (305)
  • November 2021 (364)
  • December 2021 (249)
  • 2020
  • January 2020 (272)
  • February 2020 (310)
  • March 2020 (390)
  • April 2020 (321)
  • May 2020 (335)
  • June 2020 (327)
  • July 2020 (333)
  • August 2020 (276)
  • September 2020 (214)
  • October 2020 (233)
  • November 2020 (242)
  • December 2020 (187)
  • 2019
  • January 2019 (251)
  • February 2019 (215)
  • March 2019 (283)
  • April 2019 (254)
  • May 2019 (269)
  • June 2019 (249)
  • July 2019 (335)
  • August 2019 (293)
  • September 2019 (306)
  • October 2019 (313)
  • November 2019 (362)
  • December 2019 (318)
  • 2018
  • January 2018 (291)
  • February 2018 (213)
  • March 2018 (275)
  • April 2018 (223)
  • May 2018 (235)
  • June 2018 (176)
  • July 2018 (256)
  • August 2018 (247)
  • September 2018 (255)
  • October 2018 (282)
  • November 2018 (282)
  • December 2018 (184)
  • 2017
  • January 2017 (183)
  • February 2017 (194)
  • March 2017 (207)
  • April 2017 (104)
  • May 2017 (169)
  • June 2017 (205)
  • July 2017 (189)
  • August 2017 (195)
  • September 2017 (186)
  • October 2017 (235)
  • November 2017 (253)
  • December 2017 (266)
  • 2016
  • January 2016 (164)
  • February 2016 (165)
  • March 2016 (189)
  • April 2016 (143)
  • May 2016 (245)
  • June 2016 (182)
  • July 2016 (271)
  • August 2016 (247)
  • September 2016 (233)
  • October 2016 (191)
  • November 2016 (243)
  • December 2016 (153)
  • 2015
  • January 2015 (1)
  • February 2015 (4)
  • March 2015 (164)
  • April 2015 (107)
  • May 2015 (116)
  • June 2015 (119)
  • July 2015 (145)
  • August 2015 (157)
  • September 2015 (186)
  • October 2015 (169)
  • November 2015 (173)
  • December 2015 (205)
  • 2014
  • March 2014 (2)
  • 2013
  • March 2013 (10)
  • June 2013 (1)
  • 2012
  • March 2012 (7)
  • April 2012 (15)
  • May 2012 (1)
  • July 2012 (1)
  • August 2012 (4)
  • October 2012 (2)
  • November 2012 (2)
  • December 2012 (1)
  • 2011
    2010
    2009
    2008
    2007
    2006
    2005
    2004
    2003
    2002
    2001
    2000
    1999
    1998
    1997
    1996
    1995
    1994
    1993
    1992
    1991
    1990
    1989
    1988
    1987
    1986
    1985
    1984
    1983
    1982
    1981
    1980
    1979
    1978
    1977
    1976
    1975
    1974
    1973
    1972
    1971
    1970
    1969
    1968
    1967
    1966
    1965
    1964
    1963
    1962
    1961
    1960
    1959
    1958
    1957
    1956
    1955
    1954
    1953
    1952
    1951
    1950