Which country is the best source of second-hand clothes?

Which country is the best source of second hand clothes

Which country is the best source of second-hand clothes?

The second-hand clothes industry is an important sector within the textile market. In 2012 it was worth more than $4 billion, and there are thousands of second-hand shops around the world, many with a rich history.

In most countries, it has been illegal to buy second-hand clothes for some time. This goes back to 1699 when an ordinance in Paris banned second-hand clothes from being brought into or out of the city. However, Morocco is an exception to this rule. In 1994 second-hand clothing imports were banned in order to protect local garment makers, but due to its poor economy, second-hand clothes imports have been allowed again since 2002. The second-hand clothing trade, therefore, offers a valuable source of revenue for Morocco.

      Now, second-hand clothes have become a “symbol of economic struggle” as second-hand clothes are becoming more and more popular in many countries, particularly in poorer communities. Therefore, finding the right source of second-hand clothes is essential to starting your used clothes business.


Some statistics you need to know:

As of 2019, more than 70% of the world’s population is buying second-hand clothes(1). Besides, secondhand fashion keeps growing to reach $64 billion within five years(2). In the African second-hand market, many used clothes are piled up like mountains, and buyers like walking in grocery shopping. In a pile of all kinds of clothes, pick their favorite style.

Used clothes provide suitable clothes for people with lower incomes and make up for more than 10% of some country’s gross national. In India, second-hand clothes importers bought 293.7 million US dollars in used clothes in 2019. Kenya’s second-hand clothes imported reached about $174 million in 2019. Even in the USA, second-hand clothes imports can reach between 100 and 150 million dollars a year. (3)

In contrast, the UK and other developed countries export second-hand clothes instead of importing them. While developed countries are following fashion and leading it, they are also significantly increasing textile waste. About 235 million unwanted clothes are dumped in landfills in the UK, and an American throws away 37 kg of used clothing each year on average. Over-consumption and waste of clothing have turned into a source of pollution in developed countries. Thus, the second-hand clothes business is not merely serving the poor but also reducing the negative impacts of second-hand clothes on their environment.

As the second-hand clothing industry has become an essential factor in the economic life of many developing countries and even developed ones, choosing the best source of second-hand clothes is a well-thought decision to make for every used clothes buyer. Where is the best place to buy second-hand clothes online? It has also become a high concern for second-hand clothes buyers.


Which country has the best second-hand clothes?


To obtain good and stable raw materials, China is the best as far as several large countries are concerned. Many secondhand clothing bale manufacturers & supplier consist the market there.
China’s textile industry is the largest in the world in terms of overall production and exports. In 2020, textile fiber production has reached 60 billion meters and accounts for 39% of the world’s share. And China produces over 29.9 billion of apparel in 2020, which increased 10.4% from the previous year(4).

As supply is much larger than people’s daily demand, people buy much more than they really need and discard them eventually. China discards 26 million tonnes of clothing each year, of which less than 1% is recycled. A quarter of second-hand clothing shipped to Kenya 10 years ago was supplied from the UK, and today China is the largest supplier, accounting for about 30 percent.

Thus China can be the best source of buying used clothes wholesale with the following factors, you can go over them before making the choice.

1. China is a country with a large population
2. China does not have a complete mechanism for recycling used clothes
3. The amount of textile waste by Chinese people is high
4. The style of Chinese clothes is similar to those of people in parts of Africa and Southeast Asian countries
5. Chinese keep up with fashion trend


1. China is a country with a large population

China has one of the world’s largest populations, one-fifth of which live in urban areas. According to the 2020 census, China’s population has surpassed 1.4 billion, second only to India. With the development of the Chinese economy, people in China have had higher demands for quality of life in recent decades. To pursue fashion trends and improve the quality of life, the life span of clothing is getting shorter and shorter. On average, one piece of new clothing is worn only three months before it is discarded.

The increase in living standards

With the development of China’s well-off society, people’s quality of life and living environment has been dramatically improved. China is also a world-renowned manufacturing power. It has become an important market for exporting second-hand clothes in the world.

Chinese second-hand clothes can meet the second-hand clothes businesses’ needs. This fact makes second-hand clothes manufacturing in this country quite popular and interesting for foreign countries because second-hand clothes demand is constantly surging.


2. China does not have a complete mechanism for recycling used clothes

With a large amount

The idea of recycling is still not fully accepted and implemented in Chinese society. In the eyes of some Westerners, second-hand clothing is a good way of recycling. In fact, from the perspective of environmental protection, China’s waste clothes not only cause a large consumption of the global environment but also heavy pollution to the Earth.

With the rise of the fast fashion industry, more and more clothes are being forgotten in the deepest part of the closet, and the disposal of old clothes has become part of the environmental problem. Data from the China Recycling Economy Association shows that about 26 million tons of used clothes are thrown into the garbage each year in China, a figure that will rise to 50 million tons after 2030. Most of the old clothes are still disposed of by landfill or incineration, both of which can cause serious environmental pollution.


However, the Chinese government has not yet launched a complete clothing recycling system to the community so that all the unused clothes are through as ordinary garbage, which will end up in landfills or incineration, taking with it all the resources used in its production. One of the main tasks facing China is to implement a complete recycling mechanism for clothing. At present, China’s recycling rate for old clothes is very low. So traders can collect the used clothes themselves and sell them abroad in the form of wholesale.


3. The amount of textile waste of Chinese people is high

     According to statistics, China’s consumption of cotton in the past 20 years has increased by 1.5 times. This figure shows that consumption per capita will continue to rise in the future. And with rapid economic growth and urbanization over the past decades, Chinese people have become accustomed to the consumption of fashionable clothes. However, their standards are also getting higher and higher, which makes them get rid of clothes faster than before.

Update fast of clothing

In Chinese society, people are buying much more than they really need. For instance, people buy seasonal clothes, then put them away in their wardrobe. After a while, they just throw these clothes away because they are not needed anymore. Since the annual release of new styles is very quick, many people have to give up other styles just after buying them. Especially for young people, fashion has become an important part of their life so that they can never be out of date with fashion trends. The number of discarded garments is rising with every passing day in China.

Besides, many people in China are obsessed with the quality of the clothes they buy. They will try their best to choose high-end clothing brands in order to show off their taste, status, and taste level in society. Meanwhile, they will discard these clothes once they get stains on them or go out of style very soon.

Second-hand clothes manufacturing countries, especially China, account for about half of the world’s total second-hand clothing production volume. Increased consumption of clothing in urban communities means an increase in old clothes volume so that can meet the large quantity of secondhand clothing market.


4. The style of Chinese clothes is similar to those of people in parts of Africa and Southeast Asian countries

Prestige Driver

In the 1980s, second-hand clothing began to flow into African countries. Because of cheap prices and good quality, used clothes dominate the clothing market in a short time.

The average market price of imported used clothes is only 35% to 40% of that of new clothes. For example, the average price of a brand-new men’s shirt is about $8, while the average price of an imported used shirt is $3.51, which is less than half the price. The obvious price gap has forced poor Africans to buy second-hand clothes.

The local clothing merchant in order to sell in the local African market often makes clothes at the lowest cost, so that result in the new clothes being more fashionable in terms of pattern or cut, but the quality is mostly poor.


In contrast, for those who are eliminated second-hand clothes, the use of materials are of good quality and the production process is relatively excellent. It is more wearable and durable than the new clothes available in the African market.

For the African market, the most popular used clothing exporter is from China. Although western countries are the oldest secondhand clothes exporter in the world, Chinese used clothing wholesaler has their unique advantages. Also, Chinese people are more similar in shape and stature to people in Africa and Southeast Asia,

Also, the taste in dressing is similar between Chinese and secondhand clothes buyers such as in African and Asian countries. For example, many secondhand clothes in Africa are simple, plain, and solid colors ones which Chinese people also like.

For this reason, secondhand clothes exporters from China have had more business opportunities compared with second-hand clothes exporters from other countries.


5. Chinese keep up with fashion trend

People obtain a variety of clothes from the secondhand market, but they also want to follow fashion trends. For example, when looking at the many brands of used clothes for similar prices, customers always prefer the ones with fashionable designs.

Following fashion trends

There is currently an increasing number of people in the world who devote themselves to caring about their appearance, thus the market of secondhand clothes also has a booming business. To tell the truth, it’s great if we can buy a lot of items from second-hand markets at cheaper prices so that more money will be saved.

Following fashion trends 2

In particular, the Chinese tend to have a stronger sense of following fashion trends than other countries because China takes up one-fifth of the whole world’s population with its huge population size. In this case, China’s younger generation tends to care about their own appearances increasingly while older generations keep on doing that as well.

In China, a lot of old clothes appeared due to the strong demand for a fashionable style and a short life span. Chinese second-hand clothing is becoming more popular in Asian and African countries not only because of its cheap price and high quality but also due to its fashionable design. In recent years, with the development of fast fashion, young people’s need for clothing updates has become faster and faster. Moreover, some of the clothes that were discarded were not even worn once the tag is still on them.

This is also supported by China’s economic growth and enhanced people’s buying power, resulting in an increase in the number of brands and styles available. Taking this into consideration, we can expect a greater market size for sourcing secondhand clothes in China than in other countries.

Finally(the best source of second-hand clothes)

As the second-hand clothing production volume is increasing year by year, as well as second-hand clothing traders are increasingly expanding their business to export second-hand clothing, second-hand clothing including second-hand clothes exporters in China would be more and more popular among customers.

For used clothes in bales price suppliers

Buying wholesale used clothes is like opening a blind box, they can not open the package to confirm, all depending on fortune and experience. Opening with a bale of clean and tidy clothes, they can make a lot of money; on the other hand, if get a bale of defective products, they can only add the wholesaler to the blacklist and admit the fact. Second-hand clothes importers should make sure to choose second-hand clothing exporters carefully because they need to accept any result after buying second-hand clothing from second-hand clothes suppliers.

The best source of second-hand clothes Conclusion

In general, second-hand clothing trading is a profitable business when you have enough capital and experience. As long as you know where the market demand is high but supply is insufficient, you can start your business with minimal investment. As we can see from the trend of second-hand clothes trading around the world, the largest importer of used clothes should make full use of opportunities available in the second-hand clothing market by choosing reliable second-hand clothes suppliers such as used clothes exporters in China!

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