Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

5. Buy less

Some thoughts:

  • Over 80% of North American clothes donated to charity end up in developing countries where they are bought and sold. Buying clothes and donating them doesn’t help anyone, but it does contribute to decimating local tailor and seamstress businesses.
  • Our current economic system is based on exploiting cheap labour in countries is with minimal workers safety laws so the rich can have more useless stuff. What if we stopped buying useless stuff?  Maybe the economic system would adapt in a positive way.  Maybe not, but at least we wouldn’t waste as many resources.
  • In general, the areas in Africa with the most violent conflicts are also the areas with the most natural resources. Coincidence?  No way!  Rich resources give people something to fight over.  We need to recognize that our consumer-based lifestyles contribute to violence overseas.

More information can be found in BBC’s article “How second-hand clothes kill business for Malawi’s tailors.”

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One thought on “5. Buy less

  1. Pingback: Ways to Help from Home | Rebuilding Foundations

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