Second hand clothing business amidst covid 19 Pandemic
Selling of second hand clothing is one of the lucrative businesses in Ghana. Kantamanto is one of the big market in Accra that is noted for the second hand business operation in Ghana. However, some other markets such as the Ashaiman and Tema markets cannot be left out when it comes to second hand clothing business. The clothings are believed to have been from foreign countries such as the United States of America (USA), London, Korea, Italy, etc. Also, according to some sellers they have relatives and friends in some of these countries who ravage through rubbish of their neighbors just to pick items they have discarded, specifically used clothes.
Aside the lucrative nature of second hand clothing business which is confirmed by some dealers, it is very dangerous in this era of covid-19 pandemic where a used cloth of a person infected with the virus can easily be transferred unto the other user. Infections through importation could somehow be managed since studies have shown that the virus can only survive a surface approximately 24 to 72 hours on surfaces such plastics, cardboard and steel but that of clothes or fabric has not yet been determined even though some experts suspect the viability of the virus for several hours to maybe a day. So this is to say that imported clothes cannot act as a major vehicle spread of the novel corona virus.
The fear of used clothes increasing the spread of covid-19 lies greatly in how buyers select the cloth of their choice. Per observations, most buyers of second hand clothing rummage the clothes several times and by so doing when an infected person goes through that same traditional second hand clothing selection process, the carrier buyer puts other buyers at risk of contracting the virus.
Another dangerous action of Ghanaian used clothes buyers even go to the extent of sizing the used clothes right on the spot to check its fitness on their body which is a dangerous action in this abnormal times where some carriers of the virus are asymptomatic. This means they have the virus but they show no symptoms . Such persons can vertically infect the virus to over 100 People unknowingly in a day all in the quest to purchase a second hand clothing. Another factor is that some of the buyers do not practice social distancing; they just do the selections absent minded about how rapidly the corona virus can spread which is due to ignorance or probably due to negligence on their part.
However, the spread of the new corona virus can still be prevented whilst second hand clothing business still in session. This can be done by sensitization of the sellers on how to guide or encourage their customers any time they come to purchase. This move when enforced strictly by the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) can help in the protection of Ghanaian citizens from contracting the deadly new corona virus. Also the encouragement of Ghanaian second hand
Clothing buyers to wash every second hand attire they buy thoroughly with soap or detergent in order to kill any virus that might have infected the clothing. The used of Approved of hand sanitizers before and after selecting an attire.
In Ghana, people who use or buy second hand clothing believe that second hand cloth are of high quality and very affordable as compared to the ones sold in boutiques. Another reason is that these second hand clothing buyers are comfortable with the authentic nature of second hand clothes.