Hidden Gems in Mitumba Clothes Business

Unopened bales of second-hand clothes.
Unopened bales of second-hand clothes.

Businessmen and shoppers often find cobalt stones as well as US dollar and Chinese Yuan currency notes in Mitumba clothes and bags that have become popular in Kenya. 

Kenyans.co.ke talked to one trader who confirmed that the highest amount that he had accidentally found in second-hand clothes was Ksh 1,690.38 as a 100 Chinese Yuan note. 

“It depends on where the bale was shipped from”, the trader, Mudasia of Mitumba Chap Chap Bales Kenya added. 

Another used clothing trader reported that some of his customers have gotten amounts ranging Ksh101 ($1) to Ksh 1,070 ($10) in the foreign clothes. 

File image of Kenyan banknotes
File image of Kenyan banknotes

The trader, Benjamin Lusweti, stated that customers also find jewellery in handbags. 

People that used to own the used clothes forget to check their pockets before donating them. 

Nairobi entrepreneurs make money by collecting it from pockets on clothes and bags.

Kenya’s second-hand clothes come from North America, Europe and Asia.

Lusweti, a trader from Tried n’ Tested Mitumba Bales, confirmed that his bales come from Poland, China, Australia and Korea. He mentioned that the customers do not know the value of the foreign currency that they find. 

The Institute of Economic Affairs released a report which showed that Kenya received 185,000 tonnes of used clothing in 2019.

The report titled, the State of Second-Hand Clothes and Footwear trade in Kenya, indicated that 185,000 tonnes was equal to 8 containers. 

The Kenyan government took in 67,000 tonnes of used clothing in 2002 according to a study, the Beneficial Nature of the Second-Hand Clothing Trade in Sub Saharan Africa. 

Retail store in a Kenya selling second hand T-shirts in different colors such as red and yellow.
Think Twice Second Hand Clothes store in a Kenya with T-shirts on sale.
Think Twice Second Hand Clothes



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