Zimbabwe’s clothing industry is under pressure from a worsening economy, which has made most local clothing lines uncompetitive against cheap imports which have flooded the market. The sustained erosion of incomes has forced Zimbabweans to resort to cheap imports, including second hand clothes.
One-time textile giants have failed, and Zimbabwe’s clothing industry continues to deteriorate due to high costs of production, the influx of imports of cheap clothing and fabrics.
Legislation that bans the imports of second hand clothes was imposed last year, but it seems it fuelled smuggling of second hand clothes through the country’s porous borders.
“In order to protect the local industry from cheap imports, the ministry has removed second hand clothing, blankets and woven fabric from the open general import licence whose importation in large quantities was threatening the viability and growth of the sector,” said Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mike Bimha.