Used Clothes Business in Kenya

Used Clothes Business in Kenya


In Kenya, the second-hand clothing business, also known as “mitumba” is a thriving industry, especially in the urban areas. Used clothing is imported from various countries, including the United States and Europe, and then sold at a lower price than new clothing. Many Kenyans rely on the affordable prices of used clothing to outfit themselves and their families.

However, the used clothing business in Kenya has faced some challenges in recent years. The Kenyan government has implemented measures to curb the import of used clothing, such as increasing import taxes, in an effort to support the local clothing industry. Additionally, there are concerns about the environmental impact of importing and disposing of large quantities of used clothing.

Despite these challenges, the used clothing business continues to be a significant source of employment and economic activity in Kenya. Many small business owners and street vendors earn a livelihood by selling used clothing, and the industry also provides employment opportunities in the wholesale and distribution sector.

used clothes market


The popularity of used clothing, or “mitumba,” in Kenya can be traced back to the 1980s and 1990s, when the country was facing economic difficulties and many people were unable to afford new clothing. As a result, a thriving market for imported second-hand clothing emerged, offering an affordable alternative for Kenyans.

Since then, the popularity of used clothing has continued to grow, becoming a significant part of the country’s economy and an important source of employment and livelihood for many small business owners and street vendors. The industry has also faced challenges and changes, such as government regulations and environmental concerns, but remains a significant part of the Kenyan clothing market.


In conclusion, the used clothing business in Kenya is an important part of the country’s economy, but also faces challenges related to government regulations and environmental concerns.

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