Salaula The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia

ISBN-10: 0226315819
ISBN-13: 9780226315812
Edition: 2000
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Description: When we donate our unwanted clothes to charity, we rarely think about what will happen to them: who will sort and sell them, and finally, who will revive and wear them. In this fascinating look at the multibillion dollar secondhand clothing  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.00
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 8/1/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 314
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.364
Language: English

When we donate our unwanted clothes to charity, we rarely think about what will happen to them: who will sort and sell them, and finally, who will revive and wear them. In this fascinating look at the multibillion dollar secondhand clothing business, Karen Tranberg Hansen takes us around the world from the West, where clothing is donated, through the salvage houses in North America and Europe, where it is sorted and compressed, to Africa, in this case, Zambia. There it enters the dynamic world of Salaula, a Bemba term that means "to rummage through a pile." Essential for the African economy, the secondhand clothing business is wildly popular, to the point of threatening the indigenous textile industry. But, Hansen shows, wearing secondhand clothes is about much more than imitating Western styles. It is about taking a garment and altering it to something entirely local, something that adheres to current cultural norms of etiquette. By unraveling how these garments becomes entangled in the economic, political, and cultural processes of contemporary Zambia, Hansen also raises provocative questions about environmentalism, charity, recycling, and thrift.

List of Illustrations
Maps, and Tables
Acknowledgments
Introduction: The World of Salaula
Dealing with Clothing
Clothing Encounters
Clothing Needs and Desires
Secondhand Clothing and the Congo Connection
Dressing the New Nation
A Secondhand Clothing System of Provision
The Sourcing of Secondhand Clothing
Import, Wholesale, and Distribution
Clothing Retail Prices
The Work of Consumption
Clothing, Gender, and Power
The Politics of Salaula Conclusion: Other People's Clothes?
Notes
References
Index

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