Second-hand goods from the United States have long been a staple in Ghana, but now the country is seeking to get second-hand goods off its shelves.
Churches collecting threads for the needy call this goodwill, but many of West Africa's tailors call it "unfair," "unstylish," or "insulting" to a region whose traditional clothing can't win price wars against a container load of "John Edwards 2008" shirts donated from the warmth of the American heart.
Now the West African nation of Ghana is implementing a ban on hand-me-down trade, or at least a partial ban. Ghana's new trade law forbids secondhand boxers, handkerchiefs, and mattresses from entering the country's docks or markets, on the grounds that such imports are, well, gross. ("Unhygienic" in government lingo.)
But traders in the nation's market stalls are vexed.
"The ban on second-hand goods is really going to bring hardships to us and our families since the trade is our only source of livelihood," one vendor told the Ghana News Agency.