Dead White Man’s Clothes: The Global Secondhand Clothing Trade and the “Afterlife” of our Waste with Liz Ricketts of the OR Foundation

Thanks, it’s Thrifted is a podcast about secondhand shopping hosted by two treasure-hunting friends, Dina & Shannon. Subscribe today. Follow on Instagram @dinasdays and @thanksitsthrifted.pod. For more about the podcast visit dinasdays.com/podcast.

Fast fashion is causing an environmental catastrophe around the world.

Kantamanto Market is the largest Secondhand Clothing Market in West Africa, located in Accra, Ghana where 15,000,000 items pass through the market each week and 40% leaves as waste. It’s also where the the Global North exports most of its unwanted clothes.

We have a conversation with Liz Ricketts, co-founder of the OR Foundation, a U.S. and Ghana based non-profit working at the intersection of environmental justice, education, and fashion development.

Liz is also an educator, designer, and amateur hemp farmer. She has been working between the two countries for over a decade, and has spent the last five years delving into the “afterlife” of clothing within the context of Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana. This is one of the largest second-hand markets in the world and where the Global North exports most of our unwanted clothes.

In 2016, The OR Foundation launched a multimedia research project called Dead White Man’s Clothes to learn more about how the secondhand clothing functions and to better understand the environmental social and economic implications of this industry in Ghana.

We chatted with Liz to learn more about the serious implications that overconsumption and overproduction has within the fashion industry, the journey of our discarded clothes, and so much more. 

Support the Secondhand Solidarity Fund 

Dead White Man’s Clothes research project

@theorispresent on Instagram

Thanks to this episode’s sponsor

This episode is sponsored by ReLyst.com, a software solution designed to help e-commerce sellers create listings that are both efficient and accurate for multiple online marketplaces. Get 30 days free plus 50% off a scanner and printer combo. Use the code DINA when you sign up on the Get Started page.

About the podcast

Thanks, it’s Thrifted is a podcast about secondhand shopping hosted by two treasure-hunting friends, Dina & Shannon. Subscribe today. Follow on Instagram @dinasdays and @thanksitsthrifted.pod. For more about the podcast visit dinasdays.com/podcast.