DESPITE existing laws prohibiting importation of “ukay-ukay” (used clothing), sustainability advocates are saying that patronizing secondhand clothes would help lessen the growing number of fashion wastes.
According to Republic Act 4653, importation of secondhand clothes is illegal, as it prohibits “the commercial importation of textile articles commonly known as used clothing and rags.”
Health concern was the primary objective of the law, which was enacted in 1966.
However, ukay-ukay continues to be a frenzy in the fashion market, as shoppers are patronizing it in malls and at Roxas Night Market in Davao City.
Jesse Boga Madriaga of the Global Shapers Community - Davao Hub said in the consumer and sustainability aspect, patronizing ukay-ukays would help in reducing fashion waste, as it is not entirely disposable.
“In a recent study, fashion wastes are the second largest polluter in the world, next to oil,” Madriaga said on Monday during the Kapehan sa Dabaw press conference at SM City Davao.
“Fashion is very wasteful, especially nga daghan retaso ang dili magamit,” he added.
Madriaga said that ukay-ukay continues to proliferate, despite being illegal, because it is accessible to the mass market, and many are making a livelihood out of it.
Global Shapers, an international group engage with various communities to create a positive and more sustainable impact in the region, is pushing for reforms of fashion’s impact on the environment and people.
This will be discussed during the Unstitch: A Fashion and Sustainability Fair, wherein fashion leaders and other advocates will be discussing problems and will share inputs on how to reduce its environmental impacts.
“This is an opportunity for us to create a change, in making fashion less wasteful, and make shopping more meaningful,” Madriaga said.