Booming Second-Hand Clothing Business

Sales of second-hand clothing from western countries are booming in the former Soviet state of Belarus. In the past five years, sales of used clothing have increased four and a half times, now accounting for 10% of all Belarus clothing sales. Small Belarus entrepreneurs have popped up selling the western cast-offs:

“We wear second-hand all our lives,” said Alexander, a trader at the “field of wonders” market. “In the kindergarten we share common bed linen, then you wear your older brother’s clothes and in prisons and armies even underwear is shared. So what’s the difference if you wear your brother’s clothes or your neighbour’s or some Irish guy’s?”

Government and trade officials have pleaded with the populace to buy domestic clothing only, but so far no one seems to be listening. Apparently the Belarus clothing is poor quality and the population has low spending power.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise to anyone in the West who surfs eBay. Sales of second-hand clothing in developing nations support a global daisy chain of entrepreneurs. For instance, I know several U.S. entrepreneurs and moonlighters who scour the garage sales and flea markets snapping up used blue jeans, polo shirts, and other clothes. They then turn around and auction them off on eBay. Right now on eBay there are over 87,000 pairs of blue jeans for sale. I wonder how many of them will end up in Belarus, being re-sold by a Belarusian small businessman?


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

2 Reactions
  1. The people are loosing their moral while becoming modern. The society needs to be attentive that moral value.Every dark night is followed by a bright sunny day. So, patience and attention is required and things will be fruitful in near future.
    Fashion News

  2. Some Irish guy’s?

    He got it secondhand from his american cousins!

    Until 1960’s and into the 1970’s that was true.

    On the other hand, what does it matter?

    Used car dealership sign: “Drive a used car. Everybody does.”

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