Too Much Clothing. Not Enough Justice. So Often A consumer. So Rarely A Human. It Is Time For Reckoning, Recovery and Reparations. The OR Foundation.
The recycled denim collection is a project raising awareness of clothing waste. We created bags from second hand denim that in combination with vegan grape leather (a sustainable leather alternative). Starting with our own wardrobe, second hand denim from our friends and by collaboration with Carla, a local second hand shop from Caritas. In this way we want to contribute in reducing the number of non wanted clothing from Global North in even reaching Global South. This project is going further than just recycling denim from the Global North. 10% of sale of every piece will be donated to The OR Foundation to help directly in Accra, Ghana. All collected funds will be used to support apprenticeship programs that will train Kayayei girls and women how to recycle the secondhand clothing waste, to contribute in protecting their own environment and in this way free them from their current burden of dangerous and life threatening jobs as head porters.
Learn more about the situation in Accra, Ghana and the Kayayei girls and women: https://deadwhitemansclothes.org/
KANTAMANTO is the largest secondhand clothing market in west Africa. With 30,000 people working there, 15 million imported secondhand garments unloaded from containers every week it is as well perhaps the largest secondhand clothing market in the world. It is the last destination where the clothing that Global North* doesn´t want anymore ends up.
*GLOBAL NORTH consist of the richest and most industrialized countries, which are mainly in the northern part of the world.
BALES there are an average of 100 containers unloaded in Kantamanto, Accra, Ghana every week. Every container holds a minimum of 400 bales weighing between 54-90kg.
Kantamanto ´recirculates´, or extends the life of 100 millions items every 4-5 months. Despite the efforts of Kantamanto´s retailers, dyers, tailors, designers and consumers , not all of the clothing can be sold, or re-circulated. There is simply too much of it and more coming every week.
WASTE: 40% of Kantamanto´s market items leaves the market as waste, equalling half a million kg, 4 millions of garments every week.This DUMPSITE is home to around 80,000 people, including the women who work as kayayei in Kantamanto. This dumpsite, which serves as the playground for a school, a grazing field for cattle , and the backyard of thousands of homes, also sits adjacent to the e-waste dump called agbogbloshie, making it one of the most toxic places on our planet.
WHO IS KAYAYEI?
Kayayei are girls and women who work as head porters throughout Accra, Ghana in Kantamanto market. Most migrate from the rural north in search of a better life without any understanding of the reality that awaits them. In Kantamanto, Kayayei carry bales of secondhand clothing from importers to the retailers, storage and consumers.
Often with babies wrapped around their backs, Kayayei carry bales that weight between 45 and 90 kg.The pain bears down if they stand still, so they walk as fast as they can. They cannot let the bale fall. When a bale falls, it falls hard. A solid brick of fashion -breaking limbs, crushing feet, or worse. Kayeyi can die if a bale is too heavy, their necks breaking under the weight.
They earn barely enough to survive: $0,50 for each trip. Many of Kantamanto´s retailers consider the Kayayei slaves of the fashion system.
DENIM, T-shirts and shoes are among most articles that end up in the waste do to the excessive quantities arriving from the Global North
HOW WE CAN HELP TOGETHER:
Transforming material and capital flows to serve the most vulnerable in our society.
The OR Foundation ( pronounced "or"-- standing for choice) is a USA-based 501 (C)(3) public charity that has been operating in Ghana since 2009. Working at the intersection of environmental justice, education and fashion development, their mission is to identify and manifest alternatives to the dominated model of fashion: alternatives that bring forth ecological prosperity, as oppossed to deconstruction, and that inspire citizens to form a relationship with fashion that extends beyond their role as consumer.