Another report shows Kenya is a dumping ground for rubbish clothing

You are currently viewing Another report shows Kenya is a dumping ground for rubbish clothing

A report by Circle Economy Foundation which was funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and titled ‘Destinations of Dutch Used Textiles’ shows that up-to 47 percent of Second Hand Clothing (SHC) sent from Netherlands to countries such as Kenya are ‘unwearable’.

This report, released in December 2023, agrees with the findings of a report by Changing Markets Foundation, Clean Up Kenya and Wildlight which showed that up-to 40 percent of the SHC sent to Kenya were simply rubbish.

In the Circle Economy Foundation report, it is established that Kenya is a disposal destination of unwearable Second Hand Clothing from the Netherlands. The report shows how this is done through a complex network involving ‘cloth laundering’ hubs in Poland and Pakistan.

This report will put more pressure on Mitumba Association of Kenya which continues to deny that the Second Hand Clothing imported into Kenya has any impact on the environment. The association also continues to resist government efforts to subject their business to the Extended Producer Responsibility regulations. Under these regulations, any entity or business that introduces any product into the country is required to be financially responsible for the end of life of that product. In an interview with a local radio station recently, Teresia Wairimu, the Chairperson of the Mitumba Association of Kenya suggested that the industry will not agree to be subjected to these regulations, claiming the economic benefits of the trade are too big to be ignored.

Clean Up Kenya continues to urge the Mitumba Association of Kenya to recognize the environmental impact of the trade and to work with other stakeholders to address the dumping issues. Apart from the Netherlands, other governments in the European Union are also concerned about these issues.



Betterman Simidi Musasia

Founder, Patron and Spokesperson, Former CEO

Betterman is a sustainable public sanitation advocate and a pollution control evangelist. In 2015, after becoming extremely tired of seeing all the trash in Kenyan neighborhoods and hearing the authorities fake promises to clear the mess, he sold his trucking business to establish Clean Up Kenya. Today, the organization is a leading national sustainable public sanitation advocacy brand. In September 2020, he stepped down as Clean Up Kenya Chief Executive Officer and currently serves as Founder and Patron.