Western clothing donations are responsible for a booming second hand industry across Africa. The impacts are diverse, overwhelming, and inspiring but they raise maby questions too. The Western perception of donating second hand clothing is seen as a positive solution - the donor helps the poor and avoids clothing going to Waste/Landfills. However, unbeknownst or “not” communicated is what really happens to the donated second hand clothing. What kind of impact does the ‘donated’ clothing have on the people who receive it?
In search of answers Linda Valkeman, Carmen Hogg and Sammy Otteng initiated a sender-receiver conversation with teams in both the Netherlands and Ghana. With this dialogue they try to find answers to the many questions they have on the social impact of clothing donations- a phenomenon the Dutch and Ghanaians have a long history and wide presence of. This website presents the findings of the research and possible solutions by both the sender and receiver.
firstname.lastname@example.org +233 55 843 4904
No.19 Stephen Amartey Street Accra, Ghana
Linda Valkeman is a research-based designer who straddles the interface of design
and anthropology. Defining herself as a 'Material Teller' she aims to explore how the
meaning of objects, styles and aesthetic forms change over time and space. Her
multidisciplinary work studies the cultural dimensions of globalisation. Offering fresh
perspectives and critical questions on (Dutch) colonial activities in a contemporary context.
A accumulation of personal work & research belonging to the subjects that were
implicated in these flows.
Linda is continuously in search of alternative fluid (fashion)systems with potential to shape
future aesthetic patterns and consumption. Formally educated as a fashion designer, she
has always felt a love hate affair with it and functioned around the fringes of Fashion &
Textiles. Human scale modalities and narratives play an important role in her processes.
This sits alongside her fascination with the impact of habitual behaviours on peoples
bodies, materials, objects and their surrounding spaces. Her projects often reflect specific
social contexts and emphasise collaboration and participation. An anthropological
approach coupled with a keen interest in the contextual process is a recurring theme in her
Samuel Otteng Sammy is a Accra-based designer and researcher. He graduated in 2018 from Radford University and is currently a Gucci Design Fellowship finalist. He has been upcycling clothing from Kantamanto for almost a decade. Within his work he is keen on making a socio-political statement. Exploring issues of neo-colonialism, sexuality and gender fluidity.
Speaking on the secondhand clothing trade Sammy says: “It is both my ultimate competition and an avenue for raw material. Making space for both to be true is so important.Second hand clothing may be detrimental to the Ghanaian fashion and textile industry but if the right steps are taken it can also be a way of propelling creativity whiles dealing with underlying issues of the socio-politics and environment. Kantamanto is neither “good” nor “bad.” Such binary thinking oversimplifies the convo and presents life as a series of transactions. But life is not simply transactional & we have seen what happens when the binary rules that govern our economy become the only way we relate to self, others and nature. It’s not looking good.
When you are young you learn how stories are constructed. There isn’t good/bad or a problem and a solution. Conflict - yes. Resolution - maybe. Many different characters with diverse intentions, needs, wants & realities that are often in tension, this is why we often say that “nuance humanizes.”