Abuja residents turn to second-hand clothes amid economic downturn

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Some residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have said they now patronise second-hand clothing popularly called, “okrika’ because it is affordable.

The residents in separate interviews with agency reporters on Wednesday said they preferred to buy second-hand clothes because of their relative affordability and durability.

Grace Ike, a resident of Nyanya, said she buys fairly-used clothes and shoes for her children because they are cheaper, durable and could be passed from one child to another.

Ike added that she also prefers to do her shopping very early in the morning to avoid the rush and to enable her to get the better ones from the sellers.

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“One has to come early when the bales would be open, otherwise you won’t see the good materials to select,’’ she said.

Kadijat Idris, a second-hand clothes patroniser and a student who resides at Karu said that new clothes are expensive and beyond her purchasing power.

“As a student, I have much expenditure to make so I rather go for second-hand clothes in other to meet up with my daily needs, ‘she said.

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She said some of the new clothes are inferior; they are worn out easily, especially jeans while second-hand clothes are very superior and last longer.

“It provides the opportunity for you to find unique items that no one else has, ’she said.

Idris said that most of the second-hand clothes that you find in thrift stores are completely unique and sold at extremely low prices.

She said that instead of using the money to get new clothes, she prefers to use to buy food for herself and her family.

Idris said that there was no need to go for new clothes when the second-hand ones are less expensive and affordable.

Miss Kadijat Idris, a banker, says she buys fairly-used bags, shoes and other accessories because of their quality, durability and uniqueness.

“ Fairly-used items last longer than some new ones because most of them are designer or branded items and I am sure of their authenticity, rather than buying new ones that don’t last,’’ she said.

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Mama Ebuka, a trader at the Utako Market, said she usually sells her wears on market days across the metropolis and environs.

“ I have several customers, so I usually go to Mararaba markets every Wednesday, Madalla on Thursdays and Garki on Fridays to sell my goods,’’ she said.

Ebuka said people should jettison the perception that low-income earners buy fairly-used items more, adding that patronage cuts across all classes depending on preference and taste.

“It is not just poor people that buy our things; I have a lot of rich customers, who I carefully select the kind of things I know they like,” she said.

However, a medical practitioner, Dr Martins Magaji, cautioned residents on the health hazards of using fairly-used clothing, especially pants and bras.

“Using underwear that has been worn by another person exposes the user to some diseases, especially if the previous wearer had diseases such as skin or sexually transmitted diseases,’’ he said.

Magaji advised buyers to ensure that such clothes are properly washed with antiseptic, sun-dried and ironed before usage in order to reduce the risk of contracting diseases.