• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK

Mountain Of Unwanted Brit Clothes Wash Up On African Beaches

Joe Harker

Published 
| Last updated 

Mountain Of Unwanted Brit Clothes Wash Up On African Beaches

A gargantuan mountain of unwanted clothes Brits have thrown away is clogging up a West African beach in a stark illustration of the true cost of 'fast fashion'.

When you donate your old, unwanted clothes you might not know exactly where they end up, but you can probably imagine them getting packaged up and sent to someone who needs it.

Instead, the truth is far more likely that they'll be shipped abroad and deemed so bad that they get chucked straight onto a landfill to slowly rot.

Pictures of a huge clump of clothes covering the beaches of Ghana had illustrated the stark picture of pollution parts of the world are experiencing as a result of our addiction to cheap, disposable clothes.

The mountain of clothes is sitting on the beach of Jamestown, a fishing community in the Ghanaian capital of Accra.

A mountain of unwanted clothes is clogging up the beaches of Ghana's capital city. Credit: Muntaka Chasant/Shutterstock
A mountain of unwanted clothes is clogging up the beaches of Ghana's capital city. Credit: Muntaka Chasant/Shutterstock

According to ABC, every week around 15 million articles of clothing end up in Accra from other countries all over the world.

The city is home to a huge market for second hand clothes which takes in what gets donated and sells it on, but a huge amount of donations are pretty much worthless.

Around 40 percent of these clothes are judged to be in such a poor condition that they're thrown away immediately, becoming another addition to the piles of slowly rotting landfill.

Other items are 'one-off' articles of clothing such as personalised shirts that nobody else would ever buy and wear, they too go onto the landfill.

The piles of clothes sit around decomposing, though storms can wash chunks of them away into the sea where they form 'tentacles' of fabric which wash up on the beaches.

Discarded second hand clothes which can't be sold on are left to rot. Credit: Muntaka Chasant/Shutterstock
Discarded second hand clothes which can't be sold on are left to rot. Credit: Muntaka Chasant/Shutterstock

The US is the largest exporter of second hand clothes, but after them it's thought to be the UK that sends the most articles of clothing abroad.

According to research from environmental charity WRAP, around 70 percent of clothes donated or wasted by Brits end up abroad, where much of it never finds a new owner.

One of the major causes behind this mountain of unwanted clothes is the 'fast fashion' trend which produces cheap, low quality items of clothes that help consumers keep up with the latest fashion trends.

Not made to last, 'fast fashion' is made to be worn a few times and then thrown away, with large amounts of it ending up on massive landfill sites like the one in Accra.

Fast fashion has been a problem in the UK for years, with WRAP warning that the carbon footprint of the fashion industry was growing thanks to a consumer shift to cheaper clothes.

Every year Brits bin over 300,000 tonnes worth of clothes, about the weight of 30 Eiffel Towers.

Some of this waste comes from people throwing away their clothes, other bits of it from fast fashion retailers chucking out cheap clothes that didn't sell.

Considering the stark image of where plenty of it ends up, maybe it's best to hang onto that top a little while longer.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

Topics: World News, Fashion, Environment

Joe Harker
More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Sport

Harry Kane wouldn’t have been allowed on the pitch if he’d worn OneLove armband

14 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Ex-Miss Croatia says Qatar needs to respect her way of life as she risks prison arrest

6 hours ago