Home Fashion Sierra Leone Deals With Our Junk In The Most Stylish Of Ways

Sierra Leone Deals With Our Junk In The Most Stylish Of Ways

Image Credit ABC

So you may not know but on average only 15% of the stuff we send to charity actually sits on those racks. The rest heads off to the global south with a large portion heading directly for Africa. In Sierra Leone, it sits at ‘the junks’ and is sold locally or heads off to landfill. In the US alone there are 11 million tonnes of textile waste each year according to the Eco-Age.

Sierra Leone is taking this environmental travesty and giving it a new look. A country that has overcome the Ebola crisis and the ongoing struggles the civil war has left behind. In Freetown, the people are using street style, via the junk clothes that end up there, some right from our very own wardrobes. It is proving to be the armour of choice to combat the struggles of day-to-day life. This is not an image of helplessness in the way that these stories are often told but one of agency. The reclamation of arts and culture and the reimagining of our old wardrobes, which we were just, not cool enough as to reimagine ourselves. One of Freetown’s 8000 tailors helps locals make the clothes their own and turns our junk into a worldwide US$4.3Billion industry.

The lives of these style pioneers are being brought to you on ABC IView thanks to Jo Dunlop, a Sydney-sider who headed over to Sierra Leone to volunteer in the Ebola crisis and found herself enamoured by the street style that surrounded her. The Series is called Fashpack: Freetown and is based on her blog. The narrative is a refreshing perspective on Sierra Leone and the stylish folk that inhabit it.

If you are shocked about the stats of where your clothes go and want to know more I highly recommend watching ‘The True Cost’, You can rent it on their website and it is on Netflix so there really is not an excuse.