Ghana imports an average of 15 million used garments from Western countries, with the recent value of the goods amounting to nearly $249 million.
But to curb the influx of second-hand dresses, there is a call to increase taxation on imported goods.
Policy implementation along these lines would help foster patronage of Ghanaian prints and locally produced garments.
The head of the fashion department of Akenten University of Vocational Training and Entrepreneurial Development Appiah Menka is advocating for increased taxes on imported used clothes.
Dr. Daniel Danso believed that reducing imported clothing would lead to a reduction in the cost of locally made clothing.
He was speaking at the university’s annual fashion show, initiated by the Department of Fashion Design and Textile Education.
“People compare prices and they see imported products as cheaper. So they opt for those rather than patronize the quality products made in Ghana. If we consume more of our Ghanaian products, there will be a demand for more and in that case they can reduce the prices. The more we produce, the lower the price. I think the government should put in place a policy to increase taxes on the import of second-hand clothes,” he said.
The fashion show and exhibition allowed senior students in the department to showcase their artistic creation for sales and aesthetic appreciation.
Dubbed “Moda Afrocentrica”, the event saw students selling Afrocentric beauty through African fabrics, trends, colors and silhouettes.
“It is our mandate as a department at the university to train teachers of technical and vocational education so that they can travel to schools and colleges to impact the knowledge and skills acquired. Also through this, we want them to start businesses and employ more people, which would help ease the burden of unemployment in the country,” he said.
A total of 82 students in pairs designed outfits ranging from bridal to casual wear as part of their final year undergraduate project.
Fashion Design Students Association President Philip Opoku Agyei calls for a united front among fashion designers in Ghana.
He believes that a common front would facilitate the gradual elimination of the influx of second-hand clothes imported into the country.
“When you look at other countries, they have associations. But in Ghana, we don’t have a national fashion designers association. Once we have an association, we can know the number of designers so that we can apply for help from the government. The government should invest more in TVET and skills acquisition programs,” he said.