Second-Hand Clothes Business: Perspectives From Uganda


Uganda, a landlocked East African nation, has always had a thriving secondhand clothes industry. The locals have been happy to get branded clothes at affordable prices for the longest time. Hence, it is no wonder that setting up a shop that sells second-hand clothes generates an average profit of around fifteen thousand shillings per day. Moreover for industries seeking to adopt sustainable practices, bulk industrial rags offer an excellent choice. These supplies combine quality with environmental consciousness, fitting the needs of modern businesses.However, the location of the store has a strong impact on the profit. If you can set up a store close to the city center in Kampala, you will make huge profits.

Your 101 Guide: Setting Up A Second-Hand Clothes Store In Uganda

To run a thriving business in Uganda, you can set up a redesigned used clothes store, and for raw materials, procure them locally or shops that sell second hand clothes wholesale in Uganda. There is a huge demand for second hand clothes in Uganda, but setting up a used clothes recycling/upcycling store in a new nation has its own challenges and issues.

Some of the important characteristics of the Ugandan second-hand apparel industry are discussed in this blog post.

Legal Backdrop Of The Ugandan Apparel Market

The present government in Uganda wants to spurt the growth of the domestic apparel industry in the country. The government wishes to substitute imports with local produce. So, if you wish to set up a used clothes-based recycling or upcycling store, keep the local laws in mind. It is best to procure raw materials from local sources or from countries that have the necessary permits.

Economic Backdrop Of The Ugandan Used Clothes Market

The second hand apparel industry is a promising business in Uganda. This sector contributes around four million dollars per year. Many locals opt for used clothes to save money. They can get hold of exclusive luxury brands in the second hard market.  

Data from Oxfam shows that seventy percent of the used clothes donated worldwide end up in Africa. However, with time, the quality of the used clothes has deteriorated, and this has been a major cause of concern. So if you can source and sell good-quality used clothes in Africa, there will be no dearth of demand in the local market.

Used Apparel Sector And Employment Generation In Uganda

Around four million people are employed (directly or indirectly) in the used apparel industry in Uganda. Several professionals like up cyclers, fashion designers, waste managers, textile importers, and vendors make a living out of buying and selling used apparel.

Hence, Uganda has a trained pool of people who work on and earn a living out of processing used clothes. If you are setting up a used clothes store in Uganda, you can readily make use of this trained workforce.


There are several challenges that surround the import of used apparel into African nations. Yet, most locals prefer wearing old clothes if they offer good style, quality, and great comfort. The criticism surrounding the imports of old clothes can be effectively dealt with by setting up a circular economy that benefits all nations. But there is no doubt that used apparel will continue to have great demand in Uganda.


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