Few days to Christmas celebration, second-hand clothes, popularly referred to as Okirika or bend-down boutique, are enjoying more patronage in Lagos than the brand new ones.
Dealers of the second hand clothes at Iyana Iba market in Ojo Local Government Area of Lagos State told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that they experienced more patronage in 2012 than in 2011.
Mr Uche Ugwu, a trader in the market, said he had since the beginning of December had more patronage from people who preferred the clothes due to affordability.
He, however, said that prices of the fairly-used clothes were gradually increasing since it became more popular than the new ones, adding that he only traded in first grade second- hand clothes.
Ugwu said that a first grade bale of second-hand clothes from Cotonou goes for N50, 000, as against N30,000 it was previously sold. He said childrens jean trousers and shirts were sold for N800 and N500 respectively as against the N500 and N300 pre-Yuletide price.
In fact, there is not much difference between the first-grade second hand clothes and the new ones; even the fairly used ones are more durable than the so-called new ones, he said, adding that most of his customers were already aware of the days he would open new bales, and would wait to rush the clothes.
He said that ahead of this years Yuletide, his shop had witnessed influx of people from different places patronising him.
Another trader at the market, Mrs Ifeayinchukwu Nwizugbo, said her bale of clothes consisted of childrens wears, trousers, skirts, gowns and shirts. She said some of her customers had called her to book for childrens clothes.
Nwizugbo said childrens stocks now ranged from N800 to N1,000, adding that the price depends on the quality. She said that prior to Yuletide, she sold childrens wears between for N500 and N700.
She said that with the exception of jeans trousers which now sold for N1,000 as against the previous price of N700, she sold all other childrens wears at a uniform price of N800.
Nwizugbo said the patronage was very encouraging this season as most people had discovered that second-hand clothes last longer than new ones.
Mrs Opeyemi Olusegun, a customer, said she preferred second-hand clothes because of the durability. She said she had made out time this Sunday to come to the market to select nice first-grade gowns for her daughters.
Olusegun said that, so far, she had spent only N4,000 to purchase clothes for five children, adding that she spent more than N11, 000 buying brand new clothes for them last year.
`When I dry clean these clothes and thoroughly iron them, they appear very straight and clean, and one would not be able to differentiate them from the so-called new ones. For me, these clothes are not just affordable, they last longer since most of them are either American-used or London-used, she said
Another customer, Mrs Shade Adebayo, also said she preferred second-hand clothes because they were affordable and more durable than the new ones.
She said she spent just N3,000 to purchase clothes for her two sons, and this had helped reduce her expenses. Adebayo said that most people regarded those patronising second -hand clothes as paupers, but this conclusion is wrong.
According to her, second-hand clothes are far better than the new ones that fade in no time.
She said that she was particularly interested in the clothes not because they were cheap but because she needed clothes that would serve her children longer.
Source: PM News