Japanese used-clothing retailers are looking at enhancing exports in Southeast Asia. These retailers purchase unneeded clothes from consumers and resell them at their stores — which used to be mainly in Japan. Today they have seen that Southeast Asian markets are eagerly waiting to lap up used clothing. The Japan discards/burns around 1 million tonnes of clothes annually, however, by ensuring new markets, the efforts to encourage reuse of what would eventually be thrown away helps reduce environment pollution.
Don Don Up, a second-hand clothing store chain located in the Iwate Prefecture in Northern Japan, launched its Dondondown on Wednesday store in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh in 2014. It now operates 12 stores in Cambodia aiming to increase it to around 50 by 2021. The retailer also plans to expand its footprint into Thailand, Vietnam and other countries in the region.
Don Don Up’s President Akifumi Okamoto says most people in Cambodia, even those who are strapped for cash, have smartphones, they now have access to sufficient information and have become conscious about what they wear and how they wear it. International fast-fashion brands are hardly seen in the country. This is another reason for the Japanese retailer to expand its footprint in this market where there is a rising demand for used clothing.