In Nagaland, second-hand clothing holds enduring appeal across all seasons, sustaining numerous small-scale retailers. Among locals, there’s a prevailing belief that the quality of second-hand items in Kohima surpasses that of other districts.

second-hand kohima
A second-hand garments boutique in Kohima

Kevikhrienuo, who has been running a second-hand clothing store in Kohima, shared her experience with Mokokchung Times stating that many customers have told her that Kohima’s second-hand items are of better quality than those in other districts in Nagaland.

Kevikhrienuo opined that perhaps it was because the second-hand clothes are mostly Korean and Chinese garments which customers are fond of. She suggests that these clothes, tailored to Asian sizes, fit the locals more comfortably. “Korean clothes are not only fashionable but also relatively rare,” Kevikhrienuo remarked, offering possible explanations for their popularity.

Mese-ü, another Kohima-based retailer, also echoed sentiments from customers about Kohima’s superior second-hand items compared to Dimapur. She recounted a personal experience of purchasing a shirt in Dimapur at an inflated price, expressing surprise at the perceived mismatch between cost and quality.

“I was surprised because those goods were something worth not selling and rather giving away for free to someone we know if it was in Kohima,” said Mese-ü. Similarly, she shared how jogger pants and leggings were charged Rs 300 – 400 in Dimapur, which, depending upon the quality, she said, would be priced at Rs 200 – Rs 250 in Kohima.

However, Mese-ü, offered a contrasting perspective on why Kohima’s second hand clothes were considered superior. Regardless of origin, she viewed the key determinant of quality is sheer luck. “Even if the parcels are from different places like the west, if we are lucky, we find the right size and good quality,” she noted, acknowledging occasional discrepancies like oversized or overly fashionable garments in Korean shipments.

Abdul, a second-hand distributor in Kohima who supplies to smaller retailers, explained the grading system for second-hand bales, categorizing them into three qualities: A class, B class, and C class.

“The A class quality is in high demand in Kohima and, therefore, as a retailer you search only for A class,” Abdul said, adding that the cost of the bales varies depending on the quality. However, he said, ‘A class’ bales do not guarantee uniformly high quality, as some items may be of lesser quality.

Both Mese-ü and Kevikhrienuo revealed the economic dynamics of their trade, typically investing between Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 per bale. While profits vary, they estimate a potential return of Rs 5,000 to Rs 7,000 per bale, contingent on consistent effort and favorable acquisitions. However, they lamented recent price hikes, with second-hand bales now commanding Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000.

Abdul disclosed the challenges he face due to the rise of online shopping, which has impacted his livelihood. Despite managing to maintain a profit margin of Rs 1,000 to Rs 5,000 per bale, he highlighted the formidable obstacles posed by the shifting landscape of consumer behavior.

According to a report by Aishik Chanda for The New Indian Express in 2016, second-hand clothes imported to India via ships from East Asian countries are prevalent in Nagaland. Korean clothes being of ‘better quality’ are the most sought after and also cost the most in wholesale. Small retailers have to buy old clothes in 50 kg to 100 kg bales, rates of which depend on the quality of the clothes and their country of origin. A bale of 50 kg consignment of good Korean clothes can cost around Rs 1.2 lakh. Cheaper quality clothes cost from Rs 40,000 to Rs 70,000.

Insights into India’s second-hand clothing trade
According to UN Comtrade data of global trade of worn clothes and textiles, India was the biggest importer of worn clothing and textiles in 2013. The UN Comtrade data showed that such imports by India were worth $182 million, 4.3 per cent of the overall global imports of $4,179 million.

According to Business Standard, used clothes are imported into India under two categories — wearable and mutilated.

The import of wearable clothes requires a license from the government, with the condition of 100 percent re-export. This segment accounts for about 30 per cent of the imports.

The government’s approval isn’t required to import mutilated clothes, which account for about 60 per cent of worn clothing imports. Yarn extracted from mutilated rags and woolens is used to make blankets, sold at about Rs 80-100 each in the open market.

It was further reported that wearable clothes enter the Indian retail market through two channels: First, smuggling from special economic zones (SEZs). Domestic apparel manufacturers say as much as 30 per cent of the imports into the SEZs are smuggled into the domestic market.

The second channel is payment of a paltry penalty of Rs 50 a kg at custom checkpoints. By comparison, new imported garments attract an import duty of 15 per cent.

Mokokchung Times

5 thoughts on “Second-hand clothing in Kohima perceived to have superior quality in Nagaland | Retailer hints ‘A-class quality’ as reason”
  1. Hi there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!

  2. Another thing is that when looking for a good on-line electronics shop, look for online shops that are continually updated, trying to keep up-to-date with the newest products, the perfect deals, in addition to helpful information on goods and services. This will make certain you are doing business with a shop which stays atop the competition and give you what you need to make knowledgeable, well-informed electronics purchases. Thanks for the significant tips I have really learned from the blog.

  3. Hello there, just became aware of your blog through Google, and found that it is truly informative. I抦 going to watch out for brussels. I will be grateful if you continue this in future. Numerous people will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

  4. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *