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Episode 502: The Afterlife Of A T-Shirt

Bales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.

hide captionBales of imported clothing are wheeled into the Gikombo Market in Nairobi, Kenya.

Sarah Elliott for NPR

Part of the Planet Money T-shirt Project

Charities like Goodwill sell or give away some of the used clothes they get. But a lot of the clothes get sold, packed in bales and sent across the ocean in a container ship. The U.S. exports over a billion pounds of used clothing every year — and much of that winds up in used clothing markets in sub-Saharan Africa.

On today's show, we visit a giant used-clothing market in Nairobi, Kenya to see what happens to American clothes (including, presumably, some Planet Money T-shirts) after Americans are done with them.

Buy a Planet Money T-shirt. Music: Faded Paper Figures's "Invent It All Again." Find us: Twitter/ Facebook/Spotify/ Tumblr. Download the Planet Money iPhone App.

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