Skip to main content

Haiti’s Pepe Trade: How Secondhand American Clothes Became a First-Rate Business


Secondhand (Pepe)

In this documentary about used clothing, the historical memoir of a Jewish immigrant rag picker intertwines with the present-day story of ‘pepe’ — secondhand clothing that flows from North America to Haiti. Secondhand (Pepe) animates the materiality of recycled clothes — their secret afterlives and the unspoken connections among people in an era of globalization.
In the early 1900s, immigrant Jews from Eastern Europe collected, sorted, and sold secondhand clothing. As the Jewish peddlers made their way through North American city streets, they called out ‘Rags, Bones, Bottles!’ Today, at the beginning of the 21st century, the used clothing industry has gone global. Billions of pounds go to developing nations each year. Used American clothes play an especially central role in Haiti where, as one peddler reveals, ‘It’s all pepe, all the time.’
Dreamlike visuals and ethereal sounds intermix the beats of Jewish klezmer and Haitian rara music. Luke Fischbeck (Lucky Dragons) has composed the soundtrack of the film with an artful and nuanced ear, emphasizing the ruptures and looped connections among diasporic cultures. Secondhand (Pepe)’s two stories converge as American castoffs travel from the Jewish memoir reader’s rag factory to the Haitian shores. As pepe makes its way to Port-au-Prince, passing through an intricate network of peddlers, seamstresses and entrepreneurs, the past recycles into the present. more from twn

“Haiti has practically become a trash can,” says Ketcia Pierre-Louis, “where everything people in other countries don’t need comes here.”
Pierre-Louis is a businesswoman and affiliate of the Croix-des-Bouquets Chamber of Commerce, just outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Like many critics of imported second-hand clothing, which is known locally as “pepe,” she believes the practice undercuts domestic businesses and industries. Some have even called for the government to ban the practice.
But Haiti’s pepe trade is decidedly a business—not a charity. In fact, it starts with Haitian Americans buying goods at U.S. thrift stores and shipping products to Port-au-Prince and other ports. Pepe may include hand-me-downs, but the clothing is high-quality, stylish, and cheap. More important, average Haitians prefer the choice of wearing such apparel—and brands like Polo, Lacoste, and Converse—to not having access to such products at all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

1914 Germany Afrikaner farmer Agreement

thank you Etienne 
translated from Afrikaner to EnglishTo all the people of the white race all over the world, most of all to the German nation: This is an important agreement Concerning the South African Boer people and the German nation. It has to do with an agreement between the Boer rebellion and the German troops in Southwest Africa. The Boer rebellion were lead by leaders of the Afrikaaner nation (General Manie Maritz, General SG Maritz, General Koss Delarey) and who’ll be fought against the English in the Second Anglo-Boer war from 1899 to 1902, where the Afrikaaner nation under hun president In Paul Kruger ulcers completely humiliated by the English when ze ulcers forced to sign the Treaty of Vereeniging in 1902. The atrocities committed against the Boers in the Concentration camps ulcers horriffic to say the least, and at least 30 000 Boer women and Children Were driven from hun farms Which Were torched under Lord Kitchener’s Scorched Earth policies. The attached files are an ima…

MS-13 and Los Zetas Drug cartels stealing millions of barrels of oil and taking over control of the drug trade.

Los Zetas vs Ms 13 from lastcombat.com Los Zetas is an armed criminal gang that operates as a hired army for the Gulf Cartel. The group is believed to be led by Heriberto “The Executioner” Castanon. Los Zetas, the Ninth CartelTuesday, May 18, 2010 |  Borderland Beat Reporter Buggs

Major pedophile Somali-Muslim sex gang busted in Minnesota and Tennessee.

In a series of arrests carried out Monday morning in the Twin Cities and Nashville, Tennessee, federal and local authorities broke up a human trafficking ring that provided underage prostitutes. A federal indictment unsealed Monday morning in Nashville details the sex trafficking operations of 29 Somali men and women tied to the Somali Outlaws, Somali Mafia and Lady Outlaws gangs, which are all connected and based in Minneapolis. Of the 29 indicted, 12 were arrested Monday morning in the Twin Cities, eight in Nashville and six were already in jail in various locations. Three remain at-large and wanted.MORE

 FBI-2011 National Gang Threat Assessment 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment – Emerging Trends
view printable version (pdf) The gang estimates presented in the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment (NGTA) represent the collection of data provided by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) through the National Drug Threat Survey, Bureau of Prisons, State Correctional Facilities, …