Makeshift shops in the district selling old warm clothes are attracting customers from the low-income group with affordable options to survive the winter without digging too deep into their pockets.
The demand for warm clothes is high, especially for children and elderly. People throng these mobile shops as brand-new attires are mostly beyond their reach.
While vendors are delighted with the sale, buyers are happy with the reasonably priced attires they need to survive the shivering cold in Rangamati.
With the advent of winter, the import and sale of warm clothes in all upazilas of the district began in full swing. This year too, the prices of warm clothes rose, forcing the low-income group to go for secondhand garments.
Traders are reporting brisk sales.
Makeshift mobile shops and footpath vendors at College Gate, Bonorupa, Reserve Bazar, Tobolchhari and some other places were seen selling used winter items, including blankets, sweaters, blazers, shawls, caps and socks.
These are mainly brought from Dhaka and Chattogram and stored in heaps.
“We bought them from Chattogram as the cold intensified,” said Md Rafiq, a seasonal old clothes trader in the footpath of Reserve Bazaar.
“There are 350-400 outfits in one bundle that cost Tk 8,000-9,000. But the price of the bundle depends on the type of clothes. This year, the sale is pretty good,” he said.
Customers like Jasmine Akhtar, Sonali Chakma and Sonamoni Chakma said increasing cold weather forced them to come to buy warm clothes.
They said it is possible to find high quality clothes at affordable prices in the pile of used garments.
According to customers, the prices of old clothes this time are quite high. They have to spend a lot of time searching through the heap as the clothes are often found to be torn and worn out.
“If you’re lucky, sometimes you’ll find brand-new clothes in the pile,” said one of the buyers as he searched through the heap.