Street traders in Albania

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A street market on the road to Byllis, Albania © Adèle Emm

I’ve just returned from a holiday in Albania and, as always, am intrigued on how a country’s economics change.  There’s a huge market for second hand clothes in Albania especially for  villages  which are miles away, both physically and transport-wise from larger towns and cities. On the road to the ancient city of Byllis, we stopped, impromptu, at a street market where the main commercial commodity was not local food (most customers were semi or entirely self-sufficient from a small holdings or garden) but clothing and shoes strung out on racks or laid higgledy-piggledy on the verge of the road.  I wasn’t convinced that just left shoes were up for sale…

And this, of course, is how those in the British Islands who couldn’t afford new clothes in past times clothed themselves.  The better-off poor purchased second-hand clothing, the more destitute and desperate, third/fourth hand or rags. A fellow traveller told me that unwanted clothing we sell for £4 per 10 kilos at home in England is destined for just such a destination.

There is nothing new under the sun…

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