‘Okrika’ clothes, pocket friendly, health challenging?

‘Okrika’ clothes, pocket friendly, health challenging?

By Dupe Olaoye-Osinkolu

KATANKOWA 2 The booming fairly used clothes market always record large and profitable patronage in Nigeria. Popularly known as Okrika, the poor, average and rich citizens always jostle to pick and choose the second-hand wears. The Okrika patronage cuts across age, gender, tribe and class. The low income earners often wonder why the senior staff are bent on outshining them in Okrika shopping.

Okrika era precedes the current recession. It has been an age-long trade.

KATANKOWA BAILSBeyond the glamour of buying grade one used designer wears however is the danger of storage transmitted diseases. Some people claim the clothes and shoes can harbour various viruses due to unhygienic handling. They are said to be usually stored for a long time and during transportation, exposed to all sorts of unhygienic situations. It is therefore advisable that these wears be thoroughly soaked in disinfectant and washed before use.

They come in various types and designs. Under pants, brassieres and petticoats too get high patronage. Buyers look out for the AA grade. Those are the new ones with labels that were probably evacuated from shops abroad during clearance sales to pave way for new stock.

KATANKOWAThose who have been in the business for long claim that it is very profitable. A new entrant into the business however has to be guided as most of the bales are repackaged and the AA type are mixed with rags and low quality clothes to maximize the sellers’ profit.

The AA bales are said to be the best and most expensive type because it contains new and decent clothes. Next to that is the AB category. These are mixture of classy designs and not- so- good wears. They are normally packed in 55kg. Whoever is buying the bales for the first time, needs to be guided by those who know the terrain otherwise, will not get value for his or her money.

For retail purchases, Katankowa market along Abeokuta Expressway and Yaba, opposite Tejuosho market are popular among other places that can be visited. Bales are also available at both markets.

Bales of chiffon dresses are between N140,000 and N160,000, depending on the quality. Chiffon blouses, N110,000- N130,000, cotton dresses –N100,000-N110,000, cotton blouses, N80,000-N90,000, Men’s trousers, N80,000-N90,000, Men’s shirts, N100,000-N110,000, Children’s mixed, N140,000-N150,000, office skirts, N65,000-N75,000, Mixed shoes, N70,000-N80,000. Gentlemen and ladies park classy cars to buy these fairly used clothes. On enquiry, a dealer in Katankowa market (popularly pronounced as Katangiwa) said, the fairly used clothes and shoes are not really patronized for the prices as they are also expensive now because of the currency exchange rate, but for the durability.

Mama Janet, a fairly used shoes seller in Katankowa said: “First grade second hand clothes and shoes are always very durable. You know how much they sell Clark shoes in shops? Very expensive because their products and those of some other designers are very durable. Yet they still cleared their warehouse during sales and sell the products as second hand. That is why our customers always come here.”

She claims that some boutique owners buy second hand AA grades, shoes and clothes from them and display in their shops.

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