Saturday, December 2, 2023

Sritex CEO Compares Used Clothing Imports to Buying Rubbish

March 16, 2023 | 11:28 pm
Shoppers choose apparel at a second-hand clothing store at Senen Market, Jakarta, on March 13, 2023. (B-Universe Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)
Shoppers choose apparel at a second-hand clothing store at Senen Market, Jakarta, on March 13, 2023. (B-Universe Photo/Mohammad Defrizal)

Jakarta. The chief executive officer of textile giant Sri Rejeki Isman (Sritex) joined the chorus of calls to stop the import of used clothes which are really of no value, saying on Thursday that Indonesia could end up a waste dump unless the illegal imports are banned entirely.

Iwan Setiawan Lukminto said used clothing imports, which remain rampant despite a government regulation banning the practice, are by no means a way to reuse or recycle second-hand products in the Indonesian case.

"Because they are literally rubbish of no value but manage to find their way in our stores,” Iwan said in an interview with Jakarta Globe’s sister publication Beritasatu in Jakarta.

“Other countries dump those [clothes] for free and yet they have a value here. This is wrong. If they arrived here to be demolished or recycled, that would be a different story.”


Used clothing imports also come as a blow to the already suffering domestic textile industry, with Iwan pointing out that a majority of factories operate at 50 percent of their capacity or lower.

“Second-hand clothing imports really have a damaging impact,” he stressed.

The irony is that imported second-hand products are openly sold in big cities while there is a regulation banning the imports in the first place.

“We have a ministerial regulation banning such practices as the president reiterated yesterday,” Iwan said, adding that he welcomes the president's call to immediately halt the illicit imports.

A day earlier, President Joko Widodo ordered a crackdown on used clothing imports.

“I have given the order for the crackdown and within the last two days many have been discovered,” the president told reporters in Jakarta.

“Used clothing import really caused disruption [to the domestic textile industry],” he added.

The government also mulls a blanket ban on the imports of all second-hand goods beyond apparel and footwear.

Sritex CEO Compares Used Clothing Imports to Buying Rubbish
President Joko Widodo, second right, inspects a military camo garment at a Sritex factory in Surakarta, Central Java, accompanied by Sritex CEO Iwan Setiawan Lukminto, third right. (Photo courtesy of Sritex)

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