County in Kenya where most people search for Mitumba

New data indicates there has been a 160% rise in queries on mitumba (second-hand items)

Former workers offloading mitumba wares from a container

Kenya is witnessing a sporadic rise in thrift stores. These are small online businesses selling second-hand items from clothing, antiques, housewares, art, seasonal items and even furniture.

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), a review of the period between 2016 to 2020 showed that Kenyan traders spent Sh485 billion to import 751.3 tonnes of second-hand clothing.

In addition, Google search trends reveal there has been a 160 percent rise in two terms, ‘Thrift meaning’ and ‘Thrift Stores’ revealing Kenyans' interest in upcycling and recycling.

Data released by Google on World Earth Day 2022 indicates that Mombasa County is Kenya's number one county with the highest number of searches related to mitumba.

"Since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, new data from Google Search Trends reveals that Kenyans have taken a particular interest in searching for ‘Thrifting'; the buying and selling of second-hand items that have been gently used.

"The global fashion industry accounts for 10% of carbon emissions; therefore, Kenya's interest in upcycling and recycling items is a win for the planet,” Sharon Machira, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager in Kenya stated.

Second-hand items are mostly shipped via Mombasa Port and through the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi.

The concept of thrifting has become a necessity due to economics while for others, it is a fun way to hunt down the out of the ordinary.

Following the rising interest in mitumba in Kenya, Thrift with Google enables shoppers to easily locate thrift stores discovering the latest thrifting trends while small business operators get the benefit of listing their stores on Google Maps for better discoverability.

Thrifting has also resulted in a sharp rise in Thrift content development on YouTube where thrift store owners have channels to promote their wares.

To support small businesses Google launched a small businesses portal, Google for Small businesses, a one-stop-shop solution to help small businesses find the solutions and guidance they need to get online and grow.

The portal enables businesses to get increased visibility with customers finding products they are looking for with ease.

World Earth Day is a reminder for mankind to protect and safeguard the mother earth and its species, to make Earth a better place for the coming generations. April 22, 2022, will mark 52 years of Earth Day.

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