Used shoes đź‘ź import & smuggling

jstar

Mr. 10,000
Joined
Jul 31, 2016
Messages
5,310
sepatu-bekas-daur-ulang-diselundupkan-ke-batam_169.jpeg



Perhaps you read about this but it was a bit lost in the local news. In July 2022, Reuters reporters donated ten pairs of second-hand shoes to a recycling program initiated by U.S. petrochemical giant Dow Inc. and the government agency Sport Singapore. With the recycling program, they wanted to process the used rubber-soled shoes to create new jogging tracks and playgrounds with the material obtained. Tens of thousands of shoes were donated to the program.

Before the reporters donated the shoes, they placed location trackers in the shoe soles to closely monitor the footwear’s journey. Six months later, some of the tagged shoes were recovered. Not in Singapore, but in Indonesia: in second-hand goods markets in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and also in Batam. The shoes donated by the news agency were exported to Indonesia for resale. Obviously that was not the purpose.

Before the more extensive investigation, a pair of blue Nike shoes was tagged and they found them at the Cipta Prima Shop, a slum market in Batam on the Riau Islands. A Reuters journalist followed a high-pitched signal to an old sneakers mound and began digging into the pile of shoes. He found the running shoes with a transmitter hidden in one of the soles. The journalist then bought the used shoes for 180.000 rupiah.

So then ten more pairs followed. Four pairs of shoes ended up at locations in Indonesia that were too remote for the reporters to travel to. In three other cases, the trackers in the shoe soles stopped emitting a signal, after the shoes reached Indonesia.

So how could this have happened? The location trackers show that almost all tagged shoes came into the hands of Yok Impex Pte Ltd, a Singaporean exporter of second-hand goods. That company was hired by a waste management company affiliated with the recycling program to remove donated shoes from donation bins in Singapore. Then they were supposed to be transported to the waste treatment company’s local warehouse to be processed. So that didn't happen.

The question is how many shoes ended up here. And that while imports of second-hand clothing and footwear have been banned in the country since 2015 for hygienic reasons and to protect the local textile industry. Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry said it will tighten controls in (smaller) ports to intercept illegal transportation of second-hand footwear.


This is the Reuters article:
 
It is a real recycling isn't is, as long as the shoes are still safe to use, do the job, taxed due to be paid is paid. Not like old/used fleets, submarines, ships, aircraft bought from other countries which have reached their end of life.
It could also end up in Indonesian flea markets because the charities sell them to the exporters. They are doing what they supposed to do to raise money for their charities. But it is also good to inform the donors how their donations have been managed, used.
But it could while many of those trainers are genuine Nike, Adidas or even designers such as from Prada, Luis Vuitton, Balenciaga, etc. The Indonesian vendors might be more creative adding it with locally made branded items from West or East Java.
 
Last edited:
Before the reporters donated the shoes, they placed location trackers in the shoe soles to closely monitor the footwear’s journey. Six months later, some of the tagged shoes were recovered. Not in Singapore, but in Indonesia: in second-hand goods markets in the Indonesian capital Jakarta and also in Batam. The shoes donated by the news agency were exported to Indonesia for resale. Obviously that was not the purpose.
Well, reporters will be reporters. I think the purpose was to get a story out of this. That's why they put trackers in the shoes. Right?
 
It is a real recycling isn't is, as long as the shoes are still safe to use, do the job, taxed due to be paid is paid. Not like old/used fleets, submarines, ships, aircraft bought from other countries which have reached their end of life.
It could also end up in Indonesian flea markets because the charities sell them to the exporters. They are doing what they supposed to do to raise money for their charities. But it is also good to inform the donors how their donations have been managed, used.
But it could while many of those trainers are genuine Nike, Adidas or even designers such as from Prada, Luis Vuitton, Balenciaga, etc. The Indonesian vendors might be more creative adding it with locally made branded items from West or East Java.

I see what you are saying and to a degree you are right, it is recycling. However, I don't think most people see it that way based on what they were probably told when they made the donation. While I am not against donating used clothing/shoes to people to resell so they can make a living, I am against groups taking the donations and then selling them for their own gains.

Back in 2013/14, this was a large talking point. People were donating(mainly money amongst other things) to different groups, but very little actually went to the cause. In some cases it was pennies to the dollar that actually went to the specific cause. Instead it made some people very wealthy/major misuse of funds(look up Wounded Warrior Project).
 
Yeah, the same with many of those clothes donation bins in Europa; some companies and people are making a lot of money on those. Only a dedicated few really support good causes and even there quite a lot sticks to the fingers.
 
There are many "not new" clothing stores here in Thailand. Usually selling western clothes in the "winter". There are also a few used shoe stalls and a couple of Japanese "junk" shops.
 
As you get close to issues they become very complicated. Charities in developed countries have huge surpluses of donated clothing so they sell stuff by the container load to people who then export them to countries like Indonesia. If that were not done then there would soon be mountains of used clothes and then what? If the charities gave them away for free then it would wipe out their income from charity op" shops while local clothing manufacturers and big retailers would soon be lobbying the government. So the charities earn extra money from the container load sales.

At this end people are able to access affordable clothing. But, as is now happening, local manufacturers are pressuring government to stop imports. Once that is done it seems the Indonesian government has determined to seize imported second hand clothing from shops. Tough for those less than wealthy traders who have invested money in buying the goods. And as for street markets and such, how to tell the difference between locally sold second hand clothing and imported second hand clothing? If sale of used clothing is banned altogether then again tough for low income people who are deprived of affordable attire and for families trying to earn some extra income in difficult financial times by selling off their own unneeded clothing.

I agree with the general proposition that there is a broken trust then with donors to charities who think they are helping poor people, which they are, while unwittingly enabling big dealers to make large amounts of money. Unfortunately there are always victims when drastic changes are made albeit for good reasons. Perhaps if Indonesia banned further imports and allowed what is already here to be sold would make the changes less painful.
 
Not to mention, some of the stuff people donate is also just junk and can't help anyone.
 
Didn't the government ban importing of used clothing in 2015 due fo sanitary reasons. If so, 8 years is about right to actually enforce something.
 

Users who viewed this discussion (Total:0)

Follow Us

Latest Expat Indo Articles

Latest Tweets by Expat Indo

Latest Activity

New posts Latest threads

Online Now

No members online now.

Newest Members

Forum Statistics

Threads
5,770
Messages
93,164
Members
2,880
Latest member
casabloom
Back
Top Bottom