In the suburbs of Senegal’s capital, Seynabou Sarr’s second-hand shop is bustling with customers just before the big Muslim festival of Tabaski.

Sarr, 30, started her boutique in 2018 and now juggles phone calls and customers seeking second-hand boubous, traditional robes worn for special occasions. Tabaski, celebrated with much fanfare, often pressures families to spend on new clothes, and wearing the same outfit two years in a row is looked down upon.

“People used to feel embarrassed about wearing second-hand clothes,” Sarr said. “But now, many see their benefits.”

For Tabaski, customers want luxurious boubous without the high price. While new boubous can cost up to 250,000 CFA francs ($405), Sarr offers them for as low as 90,000 CFA francs.

Sarr started her business online in 2018 and opened a physical store in 2022. She has over 80,000 followers on TikTok. This year, customer Abdou Fall bought a second-hand tunic for 60,000 CFA francs instead of 130,000 CFA francs new.

In Senegal, second-hand clothing is popular mainly for financial reasons. Customer Matar Sarr believes, “With a little money, you can look just as good as everyone else.”

Another customer, Khady Djiba, found a wedding dress for her sister for 75,000 CFA francs. Though it has minor flaws, some alterations and dry-cleaning will make it look new. “It’s a good deal,” she said, smiling.

Credit: France 24.

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