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China: Around The Nation

Clothes ‘bound for tip, taken from morgues’ sold in Chinese city

Stores in Lufeng in Guangdong province shut down after TV station exposé

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 1:06pm
UPDATED : Monday, 16 January, 2017, 6:29pm

The authorities in a southern Chinese city have shut down stores that stock secondhand clothes after a television station ran an exposé claiming some sold bacteria-laden clothing meant for refuse or stripped from corpses in morgues.

Some of the clothes undercover reporters found in shops in Lufeng in Guangdong province were even stained with blood, according to the report by Jiangxi Television Station.

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Industry insiders said some of the clothes came from rubbish collection stations or morgues where they had been taken from bodies, according to the report.

After a 1½-minute-long clip from the report went viral online over the weekend, the Lufeng government information office said on Sunday the authorities had stepped up inspections.

They did not find any workshops recycling clothes meant for trash, but had shut down some shops that stock secondhand clothing, they said.

The TV report claimed many stores advertised that they sold clothes bound for export, but undercover reporters found some of their stock was rubbish smuggled into the city.

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“The clothes stained with blood can be machine washed. Some came from dead bodies,” one industry insider said in the report.

Asked if the clothes would be sterilised, the insider said: “Sterilise? Yeah right!”

This is not the first time reports have surfaced about unscrupulous traders recycling old, dirty clothes for sale in China.

Customs in Shenzhen destroyed over 400 tonnes of smuggled second-hand clothes last November, which had been categorised as solid waste banned for import.

The clothing, often stained and laden with bacteria, would be reconditioned and sold to customers for tens of yuan a piece, according to media reports.