There's a multi-billion-dollar global trade in second-hand clothing and recycled clothes, which helps keep it out of landfill, while keeping wardrobes of the fashion-savvy clear for next season's designs.
Now though, because of the pandemic, exporters, traders and customers who rely on a steady supply of used clothes are struggling.
It's not that there isn't enough clothes, ironically, there's too many, which has plummeted their value and led to huge backlogs in warehouses and thrift shops - and it's often those in poorer nationswho are hit hardest.
It's an issue Antonio De Carvalho knows all too well - as the boss at a British textile recycling firm.
"We keep going, but we couldn't sell any clothes during this lockdown, so the second-hand market in Europe and the rest of the world collapsed, it closed down, so we have been store, store, store, we have four warehouses in the UK, so it means we have full warehouse during the time."
Recyclers and exporters have had to cut their prices to shift stock, as lockdown measures restrict movement and business slows in end markets abroad.
For many, it's no longer commercially viable - they simply can't afford to move the merchandise.
Meanwhile, recyclers are also removing clothes banks from streets, reducing collections and laying off workers to conserve cash - while stuck at home consumers clear out their wardrobes - adding to the pile up.
In the United States, for example, the value of exports from March to July fell 45% compared with the same period last year, so says government data.
Up to a third of clothes donated in the US ends up for sale in markets in the developing world.
The consequences of the decline are reflected in open air markets like this one in Kenya.
Traders have been hit with shrinking supply, exacerbated by the government banning the import of used textiles in March over concerns they could carry coronavirus, and a drop in footfall due to people staying home.
Second-hand clothes dealers like Nicholas Mutisya are finding business sluggish to say the least.
"Before coronavirus came in, I would manage to sell at least 50 trousers a day. But now with coronavirus, even selling one a day has become difficult. You open in the morning, and close in the evening in the same state, without selling."