Kenyans Show Preference for Mtumba Items as “Thrift Stores” top Google Search Trends

Kenyans are searching online for thrift stores, revealing an interest in second-hand goods. According to Google search trends, there has been a 160 percent rise in searches for the terms ‘thrift meaning’ and ‘thrift stores’.

“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,” said Sharon Machira, Google Kenya Communications and Public Affairs Manager.

Most thrift stores online comprise of small businesses selling second hand clothes, furniture, household items, antiques and even Art.

Read: Google Partners with Female Legislators to Combat Online Harassment Ahead of August Polls

Google released the search terms during this year’s commemoration of World Earth Day. The data indicates that the searches originated mostly from Mombasa followed by Nairobi.

Earth Day marked 52 years on April 22, 2022. It 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.

“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,” Machira said.

Google for Small Businesses is a one-stop-shop solution to help small businesses get the answers and coaching they need to get online and develop. Customers can easily find the products they are seeking for thanks to the portal’s increased visibility.

Read also: Three Ways Youth Can Use Their Smartphones And Internet To Earn A Living

Thrift with Google allows customers to easily find thrift stores and learn about the newest thrifting trends, while small business owners benefit from the chance to advertise their locations on Google Maps for improved visibility. Thrift content production on YouTube, where thrift store owners create channels to market their items, has also seen a dramatic increase.

Data from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows that Kenyan traders spent Sh485 billion to import 751.3 tonnes of second-hand clothing between 2016 and 2020. The second-hand items are mostly shipped via the Mombasa port and the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport 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.

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Written by Francis Muli

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