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Gearing up for winter in Karachi on a shoestring budget

Updated December 03, 2017

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The jackets, which cost Rs4,000 and up if bought new./ Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
The jackets, which cost Rs4,000 and up if bought new./ Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: The city is not known for its chilly winters but there is no harm in preparing for cold weather. So even though you may already have plenty of warm clothes for yourself at home, households with growing children need new clothes for them as they are always outgrowing things. But by ‘new’ we don’t always have to mean ‘new’.

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Not everyone can afford new clothes all the time, and that’s where the Lunda Bazaars spread all over the city, especially at weekly bazaars come in. “My children are of growing age. What fits them one season doesn’t the next. And children’s clothes are expensive. I don’t want to spend so much on something which is going to last my child only a season, so here I am,” says Samina Bibi, fishing through a pile of little jackets and hoodies for her 10-year-old boy.

Second-hand leather jackets./Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Second-hand leather jackets./Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

“I used to be ashamed of coming here to buy second-hand clothes for my family,” said another customer looking at the woollen caps and beanies on a vendor’s cart. “I had even bought an abaya with a scarf and veil to hide my identity while shopping here. You never know who you might run into whom you know when shopping here,” she says laughing though still not comfortable enough to share her name. “But now I think I should not be that intimidated by anyone I know who I may run into here as they, too, after all would be shopping here like me.”

Sweaters and cardigans. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Sweaters and cardigans. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

Watching the people gathering around the caps and socks sellers, Samiullah, a male customer looking at second-hand blankets piled on top of one another at a shop, said that one could have the blankets, jackets and other clothing washed and dry-cleaned before using or wearing, “But even if I have washed the caps and socks several times, I wouldn’t feel comfortable wearing them because the caps can have lice eggs or hatchlings and the socks may carry skin fungus or any other infection, which can be passed on to me,” he says.

Warm mittens, socks, beanies and caps. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
Warm mittens, socks, beanies and caps. / Photos by Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

“Also, these clothes, although available at great bargains, can be damaged so check each carefully for tears.”

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2017