The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Where T-shirts go

Americans traveling abroad, especially in Africa, notice something early on: locals wearing T-shirts and baseball caps bearing American brands or slogans.

Such donations are known as SWEDOW (Stuff We Don't Want). The latest SWEDOW dump occurred after the Pittsburgh Steelers lost the Super Bowl and the NFL was stuck with thousands of preprinted T-shirts heralding the team as champs.

The league donated the merchandise to World Vision. Nonprofit activist Saundra Schimmelpfennig and other critics claim such donations flood marketplaces and drive down the prices at which local merchants can viably sell their wares.


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