Crackdown on smuggled clothing

clothesI buy all my clothes second-hand. Well, almost all of them. I wouldn’t consider buying second-hand boxer shorts or socks but other than that, all my clothes are already used when I buy them.

Until I saw this article on the Reuters website, I didn’t know that dealing in used clothes was such big business. There was some really interesting vocabulary in the article, too.

The first interesting word was in the title:

Crackdown on smugglers of used clothing

A ‘crackdown‘ is when the police or authorities make a serious effort to stop something from happening. We can also use it as a phrasal verb and say to ‘crack down‘.

The other interesting word here is ‘smuggler‘. Before we look at what a ‘smuggler‘ is, let’s have a look at the verb in its base form. To ‘smuggle‘ is to bring something into a country illegally. People smuggle for two main reasons. The first is that whatever they are importing is illegal in that country. The second reason is to avoid paying tax on whatever they are bringing in.

A ‘smuggler‘ is a person who smuggles things into a country. Later in the article, the phrase ‘smuggling ring‘ is used. This is the group of people that smuggle things into a country then distribute them.

The last expression I would like to look at in this article is the phrasal verb ‘turned up‘. In the context of this article, it means found or discovered. It is more common to use it to mean ‘arrived’ or ‘appeared’. For example, ‘he wasn’t invited to the party but he turned up anyway’.

Is it common to buy second-hand clothes in your country?

Today’s image is by Sanja Gjenero.