In Guangzhou's Liwa District, residents have been complaining that the area around their building suddenly gets noisy after nightfall, with crowds of people exchanging "special goods" whose "strange" and "rotten" stench wafts up to their windows and carries down the street.
When CCTV journalists arrived Kangwang Beilu to investigate, they found heaps of old clothes piled along both sides of the street. As they walked past, the stench of decay hung heavy in the air.
The noxious and often blood-stained old clothing goes for RMB2 per half a kilogram, and market-goers sift meticulously through plastic garbage bags packed full of garments.
Padded clothing and thick blankets sell out quickly, leaving only light and colorful items.
According to one vender questioned, after acquisition the second-hand clothing is ships to sorting facilities for "further purchasing."
After a thorough rinse, the old tags are then replaced with fake new ones and the items are sold onto stores, who market the clothes to consumers, knowingly or not, as brand-new.
[Images via CCTV]