Thrifting As Refusal
Last week I posted a link about how fucked up the politics of the CEO of Urban Outfitters is (he also owns Anthropologie & Free People). More here. Richard Hayne is a far right , homophobic , anti-choice scumbag who donates to Rick Santorum’s campaign and he makes ALL OF HIS MONEY SELLING COOL TO PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME.
Do you feel gross yet, cause I do. I’ve only shopped at Urban Outfitters maybe a half dozen times in the past decade (usually on boxing day, hi I’m a scrounger) but knowing my money went to this prick , no matter how small an amount makes me want to fucking vomit.
So I was thinking, since finding this out , “where the fuck will I buy high waisted skinny jeans?” And you know what? Chain stores pretty much all suck. Whether is creepy CEOs or exploitive labour practices overseas , if you are shopping at a mall or high street you generally have to throw you ethics aside momentarily.
So thrifting becomes not only a way to get sick deals and unique clothing , but also a way to refuse to let your/our/my money support injustice. A refusal to condone.
Now don’ get me wrong , I’m not naive and I don’t see buying second hand as revolutionary act or anything but it *is* a way to keep money out of the hands of folks like Richard Hayne and clothes out of landfills. While that’s far from everything , it *is* something. Right?
Beyond that it’s a refusal of buying “cool” and instead scrounging it , making it , building it , finding it , swapping it and defining it on a personal level.
I’ll still go to the mall , and so will you and him and her cause no wants wants second hand underwear (unless they do?) and sometimes you need something NOW. I guess the thing is being mindful on where we shop. Money is political power.
We live in a stupid world where we have very little control or say in what happens or how things get done or made. It’s frustrating.
Refusal is one way to grip a tiny thread of control. Find more ways to hack life and maybe you can weave a blanket to hide under.
My pal Sarah at Cheap Opulance has a good article on her take on thrifting that you should totally read.
And now that you are ready to never step inside UO again , A Pair And A Spare has a thrifting lesson for us all.
In front of the red doors at Darling Foundry , hit that (free day , win at life!) and DHC to see some art. New art crush on Omer Fast. Wearing teal coat from Frip-Prix (10$) , cream blazer from Cheap Opulance , floral blouse Frip-Prix (4.99$), grey jean shorts covered in buttons are free Levi’s I got comped at CMJ 2008? I don’t remember what year , it’s a blur but I wore the jeans to death and after I could no longer patch the knees I cut them and covered them in buttons , mostly from thrift store button bags. Tights are from We Love Colors , they we kinda expensive at 10$ but I ought them in 06 and they still have some wear in ’em. No holes at all , it’s a miracle. I should really order tights from them next time I have money in the paypal. Very high quality. OCC lip tar in Reverb. Shoes were thrifted in Birmingham , AL. Close up? Sure. Bag was too expensive at (60$) at Little Burgandy. But it’s vegan and giant and orange and pockets! Yeah , I’m an asshole. Earrings H&M 2$. Bracelets are from Senegal except for this one that I hacked:
While in Brooklyn to play a gig? Have an art show? I don’t remember, anyway, some lady was having a garage sale and was selling some bangles and I was all “ohhh shiny” and she was all “take them for free” and I was all “yay I win at life” , anyway I was rough with this one and broke the weld. So I dug up some wire , 2 vintage rhinestone buttons scored in one of those thrift store button bags and some embroidery floss and made the broken cheap-o bangle be uhhhh something? I guess it sums up the concept of “scroungy glamour” pretty well. Grip something for free from a rando on the sidewalk, break up by being a spazz , then “fix” it with rhinestones and craft supplies so it looks glam but weird. Yup.
Like my kinda wonky tape manicure? Scotch tape means straight(ish) stripes. All colours are Barry M 3-free vegan nail paints.