Fast Fashion and Thrifting

My friend emailed me a great article on fast fashion and thrift shopping.  It's full of important (and sad) facts but reads like your vintage loving artsy friend is telling a hilarious story:

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"Cheap clothes are everywhere, looking bright and cheerful, and few of us Americans have actually seen, firsthand, the environmental desolation caused by all the unsustainable factory production in other parts of the world.  It’s not the 90s anymore, and people who talk about conspicuous consumption and petroleum products don’t get invited back to parties. Furthermore, our economy sucks right now—ironically, in large part because we’ve outsourced almost all of our factory work to other countries—and a lot of us are out of work or working jobs where we can’t get enough hours, enough pay, or any health insurance. If things aren’t really cheap we might not be able to buy them at all. We’ve come to expect cute clothing—and electronics, and other entertainment and luxury goods—to be about as inexpensive as we want it to be, and where there’s a demand, there will always, always be a supply, even when the toll is human lives.

Having bought mostly secondhand things for several years now has changed my attitude toward objects and ownership in an interesting way. I do have things I’d hate to lose, but for the most part it feels like I have an apartment full of knick-knacks and books and shoes on loan, like I’m lucky to get to look at and wear all these neat things and it’s extra special and sort of poignant too because I know they’re not really mine. This is a more light-hearted and also more emotionally engaged attitude than the shackled sense of fretful responsibility I have felt toward things I paid a lot of money for. Like, go ahead and steal it, it was practically free. Knowing that something once belonged to someone else—coupled with the fact that I paid only a dollar or maybe ten for it—makes my ownership of that thing feel less real, temporary, like the universe is my big sister and I’m borrowing stuff from her closet. I’ll give it back soon, I promise."

Poppin' Tags: Vintage, Thift, and the Value of Slow Fashion
by Katie Haegele

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