Wednesday, July 12, 2006

"I didn't buy a new pair of shoes today."

On top of its innumerable benefits explored in this blog, it turns out that vintage clothing may well save the world.

I think we all knew, somewhere deep in the style portion of our cerebral cortexes, that vintage is destined to serve a higher purpose than mere fabulosity. And now I find that a group of shopping-refusers in San Francisco has pinpointed this higher purpose, namely: anti-consumerist pro-environment world-saving recyclish vintage purchase justification. Or ACPEWSRVIPJ, for short.

This enterprising group of empowered non-shoppers, who call themselves "The Compact" (cute--and I love the reference to a makeup item) has vowed not to purchase a single new item this year, except for food, drugs, and undies. They are only allowed. To buy. Second-hand. Including vintage. (Last point added by me.)

Rather than calling up their friends to dish about their beautiful new $300 shoes, they call them up to dish about the beautiful new $300 shoes they didn't buy. Bragging about status symbols has shifted to bragging about one's disregard for status. Alice, welcome to the far side of the looking-glass.

They help each other out by triangulating Craigslist, thrift shops, and word-of-mouth to find things they need that are usually purchased new, like shower curtain liners and drywall. I'm not sure I want to know where they got the second-hand shower curtain liner, but the point here is that vintage is finally getting due recognition for its importance to the world.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle article: "American consumerism, they say, has led to global environmental and socioeconomic crises, and the only way to reverse it is to stop buying into it." (I would add that it has also contributed to some really tacky dressing, an epidemic of $700 purses, and more plastic surgery than bears thinking about.)

Not shopping seems to be driving some members to drink ("I find that I have more money to spend on the dried cherries for my Manhattans"), no doubt in search of a substitute for the adrenaline rush of a snappy new purchase. Still, I give this movement a solid two thumbs up, liver be damned.

Some final words from "Perry," who "loves to shop" and "went into withdrawal the first few weeks of entering the Compact":

"...After a few weeks the buzzing in your head subsides. Although if I continue to shop crazily at thrift stores, is that any better? [He thinks about it for a moment...] I think it is."

I think so too, Perry. I think so too.

5 Comments:

At 3:53 PM , Blogger jackp said...

hmmmmmm...thinking...if you buy 10 pieces of crap...instead of one piece of non crap...how does that play into it?

curious

 
At 6:10 AM , Blogger whyioughtta said...

(Ignoring jackp's comment...)

By the way, this clothing recycling theme is everywhere... Here's an article on public clothes swaps from today's NY Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/09/
fashion/sundaystyles/09swap.html?
8nyh&emc=nyh

 
At 11:15 AM , Blogger Moose said...

How the hell did I miss this? Ha!

 
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