10.10.2017

Life Lately: Rotten Apples, Crabs, Mini-Spatulas and all that stuff.

Hi pals. I know my last post was about cutting down on wasting food but as I type, I have a bunch of soft, gently aging apples in my fridge. Progress, not perfection. Let me know if you have any ideas for kinda old apples besides smoothies or eventually compost.

What else have I been up to?

Getting Crabs:

Aside from watching apples rot, I've been doing a lot of prep work for our hermit crabs. That's right - CRABS. Rescued hermit crab Peter Parker was joined by two fellow purple pincher crabs - Harvey and Rose. You can see a harrowing video on my IG of Harvey trying to introduce himself to Peter Parker. I've been learning all sorts of hermit crab things - not the least of which is what to feed them. Apparently - everything. They need animal protein, plant protein, sea vegetables, fruit, non-sea vegetables, calcium and chitin. Which begs the question: will this vegan ever care for an animal who doesn't eat other animals? Ever? Guess I'll be keeping those cognitive dissonance skills in good form. 

Hair Farming:

I am also trying to grow my hair in a bit to shoulder length -- this will require less cuts and less color treatment (which means less chemicals, less money spent, less of my time spent in a hairstylist chair). I refuse to give it up completely, so this is the best I could do for now. My hair has started to flip up in all sorts of uncharming ways but I will hang in there, looking like an unkempt cousin on The Patty Duke Show. 


This is an old People Tree dress that fit weird in the hips
but I liked the pattern so I had my tailor make it into a shirt.
Still going strong a few seasons later. 



Not Wasting Stuff:**

Mend and make do? Use it up, wear it out, do the twist and shake it all about? I can never remember those maxims. Use up your products. That's the concept for which I was trying to recall the rustic saying. I have been trying to do this even when packaging doesn't make it easy. Like below -- thankfully another company gave me this previously-useless minuscule spatula so I could use it to get to the last of their competitor's product. 


(** apples excluded)

Shopping Secondhand:

My schedule now puts me squarely in front of a thrift store or two once a week so I've taken to checking against my "stuff to buy used" list. I'm more likely to find what I need if I'm looking all the time, obviously, so this feels like a nice little routine. Last week I found this perfect black vegan puffy coat (belt and hood!) along with a b/w striped dress and a picture frame for my office. Only the frame was on my list but the other things fit well and are things I will wear a lot. Then this thread about whether it's ethical to buy secondhand popped up on IG via Slow Fashion October. My friend Erin tagged me in it, thinking I'd be interested - and I was. 

The idea was that if thrift shops are meant to serve those with less funds, why are the rest of us shopping there? The poster asked herself if she would be better off supporting small ethical brands if she had the means to do so. I sometimes have the means to do so, and I do support brands I like but I do still shop secondhand. Why? The supply is so great and the turnover, so quick. 

This was my comment: 

It's funny this popped up today. I do spend quite a bit on small ethical designers (for me anyway) but I do still shop at re-sale places and thrift shops. I pass by a Goodwill once a week and typically I just check in against my "to find used" list of housewares but today I found a perfectly sized vegan belted puffer coat w/hood and a dress - in addition to a frame for my office (which was on the list). Their turnover is so significant that my frame was dated...today. I don't think it's because everything is purchased but because they have so much "aged out" inventory on a short cycle. So I definitely don't feel like I'm eclipsing someone else looking for the exact same thing at the exact same week or two that item is actually on the shopping floor. None of the housewares are the same as last week even. I agree re the markups in some places - lots of H&M and F21 at exact same retail prices (and they're not sturdy enough to warrant it). I don't think there's a perfect answer here but I'm more likely to feel guilty about takeout containers or plastic coffee cup than shopping thrift.
It is a good question, though, and worth thinking about as our clothing supply and purpose of second-hand shops shifts. 


4 comments:

  1. No no no! It is not a good question! Thrift shops rely on both low income and high income, low volume and high volume, customers to survive. And often, people in different income brackets aren't competing directly for goods. Different tastes, brand interests, and needs inform their purchases. As a thrift shop manager, I am desperately thankful for the big buyers and also for the fact that we can provide a welcoming, income-blind place where people can co-mingle. It's one of the last remaining public spaces where you can get a glimpse of utopia. Honestly, I'm sick of "conscious consumers" saying weird things against thrift shopping. It's just overthinking things.

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    Replies
    1. I love this comment so much I actually have tears in my eyes.

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    2. I think it's good that people are *asking* the question and trying to decide what their money is supporting. What I think is confusing to people is the purpose and mission of thrift stores. So many people on that thread thought people of more means were just buying up all the good stuff an increasing costs. I have noticed costs of goods at *some* thrift stores have gone up more than in alignment with cost of living at some places as thrifting got more popular -- but I imagine there are various reasons that could be.

      I do love your point re everyone being able to shop at one place.

      And I feel like I would feel just as angry if I was in your seat and saw conversations like this -- they are popping up a lot lately!

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    3. Certainly, the thrift shops themselves need to be clear about what their mission is. It makes me angry when thrift shops raise the cost of goods beyond what's affordable for poverty level individuals because it feels like a betrayal of the mission. But a lot of these stores prioritize raising money over creating space, and maybe they adopted that from a social enterprise model that justifies high prices with a "feel good" marketing tactic. That's not really customers' faults, though. I think it's legitimate to critique the vulture-types who snatch up all the higher quality goods to resell online, but even they are probably low income, so it all evens out in the end.

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Hey there! Thanks for leaving a comment. Please don't apologize for writing a lot - I like long thoughtful comments so bring on the "wall o' text" if you wish and have no shame.

Short comments are, of course, also always welcome.