Occupy Your Closet
You may not see a “Thift, Don’t Spend!” sign down at Occupy Wall Street, but Something Borrowed, Nothing New shares the Occupiers spirit. Reuse, reduce, recycle is at the heart of being vintage fabulous. So in the spirit of Occupy everything – OCCUPY YOUR CLOSET!
Down on Wall Street protesters are occupying a tent village with all the a anti-establishment amenities - hammocks, anti-corporate version of Kraft services, Socialist reading material, folk music and drum circles for entertainment and what they call their “comfort station” where you can do a little “free store” thrifting.
Occupy Protesters Thrifting:
The comfort station has bins full of donated clothing – some of the more comfortable variety – i.e. socks and hats- but also a swap-shop style free for all. For practical purposes this service is provided to the occupiers who have not left downtown Manhattan for the duration of their month and counting protest.
But there is also a social, political message to the shop swap: a call for severing dependence on consumerism while promoting recycling and reducing consumption. Whatever your politics, you can get down with the idea of recycling and reducing waste- and that is what thrifting is about for some people. It is a sustainable, waste reducing, way to vote with you wallet- or lack of wallet, as the case may be.
Go to your own closet and it will tell you a ton about yourself and your economic decisions. You may not be a full blown protesters – Tea Party or otherwise – but you can start with your closet!
Down at the occupier camps, donated, recylced clothing goes along with their grey-water systems and political chants for end to impero-capitalist greed, but it also shows an aesthetic choice that has more to do with politics than we would normally think. What you put into and onto your body makes a statement – and not just about fashion.
Since the Occupy movement has turned into a media explosion- it has been covered and criticized in every which way- one of the charges against them, being that the protesters are pretty hip-ocritical with their iPhones, Steve Jobs vigil and big tobacco cigarette smoking.
But at the end of the day, it is ridiculous to think that one will divest completely of all of the trappings of corporatism or capitalism in a “drop-out” of society way. The venerable Mark Twain was the one to say “clothes make the man-naked people have little or no influence on society.”
Clothes do make the man, which speaks to why during the Civil Rights movement, protesters made the conscious choice to don their respectable Sunday best. It is a tactic of non-violence to remain clam and carry on- all in the interest of presenting yourself as infinitely more reasonable and correct than your object of protest. The image of a Rosa Parks or other venerable demonstrator in a suit and tie getting thrown in the back of a paddy wagon is perfect metaphor.
Now some down at Occupy Wall Street and its occupied spaces across the country and the world, take their cues from the drum circle aesthetic and others from the button up and tie. Check some on NY Mag’s protest look book.
While Something Borrowed, of course, suggests that vintage goes best with protesting – whatever your preference it exists as part of the message.