#15) Global warming

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hipsters have inadvertently devised a method to stop the ravaging of resources from the planet, reduce fossil fuel emissions and conserve energy. But unfortunately for their credibility among hippie environmentalists, they typically have no idea they are being green! (Although it is possible that Al Gore and all the “green becoming stylish” ad campaigns have finally beat their way in to those advertising-averted skulls.)

Their solution: THRIFT STORES.

In the words of one self-admitted, possibly retired (weird, I know) hipster blogger while writing about how to best outfit his offspring (beware this picture is terrifying) in ironic t-shirts,

“I’d rather pay a dollar for a dead man’s clothes than $400 for something sewn by an Indonesian street urchin any day… I have tons of soft Levi’s Big E redline single stitch jeans from the 50s and 60s. It would take me a month to wear each pair. I have enough snap-button shirts to clothe the entire audience at a 1999 Wilco show.”

This goes on for another few thousand words but you get the point: Hipsters (and I guess weird bloggers transitioning from hipsterhood to fatherhood) looove thrift stores.

Unfortunately, there is a large following of people who criticize hipsters’ lifestyle choice to shop used and have devised a plan to thwart their efforts by mocking them into rampant consumer submission. In fact, when criticizing hipster style, many people often point towards their typical “Salvation Army” clothing as some kind of burn. Some scoff at the irony because, “hipsters are so concerned with being unique but they’re all shopping at the same store!” Certainly the collation of donated items of clothing from the unknown array of people living in New York who have come from everywhere in the world would lead to a bland batch of ordinary. Somebody should really tell the hipsters that thrift stores clothes are actually the new Corporate Attire!

In the Time Out New York feature series, Why the Hipster Must Die, Christian Lorentzen roasted stylish hipster scum, saying their preferred modes of fashion “are assimilated—cannibalized—into a repertoire of meaninglessness, from which the hipster can construct an identity in the manner of a collage, or a shuffled playlist on an iPod.”

Perhaps I am being remiss, but why should anyone — especially people who supposedly care about the environment — be bothered by the motivations (or lack thereof) hipsters have for dressing the way they do if the result is something beneficial? Does anyone criticize billionaires for giving to charities even though they’re only doing it to get tax-breaks and impress their co-workers with their generous nature? Well, I do, but you get the point.

By shopping at thrift stores and purchasing pre-owned and refurbished clothing, hipsters are lowering the demand for stores to mass-produce new clothing. They are forcing companies to wind down the process by which they seek organic and synthetic fabrics, metals and other materials — which all come from somewhere and require massive amounts of machine power (machines that run on oil) to harvest, produce and ship the goods.

At the risk of making thrift store shopping seem uncool (“What? This is helping the environment? Gross. That is like soooo two years ago. I’m going to Urban.”), this is the only real “green” way to shop. Even companies that claim they are carbon neutral and all that jazz are still using energy and supplies. Not that there aren’t companies that legitimately try to do a good job of producing clothing with relatively low environmental impact. There are, although they probably for the profitable “cool” factor of “being green,” making them posers. The real irony of this situation is that buying goods from a poser company pretty much makes you a hipster: BAD NEWS tree-huggers!

So apparently, according to the people who are so against this “culture that doesn’t care about anything” — especially the greenhouse effect, if you aren’t being green on purpose it doesn’t count. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s written somewhere on the Greenpeace website that environmentalism is only legitimate if it doesn’t make you look cool in any way. (Note: This line of thinking is also responsible for the advent of Birkenstock sandals and backpacks with those waist strap things.)

To hipster environmentalists who thrive at Goodwill and even Beacon’s Closet (gasp), shop on, I say. And to judgmental hippies: shut up.


Photo of hipster by Christophe Legris for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008. Photo of earth by NASA! Photoshopping done (poorly) by Lola Wakefield for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008.


5 Responses to “#15) Global warming”

  1. lexi said

    Yay! I love this post! I don’t consider myself a hipster, but as an environmentalist I recently took a “vow” not to buy any new clothing (‘cept undies if I need) or other unnecessary materials for a year. It’s been a great learning experience so far re: the breadth of useful things are already out there and also realizing the difference between “need” and “want.” We should all applaud hipster thrift-store shopping!

  2. Mercy said

    yay thrift stores. it’s actually kind of awesome that looking poor is cool when you are poor.

  3. as a tourism student, promoting the preservation of our nature or mother earth.for the next generation. i also “vow” not to buy new clothing except if you need it!

  4. anonymous said

    HAHAHA. It’s really great you posted this.
    For one: Thrift stores are just… just to amazing to put into words.
    That guy in that picture, is my guitar teacher.

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