why I buy secondhand

why i buy secondhand relevant

My article, Why I Buy Secondhand, went live on the Relevant Magazine website earlier today. I’m excited by the responses, shares, and dialogue created by it so far. Take a look if you haven’t already seen it.

I may write a follow up to it on Style Wise if it generates enough of a conversation and/or it becomes apparent that some things need clarification. Thanks for your support! – Leah

Advertisements

tom tom founder’s fest

tom tom founder's festival

The banner went up for the Tom Tom Founder’s Festival about a month ago when I still worked downtown; I kept telling myself I’d look it up when I got home. I started to hear of food trucks and live music and talks. Friday night, Daniel told me that he was having an awesome time perusing local art, enjoying a bustling downtown atmosphere, and attending a poetry reading. Since I worked ’til 10, I was determined to make the most of it on Saturday.

My friend, Greta, and I headed downtown around noon. We stopped in for some bing (dumplings) and peanut salad at Song Song’s Zhou and Bing, then headed over to Low Vintage, my favorite vintage shop in town, where we bought a few items and chatted with Nora, the owner.

low vintage lo4

The weather was perfect for a lazy stroll down the mall. Eventually, we meandered over to Lee Park to enjoy the live music. We sat on the grass and ate locally made popsicles – I had the Strawberry Hibiscus and Greta had the Banana Macademia Nut. We took our time people watching and generally enjoying the atmosphere.

charlottesville downtown mall flowering tree strawberry popsicle

Spring festivals make sense. We’ve suffered through the dark winter months and we need to celebrate. We need something to gather outside for, to come out of the woodwork for. We need to be reminded that we exist together in a community and that we collectively deserve to enjoy the moment before it passes.

tt5 purple flowering tree

If you live in the Charlottesville area, think about taking part in the final events of the weekend – they’ve got a few interesting talks lined up for this afternoon.

last night at mockingbird

Mockingbird Restaurant and Music Hall in Staunton, VA closed its doors at the end of last weekend for reasons unknown to the public. They’ve been very hush hush about its closing and didn’t announce it until the beginning of the year. They made all of their events free last week so Daniel and I attended both an open mic night and their final concert featuring local folk bands, The Winter Line and Hound Dog Hill.

The Winter Line is relatively new to the music scene. Their music is reminiscent of Mumford & Sons in both lyrical themes and instrumentation. It’s encouraging to see such a young banjo player. We saw them perform at both events and think they have a lot of potential.

the winter lineHound Dog Hill is a seven member bluegrass, blues, and country band from the Shenandoah Valley. They played an enjoyable array of covers and originals from multiple genres. Their high energy and casual demeanor on stage made them immensely enjoyable to watch. Daniel even bought a t-shirt!

Hound Dog Hill Cutch Tuttle banjo fiddle(clearly, his arm was moving quite fast)

drummer

Since I don’t know the details of their closing, I don’t know whether to say goodbye or hope for a swift reopening. Rumor has it that there are a few buyers lined up to take over the place. We appreciate Mockingbird’s focus on local Roots music. We saw Ralph Stanley there back in August and we’d hate to never be able to visit again.

lipstick for slaves

I was introduced to Radiant Cosmetics’ “Kiss Slavery Goodbye” campaign through a fashion blogger I’ve been following for some time. As I mindlessly scanned the blurb (because no one actually reads fashion blogs), I was suddenly forced to engage when I read the following:

For every lipstick purchased, we’ll donate a lipstick on your behalf to a survivor or current victim of trafficking. 

lipstick

Wait. What? You will donate some lipstick to a prostitute or child slave?

I can imagine how that conversation will go:

“Hey! Are you a slave?”

“Yes. I suffer daily at the hands of tyrants. I am violated, stripped of human rights, treated like a dog.”

“Great! Leah in Charlottesville donated this lipstick to you. It’s definitely your color.”

I’d like to give Radiant Cosmetics the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a typo? Maybe they’re giving lipstick to Texas preteens in the hopes that they’ll recruit them for the virtuous cause of ending human trafficking?

Except they don’t say that. They say they’re going to hand sexually violated and demeaned and desperate people some lipstick, then maybe smoosh their glossy lips together and blow them a kiss before bidding them adieu.

I hope they realize that something as serious as human trafficking doesn’t really pair well with the American beauty industry, that it’s inappropriate – and frankly, bizarre – to put a cutesy spin on slavery. (To their credit, they do donate 20% of all proceeds to charities that work to end human trafficking.)

(On only a slightly different note, I recommend watching the documentary, Whores’ Glory)

Revision 1/5: My husband discovered this excerpt from a British soldier’s journal that has a very different firsthand take on giving lipstick to slaves. I don’t know if this particular incident directly correlates to the one above, but it’s still worth a read for reflection’s sake.

anguish

anguishAnguish by Malaquias Montoya

It’s not about gun control or letting kids “keep their childhoods” or pointing fingers. It’s about allowing ourselves to grieve – fully – for very real heartbreak, for immense suffering. I’m beginning to think people talk these kinds of things to death to numb themselves. Don’t change the subject. Bathe in it. Take it in. Force yourself to recognize and feel the immeasurable darkness of tragedy.

And read this, too.

Fair Trade Month

Happy October and joyous Fair Trade Month. If you read my last post, you’ll recall that I’m on a mission to spend my money on ethically produced products; now is the perfect time for you to join me.

You can take the Fair Trade Pledge over at Fair Trade USA. Check out their list of Products and Partners while you’re there.

I’ve compiled a mini list of ethical companies and resources for you to peruse:

Don’t forget to shop local, too. You likely have access to lots of small farmers and businesses from which you can purchase locally produced, organic products. Thrift shops and vintage stores are a great alternative to buying new. As Amy Skoczlas Cole of eBay’s Green Team says, “The greenest product is the one that already exists.”