Friday

Urban Outfitters

I posted about the whole "going green" movement a while back (Click for that post) but I have to just mention something again that is bugging me.

Once again, I would like to point out that going to thrift stores and buying things that a lot of people consider junk is wonderful.  There are many reasons for that, but here are a few that Amber and I use to rationalize our borderline hoarder behavior.

1) You are recycling. There is no manufacturing process involved in furnishing your home with old things, because it was already done years ago.

2) You help your local economy.  If it is a second hand store or pawn shop, you are helping keep that place in business which allows them, in some cases, to compete with the box stores.

3) You are helping charity, when you shop at Goodwill or a similar store and you are employing folks that are overlooked by a lot of employers because of their unique situation.

4) If you re-sell furniture, you can make money! Eventually you run out of room, but can't stop buying so you can start selling the stuff to someone else.

With these things in mind, what the hell is up with Urban Outfitters?  It used to be that Urban Outfitters sold cheap trendy clothes but now they have gotten into the business of completely 'outfitting' your hipster lifestyle.  They sell cheap furniture, cheap toys, cheap bicycles, cheap art, and yes they do still sell cheap clothing.  I encourage you to visit their website and look around if you haven't in a while, because it is ridiculous.

I am fairly conservative in many of my values, especially when it comes to business and believe that any company has a right and an obligation to make as much money as it possibly can.  I also believe that you should do it responsibly and with as little negative impact as possible.  In this case, they are offering a place where a person can buy cheap 'mid century' furniture, simply because the real stuff is too hard to find.  It will all end up in a landfill too when the thrifty hipster changes his/her medication and is all of a sudden not into mid century anymore.

Always support local first, shop at local thrift stores, but at the very least if you need that special piece that truly is hard to find, shop online at one of the many stores specializing in mid century designs.

6 comments:

Stephanie said...

Well said!!! I totally agree!!!

Midcenturymadam said...

For me, the thrill of finding a vintage piece of MCM furniture, is the fact that it is usually beautifully crafted. I have been especially lucky and things seem to come my way so I try not to judge the cheap knock-offs but I have to say, seeing those things at UO really irritates me!

Amber Von Felts said...

Amen Brotha! I totally concur with you on the whole Urban Outfitters deal. I live in a really cool little beach town in Cali, which up to a few years ago had scads of Antique Malls and Thrift Stores. Recently the "revitalization" of the downtown area drove the rents through the roof and a lot of stores that have been there for ages had to close their doors. One of those stores was a landmark Antique Mall that had been there forever. They packed up and left, the building was fully renovated, and guess what went in...URBAN OUTFITTERS! Gah! What burns my biscuits most is that Urban sells exactly the same styles of clothes that are 1/2 a block down the street in the 2 remaining kick-ass thrift stores at 3 & 4 times the price! We are not an urban town...at least I'm not. I almost choked when I saw them selling a "scarf" that was made from cut fabric with frayed edges...no sewing...just fabric for $20! I'm just not a fan...I guess its up to the teenagers to populate that store, not to mention the American Apparel they put in too....blarg.

Vintage Hunter said...

I agree - it's always better to buy vintage whenever possible. That new cheap junk is very poor quality. One of the big appeals to vintage furniture for me is you can't beat the quality and the price is so much nicer!

midwest.modern said...

Ah, you forgot to include the fine print / fast talk, such as how shopping for vintage at your local thrift store may cause addictive behavior leading to "full garage" and "pissed significant other" not to mention an erection lasting more than four hours (you know, like when you find 1950s LEVIS Type II Denim Jacket - Mint - for $7).

Steve said...

I concur!
Well said, amigo.