phalla (one of my awesome commenters) left a comment on my last (not so) random links post giving me a link to a short documentary about ‘pepe’ or secondhand goods in haiti. it was featured on current tv.
it’s fascinating to see where secondhand goods go, where exactly they end up, and how people perceive and use said goods in a given culture…what place they have in the marketplace. here, in haiti, or really, anywhere (see also: that aforementioned (not so) random links post and it’s mention of how secondhand was and is currently looked upon in poland).
in haiti, according to one of the women interviewed in the video clip, secondhand goods are more popular than new goods for an economically compelling reason: buying pepe is cheaper than buying new clothing in that impoverished island nation.
also, note the bit where the woman mentions that some in haiti are/were reticent to buy/wear pepe because they felt that the clothing retained the spirit of those who had originally worn that clothing. folks didn’t want to take on the former owner’s bad juju, and the like. but some have gotten over such hangups, particularly after they got a taste of some super sweet “hollywood pepe”. *grin*
on that second to last note:
what do you think? do you think that secondhand clothing holds some tangible memory of it’s former owner or wearer? does the fact that clothing has been worn before by another person seem distasteful? i know a lot of folks reading would probably not give a stitch about such things, but surely there are some out there who think the idea of wearing used threads (or certain used threads!) is a bit too much? prey tell us why ye feel that way, if you don’t mind!
personally, i always loved the idea that something had been owned before me, being the historian, culturally curious type of gal i am. i like to wonder about a garment (or object’s) former life, it’s former owner, what their story was, how that piece fit into their life, how they wore it or used it. or didn’t use it (as the case may be when you find a fairly mint thing now and again). and giving something old a new life, well, the really delicious icing on the making use of secondhand cake, as it were.
thank you very much, phalla!