1.17.2009

Pepe = Secondhand in Haiti.

I found this video from currentv via Bits & Bobbins blog  (*see below)about the secondhand clothing culture in Haiti. Secondhand clothing there is called Pepe, which is so ironic to me, because here in Puerto Rico Pepe was a very expensive jean label back in the late 80's (it died off somewhere in the mid-90's).

Some of the people in Haiti express their distaste for Pepe because it hurts their local seamstresses and local made garment economy. I can somewhat sympathize with this, being it such that it mirrors the dissappearance here in Puerto Rico of "la industria de la aguja" thanks to the mass importation of cheap mass-made clothing to your local strip mall. It's cheaper, faster and if you don't like it three weeks from now, you don't cry over the price you paid for it. But I find this sentiment is what proliferates the massification of trends, rather than showing people how to build a style around pieces that last forever.

At the same time it presents another conundrum to me, a vintage lover. I can appreciate a good vintage piece and love to shop in thrift shops and vintage boutiques for a unique piece. At the same time, can it be that I am taking away from those people who make the clothes in those factories to sell in the mall? I ask myself sometimes if my choosing not to be part of that tidal wave of fashion means that I am somewhat hurting the industry itself. Or am I really purportedly helping it dissappear completely, along with all its discrimination and faults?

Something to think about. Here's the video, enjoy.

http://current.com/items/88838892/pepe_secondhand.htm
*Current.com closed it's website, so here's the video from another source



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