Monday, 29 April 2013

secondhand responsibility

Well I survived Camberwell Market- just- even after an appalling night's sleep with the warm and windy night we had and getting that dreadful fear of missing the alarm that only comes with having to get up way too early. Next time I will arrive there later so I can hopefully miss the annoying dealers and their torches and hopefully I won't end up to a permanent stallholder who takes until 11.30am to get his wares out and then promptly turns around and packs it all away again. The problem with Camberwell is that everyone these days thinks they are an expert/collector/dealer.  I put out a boomerang that I had scored in a job lot I bought just to see how many pouncers I would get, too many episodes of Collectors and Antiques Roadshow, do they really think I don't know what I am selling?? I did have lovely shop/blog people visit too and snapped this photo of two elderly Asian ladies who took forever to pick an Afghan rug.  I sold a lot but I also carted home a car load (of my stuff not purchased crap), I don't think the market is as good as it used to be. Piles and piles of second hand clothes and I don't mean good second hand, I mean made last year/bored-now/must buy latest thing clothes and I overheard people discussing how good they were buying second hand, how they were helping the world. It is good that people are recycling but it got me thinking most of all about buying quality and buying quality that lasts. In light of another Bangladeshi rag trade disaster we must learn to ask where our clothes are coming from, just as we do our food. We give lip service to 'fair trade' but there is also 'fair made', buying from local and small quality production houses falls under this. I don't want to take away the livelihood of overseas workers but I do want to see them treated fairly and with respect and this can only come when we begin to ask the questions about the chain of supply and we start buying products that last longer than a wash or even a season. It is our responsibility.


  1. I think that market is for people who are scared to go into op-shops but who want to feel all hipster and boast about buying stuff second hand. I agree about the fashion ... Lots of stuff in the bigger charity chains like Vinnies and Salvos is def. last years fashion and only the smaller op shops have better quality older clothes.
    The deaths in that Bangladesh factory will hopefully make people think more carefully about where and how much they purchase. Blood clothes now not just blood diamonds.

  2. couldn't agree more ..
    it used to take me 2 days to recover..
    apart from the rude bastards...l find it's mainly the dealers who come with money and actually buy stuff..there are so many tyre kickers..and so called experts.

  3. Lucky we have you, otherwise we would all have to be buying our clothes from the high street ;)
    ps LOVIN my patchwork jacket .. rocking central vic with it.

  4. Lucky we have you to make our clothes! Otherwise we will all be looking the same and shopping from the high street!

    PS lovin my patchwork jacket. castlemaine is now a little bit brighter for it. Particularly handy now as the 'first frost' was experienced this morning. Spot the latest blow-ins with their iphones out taking photos of frost on cars and the garden .. tragic!

  5. Definitely agreed regarding the market and the need for conscious and quality consumption. In light of that I'd love to know how you source your traditional Mayan weavings? Do you have a fair trade relationship with a cooperative or do you make them yourself using the backstrap loom? Sorry if you've talked about it elsewhere I just came across this....

    1. All of our Mexican and Guatemalan pieces come from our friend Zara who lives part of the year in Mexico. She works with the makers in the villages and spends a part of every trip working in orphanages and with the Mayan Families charity. In many cases Zara knows the exact maker of a piece of work and has long on going relationships with these women, she spends time with them and works directly with them. She gives back to the communities in which she works and we applaud her care and love of these people.


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