Saturday, July 31, 2010

Boise Saturday Market

One of my favorite activities this summer was heading yonder to Downtown Boise and hitting up the local Boise Saturday Market. It's a blast, let me tell you. Tasty fresh berries. Locally grown vegetables. And the food samples that abound! I love going to the market because I feel super eco-friendly [minus the gas it took me to drive down there], and it's good to know that my dollars are going to support my fellow Boiseans and are staying in the local economy. Anywho, one of my favorite vendors at the Saturday Market is a woman who owns an organic farm and sews her own bags that are made out of fabric that was purchased at a thrift store. This is awesome, as the bags are a) super trendy b) one-of-a-kind and c)fairly made. All things that I like. The little patch on the bags reads "Know your grower, know your sew-er." Cute. Anyways, I'd not really talked to her very much in depth, but today I felt more extroverted than normal so I started a conversation with her. We began talking about her farm and the market and she told me that she is actually only allowed to sew her bags in a specific shape. This is because apparently it would ruin the competition around her: a.k.a. Urban Outfitters. I found this fascinating and ironic, as large corporations seem to have no qualms with crushing their small independent competition around them by outsourcing and low prices. Anywho, she THEN told me that she worked for Urban for several years as a fashion forecaster, and decided "Hmmm, I'm going to become a farmer" [this would seem like the most natural choice after being in the fashion industry...?] and thusly began telling me about all the evils of the corporation [Side note: sorry if you like Urban. I did too, but unfortunately because of new information I am now boycotting them and Anthropologie as it is under the same parent company. Although I don't know how much change that will bring that I'm boycotting Anthro as their prices are so outrageous I can't afford anything anyways...but still. It's the principle!]. As you can guess, it was a fairly depressing conversation. I won't go into all the disturbing things she told me because it would take too long and you'd probably become bored and think I was crazy or exaggerating, but trust me, it's bad and you can certainly call me up if you would like to know. She told me she did not have these conversations with most people and she probably would have no friends otherwise and I said that indeed, this is how I felt most days of my life. The saddest thing was that she said, "You know, if people only knew they wouldn't shop there!" and I said, "Nay. I'm not sure that is true...I know a lot of things but that hasn't stopped me in the past. It's easier to do nothing. I know other people who know a lot of things and this doesn't stop them either." Major sigh. We talked about how sad it is that young people spend so much money trying to look good, when they miss out on so much [aka traveling] because they are spending so much money in such stores as Urban. And then I immediately forgot my privilege social class wise because she said, "Yeah, traveling or in my case going to the dentist." Oops. I should have thrown buckets of money at her. I get that boycotting is a toss up, as you could ask the question, "Is it better to buy cheaper clothing and donate more to charity or buy more expensive things that you know were fairly made?" I say buy less and give away more, personally. And I get that there are a LOT of bad stores out there, but even picking the REALLY bad ones could make a difference. We talked about how fashion is fun, but there's a fine line, and, as she said, "We all die naked anyways, and if all I'm remembered for is my fashion sense then what is that really worth anyways?" Touche. I thanked her for chatting as I had learned a lot and she had greatly validated my decision to not purchase new clothing for a year. As I walked away I couldn't help but feel slightly disappointed that I had to leave Idaho in only a week, as it seems that we would have had a lot of interesting things to talk about and I perhaps might have made a new friend. As I was thinking this I looked down and realized that I, very ironically and very embarrassedly was wearing a scarf I had purchased awhile ago [before I boycotted it] from Forever 21: a.k.a. the mecca of cheap labor...I hope she didn't judge me too much.

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