Second Hand News: Cultural and Economic Messages Encoded in the Consumption of Used Garments
Mark O’Connell@2015 no reproduction without permission
Velvet fragments with Medici arms, 1440–1500
Adoption and re-use of textiles and garments has been practiced by all textile-producing cultures. The manner of consumption of second hand clothes has been dictated and redefined by cultural directives specific to where the practice was taking place. Prevailing cultural, class-based and economic factors can change how a second-hand garment will be distributed, and affect the value placed on the item. Both Renaissance Italy and 16th to 18th century England’s urban economies were actively engaged in the resale and grey market activities of second-hand clothing consumption, however their economic activities were markedly different reflecting cultural specificity.
(Full paper available upon request)
Portrait of Barbara Viliers, mistress of King Charles II, painted by John Michael Wright c. 1670 in the romantic style.
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