I presented “Y Sin Embargo Te Quiero (And Yet I Love You) Economic Policy Encoded in the Consumption of Used Garments” Secondhand Cultures in Unsettled Times Symposium, June 15-16, 2021 School of Journalism, Media & Culture, Cardiff University, Wales.
The article this presentation came from is here: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14759756.2021.1909207
The presenattion is here:
This research involves an onsite ethnographic study and interview of the designers of the Clandestina fashion brand in Havana, Cuba. The Clandestina label creatively capitalizes on a commodity that has been de-valued through over-production and consumption: used garments. They silk-screen them with witty phrases and cut and resew into cooler silhouettes, and they call this Vintrashe. According to: Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes (2015) the contemporary global wholesale used clothing trade is valued at over 3.57 Billion Dollars. The majority of this second-hand commodity comes from donations in North America and Europe, and it is a commonly held misconception that the used goods we donate to charitable organizations are going to go directly to clothe needy people. In fact, they are sold to intermediaries who re-distribute for profit (Brooks 2015). The impact of secondhand clothing has been both a blessing and a curse to local markets, on the one hand it brings economic opportunity and an affordable way to clothe an impoverished population, on the other it undermines existing textile industries and weakens the cultural power of traditional dress. Some of this excess is what Clandestina uses as raw goods to re-fabricate through the “creative reuse” of existing materials. Through capitalizing on the embargo imposed, now-engrained Cuban thrift, as well as the highly educated state of the population, Clandestina has created a lucrative product line (from a garbage commodity) that is uniquely Havanero, but ready to take on the world!
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About this event
Secondhand cultures and practices, from reselling sites to charity shops and thrift stores to waste picking, have expanded and transformed over recent decades, with profound social, political, and environmental implications. Despite vibrant and growing research into secondhand worlds, opportunities to share and discuss this research across interdisciplinary boundaries have been rare. Further, secondhand cultures have been unsettled by the global pandemic in ways that are not yet well understood.
This virtual symposium brings together scholars and practitioners across disciplines to problematise and explore secondhand cultures in unsettled times.
We are delighted to share our keynote speakers for the event will be:
Professor Angela McRobbie, Goldsmiths, University of London
Professor Avril Maddrell, University of Reading
Professor Rebecca Early, Centre for Circular Design, UAL
The Symposium will bring together a lively collection of papers from scholars around the world on a range of secondhand topics, as well as hands-on workshops, practitioner panels, book talks, short films, and plenty of opportunities for participants to connect and share ideas.
Based on the symposium, we will co-edit a special issue of JOMEC Journal, an online, open-access and peer reviewed journal dedicated to publishing the highest quality innovative academic work in journalism, media, cultural studies, and other interlocking fields, for late 2021.
Dr Jennifer Lynn Ayres, New York University; Dr Triona Fitton, University of Kent, and Dr Alida Payson, Cardiff University