Jun 01

Bummed About the Economy? Buy Indie!

Like most Americans are apparently doing, I am doing what I can to save more. I appreciate that whether this economy goes up or goes down, it can’t hurt to have a little more saved in the bank for a rainy day or a great opportunity.

Just this past Sunday, I spent more than I care to spend on clothes. Why? Because lately I’ve been thinking a lot about sweatshop labor and it creeps me out that style comes at the price of someone else’s sanity and well being. So I finally found a place called Parts + Labor off of South Congress that is essentially a marketplace for local independent designers to sell their purses, clothing, and jewelry. I bought clothes that were made with recycled fabric by a line called CurryBeth. I paid a bit more than I normally would, but I know that what I’m wearing is unique and actually empowers someone rather than exploits them. I feel good putting these clothes on. Even if I had to sell them, I’d get much more than I would for the latest forgettable Gap dress.

Here’s the coolest part. I needed another dress I bought altered. The people at Parts + Labor called the gal who made it and she’s going to fix it herself. Craftsmanship. Love it.

Consuming goods made by well intending people who are happy feels good. Watching shows made by people who enjoy what they are doing instead of worry about ratings all day is gratifying. I wonder to what extent this economy will make all the people who are getting laid off decide that they want to fix this bottom line-obsessed culture to create rocking stores like Parts + Labor.

P.S. When I write posts like this, people accuse me of getting paid by the people I’m writing about. That weirds me out a bit. This is not the case and if it were, I’d always disclose it. Cheers.

  • Mark

    Let's all keep our fingers crossed that more people will start to see the value in places like this. I'm just as hopeful that more people will see the value in making good shows that aren't all about the ratings and ad revenues. Some surprise renewals on network gives me a glimmer of hope. Now if we can just get more local funding to all these independent producers out there. Of course I'm biased since I am one. :-)

  • Brian

    You're killing two birds with one stone since that clothing is indie and local 😉

  • Mike

    Parts and Labor is good. I've also bought some vintage clothes from the adjoining store there (name escapes me). Another great local co is called Southside Sanctuary. One of my good friends is a local artist who designs for them. You can usually find them on or about SoCo during the weekends, First Thursdays, etc. or check them out at sanctuaryprintshop.com. There's also another guy who makes custom clothes that I dig and sells along SoCo under the name Big Rig. Its a nice little enclave. No need for the shopping mall here.