Day 203: Trans-American Trade Parade

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July 21, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

What’s the male equivalent of a fashionista?  A fashionisto?  Whatever the case may be, I am not one.  Frankly, if not for other people reminding me of the importance of clothes, I’d be in peril of walking around as close to naked as the weather allowed.  But what with society insisting on a “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service” standard, I’ve come to accept the need for the occasional pair of pants.

In all seriousness, though, I look at clothes as primarily a practical thing.  Of course I like when they look good, and of course I insist upon them feeling good (otherwise, what’s the point?) but I can’t help but perceive a lot of the attention given to clothes by others as unnecessary and even wasteful.  I mean, how many pairs of shoes do you really need?  Are you really only going to wear them twice a year?  Is it worth it?

Like with so many other things (bikes, cars, and even houses), it seems as though people are beginning to appreciate the re-usability and shareability of clothes.  The “Sharing Economy” doesn’t end with “sharing” – there’s a broader movement surrounding it, founded on the notion of getting more use out of fewer things.  Blame it on the recession, but embrace it and you’ll be surprised to find how much utility remains in a basement full of old stuff or a closet full of last season’s clothes.  Today’s project is embarking on a cross-country tour to collect and redistribute America’s apparel.

Rad Vintage America will document the journey of Kate and Meagan as they make their way across the nation in search of rad vintage sh*t.

…We will travel the U.S. in search of awesome, recycled clothing, and then resell it in other places. We are finalizing our route, but planning on hitting some of the biggest flea markets across the U.S.! Places like Daytona, Florida, New York, NY, and the world’s largest flea market in Canton, Texas! The towns we shop in will be everywhere in between. We will interview the people we meet along the way, making stops in all sorts of places, big and small. We will incorporate makeovers, to show that anyone can wear thrifted, vintage clothing. As well, we will create photo shoots with the locals and collaborate with photographers and other artists. We’ll show you how you can make money from your closet, where to donate things you don’t want or need anymore, or how to save items before they get tossed (DIY projects).

They’re coming and they want your clothes.  And be honest, are you ever going to wear it again?  Really?  Kate and Meagan are spreading an important gospel – one of longevity and value – one that can make a difference in the way people buy, sell, earn, spend, share and swap.  I’ll be thinking of them the next time I get fed up with a closet full of clothes I can’t, won’t, or for any other reason just don’t wear.  Resell, cosign, donate or gift to someone who’ll wear it gladly; extend the life of your things and set them free.  This sisterhood of traveling pants, shirts, scarves and suspenders might help you turn your rags to riches and bring your socks and the stories they tell across the country.  But first, you’ve got to back them on Kickstarter before July 31.


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