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The Lipstick Page Forums Fashion Blog

Posted by Colleen Shirazi, Monday, April 02, 2007 1:57 PM (Eastern)

Garfunkel's outfit for this concert has been on my mind for years. Thanks to Youtube, I can see it again (I didn't tape the show).

I remember watching the concert on the time, the notion of a performer wearing his own clothes was rapidly becoming unheard-of. I remember thinking, how ballsy. This was an historic event...what does he wear, but a white shirt, dark vest, and jeans that were obviously not new. Fantastic.

Oh I know that sounds next to fatuous, but we are becoming a culture of pure consumption. We don't make anything anymore; we don't produce anything tangible. I remember when you would look through a clothing catalogue and some items might be marked "imported." I also remember when a wide range of products were labeled "Made in the U.S.A."

I's less a matter of returning to the past (which is impossible anyway), more a matter of being conscientious...I always look to see where a product was made. Sometimes what you see is not what you were expecting.

I went to a chain "dollar store" recently and started reading labels on various items. What I discovered, is that almost all of them...across a wide variety of items, from egg dyeing kits to cleaning products to candles to gardening gloves...had been supplied by a single distributor.

The first thought that occurred, was that the distributor came first, then the stores, rather than the other way around. The distributor created the stores in order to supply to them. This distributor was unlikely to supply to any other store, just as the store was unlikely to buy much stock from any other distributor.

What further occurred, is that the distributor probably owned the factories in China that were producing the products...that were routed through the distributor, and sold at the stores owned by...the distributor? the owner of the factories? All one and the same?

Hence, the cost to produce that dollar item was probably what, three cents?

It's ingenious, it's out-Wal-Marting Wal-Mart. I would never have noticed at all if I were not in the habit of picking up items and examining their origin.

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