01. In Conversation with Rose Hope

For our first Good Journal post we chatted with Rose Hope, the co-owner of Crushes, a concept store based in Auckland celebrating vintage clothing & homewares alongside the best of New Zealand made. With an incredible insight into the fashion industry and its environmental and social impacts, we sat down with Rose to discuss what conscious consumerism looks like.

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Rose, thank you so much for being a part of our first journal. Can you tell us a little about what your current day-to-day looks like?

My day starts early, as I hit all the thrift shops first thing. The thrill-of-the-chase hits as good as a coffee can! I then make my way to my shop Crushes where I check in, catch up and debrief with my lovely staff. I then will go up to my office and work on either our digital marketing, do a photoshoot, or meet with a local artist who we are about to stock in the store. At the end of my work day, I always think about taking the afternoon off for errands or to make a nice meal, but always find work to do because I live and breathe Crushes - It is my hobby more than my job!

 

 

What is Crushes?

Crushes is a concept store where we challenge what a retail environment could look like in an overly capitalist society. We provide secondhand clothing and homeware, alongside locally made goods from over 60 makers and designers from New Zealand. Both categories of which are positive places to spend money *if* one has to. We also emphasise the importance of holding space for people. Our customers know they could come and chat for hours, or they could come to one of our events above the store for workshops and gatherings. 

 

" Being a conscious consumer ejects yourself from the narrative that we are born into, and it feels so good! "

 

Can you share a little on what conscious consumerism looks like to you?

Conscious consumerism is an extension of an intentional life. In our lifetime, media and marketing has told us what an ideal life/body/closet should look like, and to not obtain these ideals is a failure. By taking back control from these capitalist-centric ideologies by becoming intentional with how you want to live your life and how/where you can spend your money is one of the most liberating victories you can have. Whether that means that you decide to spend money with companies that don't use exploitative labour, or cruelty to animals, or on products that don’t use wasteful excessive packaging - or you could choose to stop spending all together and only purchase what you need, as opposed to what you want. Being a conscious consumer ejects yourself from the capitalist narrative that we are born into, and it feels so good!

 

What part does vintage/second-hand clothing play when it comes to conscious consumerism?

By purchasing pre-loved goods, you're extending the life of something that took a lot of the world's resources to create. The textile of one basic white tee uses 2700 Litres of water for one basic white tee, and a handful of the 40 million garment workers in the world turned it into 'fashun' (40 million garment workers). Because the clock is ticking with climate change, the best thing that we can do is to start to change our consumer habits that are contributing to a hotter climate, like manufacturing. There is hope though! The re-sell and rent market is the fastest growing stream in the fashion industry as the consumer is getting smarter, thriftier and more conscious. If we keep being the loudest voice, buyers will have to order less which will lighten the burden that our thirst for fashion weighs on the world. 
 
 

 

If you find yourself purchasing something that isn’t vintage is there anything you look for? Any non negotiables? 

I can't often find a vintage shoe that I like in my size, so I invest in a good shoe that I will wear until it can be worn/repaired no more. Because I don't buy new often, I use this rare opportunity to purchase strategically from a brand doing the hard yards for me, so my money can help support their good work. A great example of this is Veja who do great things for the environment and their workers, by; paying more for the cost of rubber and cotton to help inflate the market price which supports the communities selling rubber to other manufacturers, developing vegan and upcycled shoes, and more! With any shoe you have their logo right there worn like an ad as part of your outfit the whole day, so I love wearing the Veja "V" as I am so happy to support them. 

 

I think we would all agree the best thing that we can do is to get comfortable with the women that we are - with what we look like, with the wrinkles that are forming, with the wardrobe outdating. "

 

There’s no doubt media promotes the idea that we always need more. What are your thoughts on this and how do you combat this idea? 

As a feminist, I have an issue with the thought that women are repeatedly shown that success and happiness looks 'beautiful' and on-trend, meanwhile out of the 40 million garment workers, 80% of them are women themselves, and are pain-stakingly hand making the clothing that will soothe our insecurities. When we purchase from a dodgy company or any fast fashion retailer, we are keeping that exploitative business going, at the cost of our sister-across-the-globes expense so we can look and act like the women we are told to be. I think we would all agree the best thing that we can do is to get comfortable with the women that we are - with what we look like, with the wrinkles that are forming, and with the wardrobe that is outdating. Understanding that there is already beauty here with us, and happiness will follow when we simply embrace that.

" Support businesses doing the hard work you wish you could do. "

 

If you had to share 3 tips for readers who would like to take a step towards consuming consciously what would they be?

1. You have enough
2. You are enough
3. Support businesses doing the hard work you wish you could do
 
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If you would like to take a look at Crushes you'll find them on Instagram at @crushes_shop or visit them at www.crushes.co.nz.