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Thread: Selling the Poor : The Politics of Value Village

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    Sith Lady and Cool Kid Darth Penguin's Avatar
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    https://communityedition.ca/selling-...value-village/


    In the past two decades, second-hand clothing has — like many other cultural objects of the poor — become trendy, coveted and hip. There is now a bursting local market of vintage clothing shops, international online retailers and even commercial corporations like Urban Outfitters selling used and “revamped” items. While many second-hand stores often do contribute to charity, build community and decrease dependency on the global sweat-shop economy, when it comes to the massive retail corporation Value Village — where the reselling of donated used clothing is a corporate strategy marketed to poor people — it is critical to examine Value Village’s actual politics and their effects on low-income communities.
    On the one hand, the search for cool second-hand goods has led to an increase of middle- and upper-class people shopping at Value Village. This expansion of its demographic has certainly normalized wearing second-hand clothes. This normalization has perhaps led to a decrease in the stigma that poor and working-class people may experience when their clothing is not visibly name brand, from the mall, high quality, or trendy. However, this has also led to the increasing prices of Value Village and other second-hand stores who are taking advantage of a developing market where second-hand clothes are a surplus commodity — objects that already exist, demand very little labour power to sell and maintain, and result in high profit levels for the original owners of the products, the owners and investors of Value Village.
    This widening market is both responsible for and a result of a fetishization — a revaluing of an object for the purpose of consumption — of the clothing and style of poor and working-class people, particularly clothing racialized as belonging to a particular racial or ethnic group. The style of poor people is taken out of its context and sold as a commodity – appropriated – because it provides to consumers implied meanings that are both spatial (think rural or urban) and cultural (think dangerous or uneducated). One need only look at the lifestyle clothes of celebrities — and the way this is translated into mainstream, fast fashion — to see examples of poverty being fetishized.
    This thread is currently associated with: Urban Outfitters, Value Village
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    I don't live near a VV so I'm not sure how accurate this is. But I found it an interesting read.
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    interesting article -I still like thrift shopping but go on 50% off or 30%with my filled card -as I find regular price too much may as well buy new
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    Quote Originally Posted by coupon girl View Post
    interesting article -I still like thrift shopping but go on 50% off or 30%with my filled card -as I find regular price too much may as well buy new
    That's one reason I stopped thrift shopping. I would see $store items being sold for more then what the $ store sold it at. I do better buying name brands on sale/clearance.

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    Canadian Genius padyofurniture's Avatar
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    I was at the Dartmouth VV about 2 months ago and was shocked at the prices for ladies plus sized jeans. Plus sized clothing is normally a quick sale in thrift shops. There were plenty of jeans and when I looked at the price tags, I could see why they were left behind. Some of the better branded jeans (Apple Bottom and Torrent) were 11.99 and a pair of Pennington's ones (w/ tags) were 21.99. At a cheaper price, I'd have been tempted to take a pair home but I have plenty of jeans already.

    I can purchase new jeans in the US, usually at Kohls, for less than $30 a pair. In September, I purchased a pair of Chaps capris for 6.50... regularly $65
    Last edited by padyofurniture; Thu, Jun 22nd, 2017 at 02:45 PM.
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    Senior Canuck matty's mom's Avatar
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    I thrift for quality. I sew/ refashion. I just bought a near brand new pair of Nine West jeans at Talize sale for $5, tapered the sides, turned up the bottom to made them into cute capris. It is both enjoyable and practical for me. The fact that the weave of the jean and the 98% cotton content is what has me sold. It took less than one hour of my time. The brands that I could afford, don't have that kind of quality, have higher polyester content in them (Too hot!), or are too thin. My fave find was my classic black wool Jones New York blazer still had the Winner's tag on it- cost me $8. There are bargains to be found and every time I thrift, I go in with a list. It helps me stay on track.
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    Every one should shop at 2nd hand stores , its the money that they get that goes into mostly helping others and I have questioned places like value village is it a buisness that helps its employees or is it profit for a certain few? People who are struggling are not going to pay a higher price but are going to look for the better deals.
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    I went into the Burlington Bibles for Missions store and must say that it was hard to find anything in a colour or size I could wear. If I was a small size, there were possibilities to purchase. I even checked menswear and I was sad at the dull blue/gray tones on offer plus the lighting is not great, even near the windows. Now this store is mostly volunteer run except for management. If you can resize/alter clothing with a machine or handsewing, this kind of shop works for customers not wanting or able to buy at retail prices for new clothing.
    As for Value Village, there are women's clothes that may have come from fast fashion but the VV pricing seems laughable on the thin/wear once or twice scale, not to mention not practical to wear everywhere. I have seen on occasion some great quality fabrics and styles in plus size womenswear but offerings are so small-buy anything you can when you see, as at sale time, it's also sad what is on the racks. Sometimes a day after a sale, what is offered for men and women can better than during sale days. If you can like me, go to the store a couple of times per month to see if stock has been added or changed, then you see what may be worth getting.
    I've no luck in dresses (still hoping for the 2007 Liz Claiborne maxi dress one fine day). Mens shirts-very hit and miss but smaller sizes tend to have better choices (if fashion forward at times). I usually score in men's dress shirts that I alter into short sleeve tops that coordinate with both navy and black pants and any sweater or jacket I put on. Win-win. Women's knit tops-one of the most frustrating sections for me as when I find the style/colours I like, the sizes tend to be too small (after this summer, my medium size polka dot Ralph Lauren top will be debuttoned and the top cut up for rags-it's too short really but the dots look great with a jacket). The buttons will go onto a newly sewn top as they are blingy gold.

    Monday, I finally did the alterations on my size 16 too big navy pants (may have to see if I can fix the crotch seam or live with the bagginess). Not the best job but I have pockets and new to me pants. That $6.50 purchase was worthwhile for me in April but I had put off the task. My old navy pants are great for cutting grass in but they need to be in the garbage bin next week (one new item into wardrobe means one old item has to go out).

    I'll check my local VV on Saturday as it's been about a week and half since my last look-see. Really don't need anything but another dressy knit top would be lovely. I'm striking out in cardigans and jackets. Pants-an occasional find but not length until April. Outdoor coats/jackets-very disappointing so far and I should have moved on one ski jacket when I saw it--lesson learned.
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    Where is the snack food buffet?

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    I wonder if Salvation Army or Goodwill would fit into a different category?
    Does Sally Ann and Goodwill have different goals for their employees, compared to Value Village?
    Wonder if Sally Ann and Goodwill gives more money to work projects to help poorer people, compared to the 10% Value Village gives to the Canadian Diabetes Association?
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    Goodwill states all of its profits go to job training, employment services and programs. We'd probably need to see an annual report to see what kinds of sums are involved.

    https://goodwillindustries.ca/the-difference-you-make/

    Salvation Army thrift stores-I clicked on the Central Ontario link. Found this about the thrift stores:
    All Salvation Army Thrift Stores, are 100 per cent charity-based and exist to generate funds to support Salvation Army programs and services that help residents in the areas in which they operate.
    http://thriftstore.ca/central-ontari...ift-store-faqs
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    Where is the snack food buffet?

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    I find it interesting that Value Village charges sales tax and Salvation Army does not. It was in the news how much money the CEO of Value Village makes - it was a lot of money.

    I prefer Salvation Army and Goodwill over Value Village.

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    Canadian Guru macw1960's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbis9 View Post
    I find it interesting that Value Village charges sales tax and Salvation Army does not. It was in the news how much money the CEO of Value Village makes - it was a lot of money.

    I prefer Salvation Army and Goodwill over Value Village.
    Strange about SA not charging tax as we had to charge tax when I worked there.
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    anyone know what % (stamps on the card) do you get for donations? i was there today & was told i need THREE bags donation for a measly 5% discount stamp. ive always gotten a stamp for every bag i gave....not impressed!
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    Smart Canuck lilo0003's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Linda Evans View Post
    anyone know what % (stamps on the card) do you get for donations? i was there today & was told i need THREE bags donation for a measly 5% discount stamp. ive always gotten a stamp for every bag i gave....not impressed!
    I have always had one stamp per bag in Burlington whereas I need to ask for the stamp or a nee card each time in the Oakville location.
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    Quote Originally Posted by barbis9 View Post
    I find it interesting that Value Village charges sales tax and Salvation Army does not. It was in the news how much money the CEO of Value Village makes - it was a lot of money.

    I prefer Salvation Army and Goodwill over Value Village.
    I'm guessing VV is not a charity? Also, being that it is owned by Walmart kind of puts it in my 'not gonna shop there'. Sorry, will head to goodwill or Salvation Army - even the Restore Store first


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