Monday, November 19, 2007

Coat Coup!

Today I hit the thrift store jackpot. First, I was able to find dress shoes and dress pants for my 7 year old to wear for his chorus concert. (The teacher who thought up the no sneakers, no jeans rule for concerts obviously hates parents. Who has dress shoes for a 7 yr old boy??)

At a second thrift store I was able to get a toaster oven to replace our broken one. Yeah!! Nothing makes my family happier than toast, especially Jim. Since thrift stores often sell appliances as is, I asked to plug in the toaster oven before I bought it. I always find the staff is very willing to let me do that, no matter what thrift store I'm at. In fact I often find thrift store staff much friendlier than retail store staff.

My final find was a winter coat for me. I almost didn't try it on because it was missing a button. It turns out the missing button was in the pocket! Can you see me doing my happy dance? I always get a kick out of the fact that I wind up wearing much higher end clothing by shopping at thrift stores than I ever did buying retail. I mean I'd never by myself a Jones of New York coat off the rack at Macy's and yet I just bought one that looks brand new for $4.99 today!

The catch is, the coat is wool. For me, this is the great conundrum of being vegan and frugal. It is where two sets of ideals smack head first into each other. While I would never buy a wool coat new, I have less trouble buying it used. This is reinforced by the cost of some animal friendly options like Pangea's non wool pea coat . I'd love to buy it but I can't justify spending $169.95.

Then too there's the green aspect to consider. The energy has already been expended to produce the coat I bought at the thrift store. Since its a local purchase requiring no shipping (i.e. gas) it becomes a significantly greener choice in my book.

There's so much to consider when making a purchase but I'm pretty pleased with this one. Does that make me a bad vegan?


Allisone said...

If it makes you a bad vegan - then I'm right there with you.
I think it falls under the heading of "you have to make decisions you feel good about".

Ruthie said...

We do this all the time. Russell has a pair of Nike's! We would never actually *buy* Nike's, but when the occasional size 12 brand new running shoes show up at the thrift store, we don't really look at the brand. We just don't support the company and if anyone ever asks where we got our ____, we're the first to point out that it's used.

Anonymous said...

If you think about it, you are wearing the product of sheep's haircut (rather than using the proucts of its death). Besides, real wool is much greener than fake wool, because it is actually produced in nature.

Who cares if it makes you a "bad vegan?" You only have to answer to yourself!

AMCSviatko said...

Anonymous bet me to it. I think wool is greener than many other options as it's a natural renewable resource as the sheep gets shorn many times during its life and you're not killing the sheep to produce the wool. So I'd give you double brownie points for a second hand wool coat :-)

Anonymous said...

If you bought something with wool, you're not technically a vegan. Period. It doesn't make a difference if the coat came from a retail store versus a thrift shop. Wool is a by-product of an animal and a vegan, by universal definition, does not eat, wear, buy, or use products made from animal by-products. That's the definition, plain and simple. The animal doesn't have to die, it's still a part of it you're using without its permission.

Sure you're being economical and frugal and looking out for the environment. That's awesome, but it has nothing to do with being a vegan. So please, you're not a "bad vegan", you're just not a vegan.