Not only TOMS, but also Starbucks and even Lockheed Martin and Wal-Mart have learned that linking their products to charitable causes makes for good business. We no longer buy only what we need, or even what broadcasts our identity. We buy what makes us feel like good people, and what makes us feel like members of a good, global community. The easy way to look at TOMS is to praise their charitable work. The harder, more troubling way to look at TOMS is to acknowledge it as an example of how corporations have assumed work most often associated with self-identified religious organizations: building community, engaging in charity, and cultivating morals.
TOMS is not alone in its willingness to link progressive social action with consumer spending. In fact, it exemplifies a broader corporate embrace of “conscious capitalism.” Coined by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, this business model assumes that “the best way to maximize profits over the long-term” is to orient business toward a “higher purpose.” So Starbucks sells coffee to “Put America Back to Work,” the (RED) campaign raises money to fight AIDS, and—in the best example yet—Sir Richard’s Condom Company sends a condom to Haiti for each one it sells (“doing good never felt better”). Meanwhile, Bank of America logos decorate PRIDE banners and Lockheed Martin brags that it is a “champion of diversity.”
The globalization of neoliberal capitalism, and particularly the popularity of “conscious capitalism” as a practice and a discourse, signals a change in the landscape of U.S. religion and politics. “Neoliberalism” most often refers to a loosely cohering set of economic, social, and political policies that (1) seek to secure human flourishing through the imposition of free markets and (2) locate “freedom” in individual autonomy, expressed through consumer choice. But it is also a mode of belonging, where ritual acts of consumption initiate individuals into a global community of consumer agents. Within neoliberal logics of religious and political action, consumer transactions and corporate expansion are recast as forms of spiritual purification and missionary practice. And within conscious capitalism, the “higher purpose” is a world in which all people have a chance (or obligation) to participate in free markets—understood as a multicultural community of consumers.
For Mycoskie—whose title is “Chief Shoe Giver”—building this multicultural community is a theological mandate. He frames his Christian faith as a component of his personal relationship to the company. At the evangelical Global Leadership Conference, keynote speaker Mycoskie answered a question about whether TOMS represents any “biblical principles”: “TOMS represents a lot of different biblical principles. But the one I go back to again and again is the one in Proverbs. Give your first fruits and your vats will be full. … Because we did that and stayed true to our one-to-one model [even amidst financial strain], we’ve been incredibly blessed. We really did give our first fruits.”
In non-confessional settings, TOMS proffers a humanistic version of this prosperity gospel, recast for a neoliberal age. Losing the Bible quotes, the company emphasizes that the “fruits of faith”—in this case, economic success—abound for those who embody the ideals of authenticity, good intentions, and service. Or, “higher purpose” is profitable. TOMS is successful because it creates opportunities for people to live into their own “purpose” through a simple transaction: buying a pair of shoes.
DO NOT REBLOG TO BBW PORN/FETISH OR FITSPO/THINSPO BLOGS
The Forgotten 1950s Girl Gang
No idea if this photo set is already here somewhere…it likely is…but this is a bit rad…
full article here: http://www.messynessychic.com/2013/02/10/the-forgotten-1950s-girl-gang/
You might have heard of the Teddy Boys, a 1950s rebel youth subculture in Britain characterized by an unlikely style of dress inspired by Edwardian dandies fused with American rock’n roll. They formed gangs from East London to North Kensington and became high profile rebels in the media. But an important sub-subculture of the Teddy Boys, an unlikely female element, has remained all but invisible from historical records. Meet The Teddy Girls.
These are one of just a few known collections of documented photographs of the first British female youth culture ever to exist. In 1955, freelance photographer Ken Russell was introduced Josie Buchan, a Teddy Girl who introduced him to some of her friends. Russell photographed them and one other group in Notting Hill.
After his photographs were published in a small magazine in 1955, Russell’s photographs remained unseen for over half a century. He became a successful film director in the meantime. In 2005, his archive was rediscovered, and so were the Teddy Girls.
Russell remembers 14 year-old Teddy Girl, Jean Rayner: “She had attitude by the truckload. No one paid much attention to the teddy girls before I did them, though there was plenty on teddy boys. They were tough, these kids, they’d been born in the war years and food rationing only ended in about 1954 – a year before I took these pictures. They were proud. They knew their worth. They just wore what they wore.”
To understand the Teddy Girls style, we first have to go back to the boys culture. They emerged in England as post-war austerity was coming to an end and working class teenagers were able to afford good clothes and began to adopt the upper class Saville Row revival of dandy Edwardian fashion. By the mid 1950s, second-hand Edwardian suits were readily available on sale in markets as they had become unwearable by the upper-class once the Teddy Boys had started sporting them. The Teds, as they called themselves, wore long drape jackets, velvet collars, slim ties and began to pair the look with thick rubber-soled creeper shoes and the ‘greaser’ hairstyles of their American rock’n’roll idols.
Despite their overall gentlemanly style of dress (certainly compared to today), the Teddys were a teenage youth culture out to shock their parents’ generation, and quickly became associated with trouble by the media.
Teddy girls were mostly working class teens as well, but considered less interesting by the media who were more concerned with sensationalizing a violent working class youth culture. While Teddy boys were known for hanging around on street corners, looking for trouble, a young working class woman’s role at the time was still focused around the home.
But even with lower wages than the boys, Teddy girls would still dress up in their own drape jackets, rolled-up jeans, flat shoes, tailored jackets with velvet collars and put their feminine spin on the Teddy style with straw boater hats, brooches, espadrilles and elegant clutch bags. They would go to the cinema in groups and attend dances and concerts with the boys, collect rock’n’roll records and magazines. Together, they essentially cultivated the first market for teenage leisure in Britain.
In the end it was the troublesome reputation of the Teddy Boys that got the better of this youth subculture. Most of the violence and vandalism was exaggerated by the media, but there were notably a few gangs that chose a darker path.
Now what self respecting Steampunker would not like to take tea from one of Royal Crown Derby’s Steampunk Collection. (You would have to be a wealthy Steampunker though, this cup and saucer UK £90.00)
Quote:—”The Steampunk collection from peerless fine English bone china perfectionist Royal Crown Derby is a playful and eclectic mix of style, function and luxury. Featuring engineering, science and clockwork motifs cleverly re-imagined to portray elegance and precision, Steampunk embodies a look that is contemporary and bold but pays homage to the greatness of our 19th Century technological past. The graphic monochrome patterns are styled uniquely for each item in the collection and are available in light (Ante Meridiem) and dark (Post Meridiem) versions.”
Urgh cannot wait for my tattoo to be for >
I want hair this color.