Monday, April 13, 2009

Scavenging...

Rufus defines scavenging as "any way of legally acquiring stuff for cheap or for free -- any way that's not full price. That's anything from clipping coupons and getting discounts to picking something off the ground, to going to yard sales to the Dumpster." While the duo clearly revels in saving money on something other people pay top dollar for, like fancy bread, they also relish the constant sense of the unexpected that comes with scavenging. Instead of going out and getting what you want, like a regular shopper, you accept and even delight in whatever you happen to find.
salon.com

Thanks to psfk for the link to this fab article in salon.com on the folks behind the book :: the Scavenger's Manifesto.

I just love Kristan Lawson & Anneli Rufus's attitude to stuff... especially the idea that we should "delight in whatever you happen to find". This is an attitude I have held for a long while and am delighted that someone has put into words how I feel (again).
The black silk T-shirt that Rufus is wearing came from this very free box. The rest of her scavenged ensemble includes a pair of black Levi's jeans and white canvas shoes with polka dots from Goodwill and a purple cotton cardigan that she found in the restroom at the San Francisco Public Library. Her mother gives her bras and underwear as holiday gifts, and she doesn't wear socks. At a glance, Rufus' look is slightly offbeat and funky, but not radically different from lots of other Berkeley residents, which could also be said for Lawson, whose thrift and free-box ensemble today includes a pair of tan pants and a checkered button-up shirt. "This was a new shirt when someone else bought it," he says. "Just because it's scavenged doesn't mean it's inferior."
I find their approach inspirational... especially the last sentence : "Just because it's scavenged doesn't mean it's inferior" :: what a beautiful sentiment. Something enhanced by the compassion of giving stuff away...
"This shirt was bought at the Goodwill, never worn, and ended up in this free box. Sad, isn't it?" She decides to leave it behind for someone who looks good in green, since she says she does not. Rufus and Lawson stress that you shouldn't take something just because it might have some inherent value -- like, say, a used coffeemaker -- if it has no value to you. Leave it for the next person, who might really want it and use it. "It's like a way of being compassionate to strangers. Someone was compassionate in that they put it out on a curb for us to find, and we're being compassionate in that we're leaving it for the next person," says Rufus.
Read the article & be inspired. I'm going to get the book... although I may need to wait until its in the sale or in my local charity shop.

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