Xpress Magazine Fall 2021

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CONSUMPTION VOL. 2


EDITING STAFF Editor-In-Chief Kenzie Aellig

Managing Editor KK Interchuck

Art Director

Michael Cravotta

Photo Editor Avery Wilcox

Copy Editor Lyn Brook

Online Editor Tèo Mata

Social Media Editor Justin Garcia

STAFF WRITERS Mariana Garrick Nicole Gonzales Saskia Hatvany Ximena Loeza Cash Martinez Gia Opsahl Fernando Pacheco

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Morgan Ellis Paris Galarza Cameron Lee


TABLE OF CONTENTS Letter from the editor p.4-5 / The American Wardrobe is Littered with Plastic p.6-15 / Psychedelic Therapy: A New Form of Healing p. 16-23 / Cultural Commodification: Inside the World of the Holistic Health and Wellness Industry p. 24-33 / San Francisco Restaurants Savor the Seasons p. 34-47 / Life After Addiction: The Journey of Recovery p. 48-55 / Porn: Fantasy or Sex Education? p.56-61 / The Mental Effects of Social Media Consumption p. 62-67 / The Gentrification of Thrifting p. 68-75 /



Welcome to the second issue of Xpress Magazine for the Fall 2021 semester. This issue of Xpress explores the idea of consumption — a word our world is very much familiar with. As a collective whole, we are consumers in every sense of the word. Rather than just accept that fact, the Xpress staff wanted to explore what exactly that means. In this issue, we offer you stories of consumption in its best and worst form — the good, the bad, the overpriced, the underrepresented. We bring you stories of resilience and beauty, experiences of pleasure, pain, and persistence. As you read this issue, we invite you to examine your own consumption. What impact will you leave for generations to come? Editor in Chief Kenzie Aellig


Carla Bayona. Photograph by Saskia Hatvany.


By Saskia Hatvany

The American Wardrobe is Littered with Plastic

In 2020, 55% of all global textiles produced came from fossil fuels, now they could be affecting our environment and our health. “It’s actually frightening,” said Jill Brandenburg as she glanced at the huge mound of colorful clothing overflowing from her son Jackson’s bed. Lucky for him, she wasn’t talking about the mess. Like most people, when Brandenburg went shopping for clothes she hardly ever thought about what they were made of, so it came as a shock when she found out that most of her son’s clothing contained some form of plastic. “I’ve never really paid attention to labels,” she said. “I do like linens and cotton, I mean, that’s for me, but for kids clothes, you just tend to gravitate towards what’s the most economical.” Eleven-year-old Jackson Horton, Brandenburg’s son, hopes to be a professional actor one day and loves to dress up with his friends. He has an extensive collection of costumes in their Walnut Creek home. “The costumes are plastic-y, I expected that. But for the regular clothes, I didn’t think it’d be as much,” said Horton. Like most kids, his wardrobe mostly consists of clothing from the Gap, Old Navy and Target. Nonetheless, plastic fibers are not reserved for cheap brands and children’s clothing. In 2020, over half of all global textiles produced came from fossil fuels, according to a report by the nonprofit organization Textile Exchange.

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“I’ve never really paid attention to labels.” - Jill Brandenburg

A quick browse of many major retailers’ websites reveals that it can be challenging to find clothing that doesn’t contain any form of fossil-fuel-derived fibers — even down to underwear. At Victoria’s Secret, the largest intimates retailer in the United States, of the over 400 different styles of women’s underwear available to purchase on the website, only three are completely devoid of synthetics. Despite this, many consumers just aren’t that knowledgeable about textiles. This is partly because garments are usually made with a mix of different materials, weaving patterns and processing techniques, making it almost impossible to tell what a garment is made of just by the look and feel. Instead, consumers have to refer to a composition tag, which contains laundering instructions and is often hidden in the seam of their clothing. This list of materials can sometimes be extensive and contain vague and unfamiliar terms to the average consumer.

Acrylic is often spun into plastic “wool” and is commonly found in knitwear. Elastane is used for stretch and is now found in most denim blends, while polypropylene is often found in accessories and footwear. To make matters more confusing, one type of textile can have several different names. Spandex, Lycra, Numa, Spandelle and Vyrene, are all just trademarked versions of elastane. Even the term “synthetic” can be misleading. Rayon, a category of fabric made from wood pulp, is sometimes called a semi-synthetic because the textile requires the use of harsh chemicals and extreme processing.

Fabrics derived from fossil fuels alone fall under as many as five different categories: polyester, polyamide, acrylic, polypropylene and elastane.

Sadie Battle, a 26-year-old who works at an accounting firm in San Francisco, said that she wasn’t aware that denim was made of cotton, much less that her clothes had plastic in them.

Polyester, which is found in everything from underwear to outerwear to t-shirts, accounted for 52% of all global textile production in 2020, according to the Textile Exchange report. Nylon, part of a group of fabrics called polyamide, is routinely used for lingerie and bathing suits.

“It’s not something that I pay attention to to find clothes. I guess I’m just checking more if it fits on my body. I’m not really looking at what it’s made of,” said Battle, who usually shops online where fabric composition is not always advertised.


Jackson Horton. Photograph by Saskia Hatvany.

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Tiny plastic fragments called microfibers have been found in some of the most remote places on earth.

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Sadie Battle. Photograph by Saskia Hatvany.

Battle knew that some of her clothes were cheaply made, but she didn’t know that they actually contained plastic fibers that could be shed into the environment. Battle is not alone. A 2020 study by the Nature Conservancy found that over 57% of consumers had no knowledge of microplastic pollution and that 50% who did had learned about the issue in the last year. Carla Bayona, a San Francisco photographer who likes to shop for secondhand clothing, said she never thought to look at the composition labels on her clothing, even though she had heard about plastic microfibers before. “I didn’t realize how much of it I have,” said Bayona.

Tiny plastic fragments called microfibers, many completely invisible to the naked eye, have been found in some of the most remote places on earth, including the Arctic, the deepest point of the ocean, and on the summit of Mount Everest. While it’s unclear how much of microfibers come from atmospheric pollution, the Nature Conservancy study estimates that about 35% of the microfibers in the ocean come straight from our washing machines and that a single garment could release hundreds of thousands of fibers per wash. Significant amounts of microfibers have also been found inside people’s homes and lungs. One study from the University of Plymouth found that people were more likely to be exposed to microplastics in the air during a meal in their home than by ingesting mussels contaminated with microplastics.

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A GUIDE COMMON TEXTILES TO

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Graphic by Saskia Hatvany

Data sourced from the Textile Exchange.


Sadie Battle. Photograph by Saskia Hatvany.

“When you sit in your room at home, and you look at the dust flying in the air with the sunlight shining through, a lot of that is fibers from just general use,” said Krystle Moody-Wood, founder of sustainable textile consulting company Materevolve. The health implications of ingesting these fibers remain unclear, although several chemicals involved in the processing of textiles are known to be harmful to human health.

Outdoor recreation brands like The North Face and Patagonia have pledged to stop using perfluorochemicals (PFC) and polyfluoroalkyls (PFAS) in their clothing after they were found to be harmful to human health. PFAS and PFCs are often used to add waterproof or stain repellent properties to fibers. Moody-Wood, who spent three years working in advanced materials research for the North Face, said that once microplastics are in the environment, they can both carry and attract chemicals like PFAS — even if the chemicals originally come from other pollutants like flame-retardants. Even natural fibers like cotton are often treated with a long list of chemicals in order to make them suitable for wearing. Phthalates, which can be harmful to infant development, have been found in a range of textiles including infant cotton clothing, according to a 2019 study conducted in China.

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“We’re adding fossil fuel-based dyes, we’re adding water repellents, we’re adding all these chemistries that change the way that materials would live in the environment.” - Krystle Moody-Wood

Carla Bayona. Photograph by Saskia Hatvany.

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Graphic by Saskia Hatvany

“As it stands today cotton is a terrible industry, as well as much other food and chemical agriculture,” said Moody-Wood. “We’re adding fossil fuel-based dyes, we’re adding water repellents, we’re adding all these chemistries that change the way that materials would live in the environment.” Some companies have started developing biobased synthetics. Lycra has patented a form of elastane made of 70% content derived from corn. However, there is yet to be a replacement for fossil fuel-based fabrics as they are currently used. “In my previous career, we were looking at chemistry we could add to the polyester to make it feel cooling or make it feel more comfortable, or anti-odor,” said Moody-Wood. “And it’s like, well, here we have a bunch of natural materials that do that on their own.” When buying new clothes, she recommends looking for natural fibers like cotton, linen, wool, silk, cashmere, hemp and jute. Moody-Wood said there is no “silver bullet,” but that long-term and

Data sourced from the Textile Exchange.

secondhand shopping is the best way to reduce individual environmental impact. To date, hardly any legislative action has addressed microfiber pollution and the prevalence of synthetic fabrics, partly because the full scope of the implications are unclear, and partly because a lack of public awareness also means a lack of public pressure on governments. Materevolve is currently working on a report about microfiber pollution in tandem with the United States Environmental Protection Agency. The report will be presented to the United States Congress in 2022 and will include federal recommendations. “Overall, it’s been a huge eye-opener to me,” said Brandenburg. “It’s gonna make me a little bit more aware of what choices I’m making when it comes to clothes.”

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Psychedelic Therapy: A New Form of Healing By Nicole Gonzales

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Photograph by Morgan Ellis.


Disclaimer: This article does not encourage or promote the use of illegal substances or activity. This article also mentions suicide and self-harm. An experimental form of therapy uses the aid of consciousness-altering substances, such as psilocybin and LSD, to offer hope to those dealing with long-term mental illnesses. It is a type of treatment that rests on the cusp of what some call a “psychedelic renaissance.” New and emerging clinical research from studies across the U.S., including Johns Hopkins Medicine, show correlations between psychedelic therapy and positive mental health and overall quality of life. This form of treatment includes the use of psychedelics in a clinical setting to aid therapeutic sessions. Those that have consumed psychedelic substances for therapeutic purposes report having better symptoms with depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. “It has provided more ecstasies and complete bliss than any other form of therapy,” said Josh Gibbons, a psychology student at Sierra College in Rocklin, California. “This has led to better emotional health during my moment-to-moment experience.” Gibbons has previously worked with traditional forms of therapy, such as DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). The former is used to treat negative behavioral and thought patterns including suicidal thoughts and self-harm. The latter works with developing mental and emotional regulation as well as personal coping skills. 17


Gibbons emphasizes the importance of intention and meaning behind his usage of these substances. “There are many reasons we can use drugs — it’s just about staying mindful about why we’re doing it,” Gibbons said. “This is more than just getting high. The psychedelic experience can be immensely therapeutic, and I’d like to help more people understand that.” While using psychedelics, individuals can experience a wide variety of visual, auditory and bodily effects on their “trips.” This works towards creating a conscious-altering state which many believe allows them to access higher emotional and mental healing capacities. “I remember waking up the next morning and the world was different. Depression was no longer clouding my awareness,” said Gibbons of his first high-dose LSD experience. “It’s like someone took my brain out of my head, power-washed it, and then added some good ideas and positive attitudes, then put it back in, screwed my cap back on, and pushed me back into reality as an entirely new person.” Along with positive mental health outcomes from psychedelic therapy, Gibbons also incorporates daily Zen practices such as meditation and mindfulness into his routines. The medicinal and mindful use of these substances has helped him overcome struggles relating to his mental state, daily mindset, and suicidal thoughts. It has contributed to mental clarity and improved quality of life. “Before psychedelics, life was very chaotic and random. But after I see reality to be very connected and meaningful. Everything happens exactly how it should,” he said. Gibbons went on to add, “If I hadn’t started using psychedelics, I might be dead. Psychedelics definitely did save my life.” 18

Researchers from Johns Hopkins Medicine also studied this form of therapy in a paper titled Effects of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy on Major Depressive Disorder published in November 2020. The study hoped to answer the question, “Is psilocybinassisted therapy efficacious among patients with major depressive disorder?” In the randomized clinical trial study consisting of 24 participants, researchers at John Hopkins largely found positive outcomes. Specifically, they found clinically assisted use of psilocybin drastically improved quality of life for those dealing with major depressive disorder (MDD) and other forms of treatment-resistant depression. The study examined the anti-depressant effects of the substance over a period of eight weeks, in which researchers found 71% of patients showed a “clinically significant response to the intervention.”


Photograph by Morgan Ellis.

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Photograph by Morgan Ellis.


The results emphasized the success of psychedelic therapy for mental illnesses, reporting, “psilocybinassisted therapy was efficacious in producing large, rapid, and sustained antidepressant effects among patients with MDD.” The trial was deemed effective by clinical standards and encouraged further research into this form of treatment for patients who have shown symptoms of long-term depression and other mental illnesses. The broadening use and understanding of psychedelic therapy have continued to excite and intrigue clinical psychologists and other professionals in the field. “I am very impressed by this treatment modality for resistant depression and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder),” said Gisele Fernandes, a Bay Area licensed psychotherapist who specializes in the treatment of trauma. “I know what it takes. It takes years to support somebody in the healing of their traumatic experiences.” Fernandes primarily works as a core faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Integral Counseling Psychology program, a master’s program in San Francisco that teaches and trains psychotherapists in clinical and research fields. According to Fernandes, many patients interested in psychedelic therapy have previously exhausted other methods of treatment. “They have usually tried regular pharmaceuticals and other forms of therapy and feel like they haven’t improved,” said Fernandes. “The treatment of traumatic memories has to include the body and the nervous system along with the cognition and the emotions.” Fernandes also serves as a clinical supervisor at SAGE Institute in Oakland, California, which provides ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for low-income communities. Ketamine was originally used as an anesthetic and is now being studied for its positive impact on treatment-resistant depression. Fernandes emphasizes the accessibility and representational aspects of these forms of therapy. 21


Photograph by Morgan Ellis.

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“It is about diversity and inclusion, both from the standpoint of having therapists who represent the community and who are able to support people with different backgrounds, as well as access,” Fernandes said. “It’s very important for us to consider who has had accessibility and how the history is being acknowledged so we have more critical thinking around our models of treatment.” She believes it is significant to understand the societal history of these substances when also thinking of public consumption. “When we’re looking at psychedelics today and looking at the possibility of people ingesting substances for healing, you have to take into consideration the history,” said Fernandes. “It has created a lot of mistrust, stigmatization and a lack of safety, especially for communities of color.” Fernandes and other professionals in the field of psychedelic therapy have been viewing these substances as a form of medicine. “The therapist is there to guide and facilitate, but the healing lies within the client. It’s a model that empowers people and their own abilities and capacity,” Fernandes said. “The medicine, plus the presence of the therapist, will support the client in accessing that innate power of healing.”

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By Cash Martinez

INSIDE THE WORLD OF THE HOLISTIC HEALTH AND WELLNESS INDUSTRY

CULTURAL COMMODIFICATION


Photograph by Avery Wilcox.


Crystal shops on Instagram bring in followers by the thousands. CBD-infused beauty products take over store shelves. Available for purchase at the low starting price of $142 is a rose quartz dildo intended to raise your vibrations and “reawaken the heart.” It’s a new age for the holistic health movement — but the consequences could be more than what we imagine. In 2021, management consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimated that the “global wellness market,” ranging in all categories from fitness to sleep to physical health, was priced at more than $1.5 trillion. Other studies, like one published by the Global Wellness Institute in 2018, found that the industry could be valued at nearly $4 trillion. While the exact worth of the wellness market remains a debate, one thing is clear: holistic health is more lucrative now than it’s ever been. And like any industry worth its Himalayan rock salt, meeting the demands of its consumers can lead to a whole host of issues. “It could just be marketing, but at the same time, I feel like my life has changed,” says Ayanna King, a junior at San Francisco State University, referring to the piece of moldavite she wears around her neck. King, whose family is Caribbean, believed in spirits and aspects of the occult from a young age, but only recently became interested in crystals, tarot card readings and similar practices. The source of her intrigue? Social media.

“It could just be marketing, but I feel like my life has changed.” –Ayanna King


Ayanna King. Photograph by Avery Wilcox.

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Ayanna King. Photograph by Avery Wilcox.

“Anything you want, you can manifest.” –Ayanna King


Valerie Cabral, a junior at SFSU who is minoring in holistic health, says that she has received many comments about her field of study and its seemingly inherent contradiction with her Native American identity. Cabral also works as an administrative assistant at Indigenous Circle of Wellness, a Native American After acquiring the moldavite necklace, King bought 28 therapy center in Commerce, California. more crystals within the next few weeks — she calls it her “little collection.” While she says she’s skeptical of “I do think that there are key concepts within holistic people who claim crystals to be the end-all-be-all, King health that are beneficial that aren’t from Indigenous believes that “anything you want, you can manifest.” cultures but are proven to work within a medical context. Going into holistic health, I knew a lot of it “I definitely feel like crystals have certain powers,” King is and will be a lot of stolen Indigenous practices from says. “I feel like everything happens for a reason.” everywhere,” Cabral says. “I started seeing moldavite everywhere,” says King. “Anytime I looked on a website, I would see it. At the same time, I was going through a personal transformation, so when I saw it and they were like, ‘This crystal comes to you,’ I was like, ‘Oh, that makes a lot of sense.’”

Although they have achieved mainstream popularity over the last decade, crystals, yoga and herbal medicine are more often associated with the stereotypes of the disconnected Hollywood celebrity (read: Gwyneth Paltrow) or an Instagram influencer than they are with the average American.

What Cabral is referring to is known as ‘cultural appropriation’ — the act of imitating or performing the acts, behaviors and culture of a demographic in a way that is considered inappropriate or offensive.

Even less often are these practices attributed to their respective cultures, particularly in the case of Native traditions and belief systems. White sage, which is used by many Native tribes across North America for spiritual and medicinal purposes, sparked controversy online in 2018, with many people questioning whether or not the plant should be used by someone who is non-Native. Common concerns that were discussed included misuse of the plant, moldy or low-quality product and overharvesting, especially in places like Southern California and Arizona.

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It’s not just about the plant itself, she says. To Indigenous people, plants like white sage and sweetgrass represent something ancestral, something that can’t be described in capitalistic terms. “Sage is viewed as medicine, but also as a relative,” Cabral says. “You’re seeing your relative be bought and used and mistreated.” For Cabral, like many other Natives, cultural appropriation is a cruel reminder of the way Indigenous people have historically been treated. “It’s not just this one practice you’re disrespecting. You’re disrespecting our entire nations, our entire livelihoods, us as individuals,” she says. Robert Williamson, a senior at SFSU, believes that non-Native people are often drawn in by the allure of many Native American and Indigenous cultures, particularly by the wisdom and intuition that these cultures exhibit. “I think people see that wisdom and want to extract from it,” they say. “It comes from a colonial mindset of just pure extraction, you know, ‘What can I take from this culture, what can I take from these people, and how can I flip it and profit off of it for my own personal gain?’” Williamson, who is of Diné and Yurok ancestry, spends their days volunteering at the Sogorea Te’ Land Trust, a Native-run land rematriation project based in Oakland. They point out the overharvesting of white sage and palo santo in the Americas, calling it a “desecration.” It’s not just cultural appropriation that Williamson is concerned about. They point to the ableism, fatphobia and white supremacy that often runs rampant in spiritual and wellness circles. “It’s almost predatory and abusive for these companies to make people feel bad about themselves, even though they’re trying to ‘lift’ people up,” Williamson says. Senior Tim Wells, one of the first members of SFSU’s Occult Student Alliance (OSA), says that “whiteness is definitely at the forefront of mysticism.” 30


Robert Williamson. Photograph by Avery Wilcox.

“I think people see that wisdom and want to extract from it.” –Robert Williamson


Time Wells. Photograph by Avery Wilcox


Wells, who is Black, says that representations of spiritualists as primarily white are often misleading and incorrect. While people of color are more likely to be associated with practices such as voodoo, particularly in the United States, they exist in every circle of spirituality. “When someone makes a comment like ‘White woman crystal magic,’ it’s like, ‘Well, yeah, kinda!’” He says, laughing. “The idea of spiritualism they’re thinking of is white.” Wells attributes this for-profit approach of spirituality and holistic health to the industry itself, not only its consumers. The exploitation of spirituality, holistic practices and closed Native American practices doesn’t accurately represent spiritualism as a whole, he says. Like anything that gains traction on social media, spirituality has become ripe for commodification. “At the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is cultivate relationships,” says Wells. “And part of cultivating relationships is respect.”

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San Francisco Restaurants Savor the Seasons By Mariana Garrick Combined with the aroma of Liguria Bakery’s olive oil and crisp garlic focaccia bread, Sabella & La Torre’s freshly caught seafood from Fisherman’s Wharf and Red’s Java House’s unique fluffy sourdough sandwiches, San Francisco is home to many restaurant staples that have withstood the test of time. By serving generations of families and bringing people together to appreciate different cultures, their food is a testament to why they’ve lasted so long and survived the pandemic.

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Photograph by Cameron Lee.

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Liguria Bakery has remained a family-owned business since Michael Soracco’s grandfather, Ambrogio Soracco, founded the establishment after immigrating to San Francisco from Chiavari, Italy in 1907. At one point, the establishment offered biscotti and sourdough on the menu but has since removed those items and chosen to strictly specialize in focaccia, a type of oven-baked Italian flatbread. The bakery resides in North Beach, a neighborhood that is rich with Italian culture. Long-time residents still continuously support the business — even throughout the pandemic. “Back then it was more of a neighborhood type of thing,” says Soracco. “I think what’s happened throughout the years is the people. You bring your kids there and then they bring their kids there, so it’s up through family lines.” Liguria Bakery’s loyal clientele continues to support the business through its hardships. The 110-year-old bakery was deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic, so it never closed and Soracco kept things going by strategizing. While delivering focaccia to other businesses, the bakery began selling not only breadmaking supplies but also their signature dough to assist others in producing focaccia at home. In Soracco’s words, the bakery has remained open for years because they continue to do things the “oldfashioned way.” With the original brick oven that’s still standing and no machinery in the establishment, the business still remains without ever having to advertise on various platforms. “We don’t do any advertising or anything like that,” explains Soracco. “We always advertise with our products. We use all the top ingredients, all top quality and just being that we’ve been in business for so long, I think that’s the testament to how good of a product that we do make.” Soracco’s old-fashioned, handmade focaccia bread has helped people nationally connect to Italian culture. With over four generations of people continuously supporting the bakery, his grandfather’s idea to bring focaccia to San Francisco has gained him national attention. Soracco explains he’s known nationally as the guy who runs the “focaccia place.”


37 Michael Soracco. Photograph by Cameron Lee.


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1 – Mike Soracco puts a batch of bread to bake in the oven at Liguria Bakery. The loaves of bread are the last items baked for the day. 2 – Mike Soracco sprinkles flour over freshly baked bread. 3 – Prepared Focaccia rest in pans, ready to be baked. 4 – James Lewis pours olive oil onto Focaccia. Photographs by Cameron Lee

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Jorge Bermudez. Photograph by Cameron Lee.


Liguria Bakery isn’t the only place that has managed to survive the pandemic in San Francisco. Sabella & La Torre has remained at Fisherman’s Wharf since 1927. Gina LaRocca is a fourth–generation family member who partners with her cousin Tom La Torre to manage the restaurant. When LaRoca’s great–grandfather first immigrated from Italy in the mid-1800s in search of his brothers. After they reunited, the brothers decided to open the business together in San Francisco. As fishermen, they thought Fisherman’s Wharf was the perfect location to open a food stand to support their family. What first started out as a food stand that only sold crab and other seafood items to customers soon turned into a full-service restaurant due to its success.

Red’s Java House is another restaurant that has become a staple in San Francisco due to its resilience throughout the years and culture-fulfilling food. The restaurant has remained in South Beach since 1955 and owner Tiffany Pisoni says she owes it all to the customers. In Pisoni’s words, the people of San Francisco own Red’s. “When I say the people own it, it’s because San Francisco had kept us alive during this pandemic,” says Pisoni. “We really decided that we are not going to shut down and we are going to stay open and ride it out. If we had business or we didn’t have business, we were going to let the customers know that we are a place that they can always come to.”

Sabella & La Torre has remained open for nearly a century, and LaRocca explains that the restaurant is one of the last family-owned businesses that still resides on Fisherman’s Wharf, thanks to their freshly cooked seafood. With recipes coming straight from the first-generation owners, the restaurant gives a little flavor of Sicily to everyone they serve.

Red’s Java House is known for its unique sourdough cheeseburgers that were created by brothers Mike and Tom “Red” McGarvey. The establishment has been in San Francisco since 1930 but was previously named Franco’s Lunch until the two brothers took over and renamed it in 1955. Although Red’s Java House is considered to be American, Pisoni explains that they’re not the traditional kind “We’re a small family-owned business,” says LaRocca. of American place — which makes them different “One of the last family-owned businesses on from the rest. Fisherman’s Wharf, which is just heartbreaking. We represent what the history was down there, and it’s “We are known for our burgers,” says Pisoni. “We’re pretty unique what we do with the crab.” known for doing something a little bit different and yes, it’s that classic burger that everybody The restaurant is one of the original inhabitants of knows and enjoys. But, we have our twist on it and Fisherman’s Wharf’s and has since ventured into our twist literally comes back to the McGarvey a crab-shipping business in addition to being an brothers. Customers always can count on Red’s eatery. Along with LaRocca and her cousin, other having the same type of food and being just a little family members help run Sabella & La Torre and bit different. But at the same time, it never changes.” LaRocca hopes to keep the business family-owned by showing the newer generations the ropes.

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1 – The dining room of Sabella and La Torre, with COVID-19 barriers between each seating booth. 2 – Numerous plates of cocktail shrimp, seafood medley consisting of lobster and small shrimp, and sandwiches are on full display at Sabella and La Torre’s crab stand at Fisherman’s Wharf. 3 – Gina LaRocca talking to another person between the crab stands and the storefront of Sabella and La Torre. Photographs by Cameron Lee.

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Pisoni further explains that because of their inclusivity, Red’s Java House brings everyone together. With its proximity to Oracle Park and its location in the heart of the city, the restaurant has become a go-to spot for families with kids, construction workers, people in three-piece suits and everyone in-between who are looking for a quick-but-savory bite to eat. The 1950s-era shack shows a different side to San Francisco due to its blast-from-the-past feeling and menu that’s barely changed since the McGarvey brothers took over. After becoming the owner in 2009, Pisoni added her touch to the historical place by adding more photos to its famous photo wall and has managed to keep business booming through the hardships of the pandemic. Nationally, over 200,000 businesses have closed down due to COVID-19 and over 54% of small businesses have remained closed in San Francisco due to pandemic-related complications. Even after strategically thinking about how to stay afloat among ongoing hardships, some businesses chose to leave San Francisco for several reasons. Hillside Supper Club, a Bernal Heights restaurant that focused on Californian and Italian-based dishes, closed down after being open for almost a decade. Co-owner and chef Jonathan Cicotti opens up about the difficulty of owning a restaurant in San Francisco and how the pandemic and rent were factors in the restaurant’s closure. “In San Francisco, even if you’re a busy restaurant, it’s almost not enough to make it work with how expensive everything is,” Cicotti explains. San Francisco is known nationally for being one of the most expensive places to live, and when the pandemic struck, it didn’t make things easier for the business. Hillside Supper Club’s freshly prepared dishes were not designed for to-go circumstances, which arose as a result of the public’s inability to dine in due to the pandemic.

“Not every restaurant is good with to-go food. The food that we did there was prepped fresh every day. The menu was always changing, using all local stuff, and it wasn’t really the kind of menu that’s meant for takeout,” says Cicotti. The Californian and Italian-influenced cuisine showed Cicotti and co-owner Tony Ferrari’s culture to everyone who had the pleasure of eating there. “We have family connections in Italy, so we were always making fresh pasta and focaccia and stuff like that,” says Cicotti. “But Hillside Supper Club was more seasonal California cuisine where the menu is just based on what was available from the farmers. So it wasn’t just the Italian dishes. It was a lot of local seafood or different local needs.” After closing down the Victorian-style restaurant building he shared with his business partner at the time, Cicotti relocated to his birthplace of Washington state where he opened up a new eatery, Bar Cicotti. He emphasizes the importance of sourcing locally there too. Cicotti believes that by using solely fresh and local goods, customers can trust the food and in turn feel more connected to the culture. “Being a chef, I feel like that’s rule number one,” says Cicotti. “Use good product and know your farmers source responsibly. Then, you provide that to the guests and instantly they feel connected.”


Photograph by Cameron Lee.

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Photograph by Avery Wilcox.


Life After Addiction: The Journey of Recovery By Gia Opsahl On his sixth consecutive day without sleep, Jalen Dillon was almost ready to pack his things and leave rehab behind. Hallucinations were kicking in due to insomnia and the effects of restless leg syndrome were only temporarily relieved by scorching hot showers. The withdrawals had left him miserable. Dillon, 20, started dabbling in drugs and alcohol in high school, but it was when he started using oxycontin and fentanyl that he realized he was addicted to opioids by the age of 18. After months of battling his addiction to opioids, Dillon was tired of the loneliness that being high left him with. Like so many others who are familiar with this same exhausting battle, he decided it was time to begin his journey to recovery. According to an article by StatPearls Publishing, three million U.S. citizens and 16 million individuals worldwide have had or currently suffer from opioid use disorder (OUD). Dillon’s friends also used substances, but he was the first out of everyone to feel like something was wrong, “I was spending $100 a day, getting really skinny and experiencing withdrawals,” he said.

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His tolerance was sky-rocketing, he had completely run out of money and one night he had finally hit his rock bottom. The next day, he made the decision to go to a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. According to Narcotics Anonymous World Services, NA is a 12-step, non-profit fellowship or community of those recovering from or who struggle with substance use disorder. They meet regularly to help each other stay sober and the only requirement for membership is the desire to stop using. “Once I went to my very first meeting, that’s when recovery started for me,” Dillon said. “That’s when everything changed.” To try to resist the urges to use again, Dillon started attending meetings every day, working with a sponsor whom he grew close to and spent most of his time with. Without the constant support of his sponsor, Dillon said that he “honestly might’ve died.” The extreme isolation Dillon faced was the hardest part of navigating addiction and recovery. The meetings are what he feels saved his life. “I felt like I was the only one who felt suicidal, alone, and just crazy. Meetings are a sense of community and belonging,” he said. Nicole Gabbay, case manager at Clear Recovery Center, an addiction treatment center in Hermosa Beach, California, spoke highly about Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and the benefits that she gained from it throughout her recovery. “I’ve stayed sober for 10 years because I’ve stayed really close to AA,” she said. According to Gabbay, people that have never struggled with addiction have this preconception that AA and recovery are “strictly about wanting to use.” “It’s so little about using and so much more about

emotional sobriety, spirituality and being comfortable in your own skin and forming friendships,” Gabbay said. Dillon added that many people have a preconceived notion that those who struggle with addiction want to be that way or want to be addicted. “There is always a reason. People use because there are other underlying issues,” Dillon said. “There is always a problem. That’s what rehab is for. Once you address the problem you don’t really need this drug use anymore.” Dillon went through a total of 40 days in detox and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) at Elevate Addiction Services in Lake Tahoe, California where he experienced insomnia, restless leg syndrome, nausea, vomiting and more. To fight off the restless leg syndrome, counselors at Elevate held exercises for clients where they would lift their legs up in the air while laying down for two minutes. This would cut off the circulation and make their legs feel numb. “I wouldn’t wish those withdrawals on anyone,” Dillon said. Dillon is now a year and 10 months sober. Chris Buenrostro, 22, is an outpatient facilitator at Elevate, where he runs sessions Monday through Friday to talk about any challenges clients may be going through in relation to their recoveries or well-being. Before working at Elevate, Buenrostro was a client there in 2018. After becoming involved with drugs and alcohol in college, he attended the three-month program during what would have been his sophomore year. He’s been sober and working in the industry ever since. “I’ve linked my recovery in some aspect to all of these people that I’ve worked with. I feel a sense of accountability to them and have a responsibility to stay clean in part for them,” Buenrostro said.


“Once I went to my very first meeting, that’s when recovery started for me. That’s when everything changed.” - Jalen Dillon

Photograph by Avery Wilcox.

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Photograph by Avery Wilcox.


Buenrostro explained that any disorder that comes along with substance abuse, causes substance abuse. For example, things like generalized anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder are the norm and not the exception when it comes to people in recovery, he said. “The vast majority of people that are attending treatment centers suffer from, in most cases, undiagnosed disorders,” Buenrostro added. Not only did Elevate give Dillon a new perspective on his addiction and ability to stay sober, but it helped guide him through the depression and anxiety he had to face while becoming sober. “A lot of people think that when they get clean, they’re never going to have anxiety or depression again because they’re not on drugs anymore,” Dillon said. Dillon still dealt with his depression for several months after leaving Elevate, expressing that he had a strange feeling of not knowing what to do with his life since he stopped using. Not only was that one of the most difficult parts of his own personal recovery, but Dillon also felt that no one prepared him for “being young and getting clean.” Peter Ehrenfried, 29, case manager at Clear Recovery Center, touched on the difficulties of getting sober as a teenager. Ehrenfried, who’s been sober for five years, explained that while it’s easy for someone his age to feel comfortable saying no or not doing certain social things, that may not be the case for some teens or young adults.

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“The most important thing to teenagers is their friends,” Ehrenfried said. The most difficult thing is being the sober person at a non-sober event, Ehrenfried said, adding that it can make you feel alone and disconnected from people. Dillon has had plenty of experiences like this, to the point where he’s filled up red Solo cups with water or pretended to sip on a drink throughout the night to feel like he’s fitting in at social events. “That’s the hardest part. When you’re young it’s all about having a good time and making memories when you’re fucked up,” Dillon said. Ehrenfried touched on his own experience trying to reintegrate back into relationships where drinking was still prevalent in their lives and said that he’s faced feeling uncomfortable several times. He tells his younger clients to always have a friend or two that they feel comfortable confiding in. This is something he’s used in his own experience. “It’s been really cool sometimes to have a friend look at me and maybe pick up on if I’m okay or if I’m uncomfortable,” Ehrenfried said. Dillon believes that the conversation regarding addiction should be shifted in a more productive way. To help others that have gone through the same situation, he aspires to open a rehab facility of his own one day. “I want people to know that if this happens to them, it’s not forever,” Dillon said. “Life is not over.”


“I want people to know that if this happens to them, it’s not forever. Life is not over.” — Jalen Dillon

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By Fernando Pacheco Pornography consumption is often kept and viewed in secret through its 24/7 availability. Pornography has become a regular part of the online world. Although it can be said not everyone has watched porn, porn is often searched for when in need of connection, stimulation, comfort and education. A U.S. study surveying two groups of adolescents and young adults found that individuals that fall into the age group of 18-24 identified pornography as the most helpful resource in learning how to have sex.

“I found myself moving away from terms like healthy and unhealthy because there’s always this question of, ‘Healthy for whom?’” she said. Singh has taught sex-ed courses for different age groups throughout the Bay Area. She recalled an instance after a class session where a gay adolescent student approached her to say that he wished she had mentioned how porn is important for people like him who’ve used porn to discover gay sex. Porn is a way for LGBTQ individuals to see internal sexual desires from an external source, but also provide a connection with themselves and others.

“As problematic as it is in so many ways, it can sometimes be the only outlet because it’s affordable, I mean it’s free,” said Natasha Singh, a sexual literacy educator who is based in the Bay Area.

“It had helped him realize he wasn’t alone,” Singh said. “Porn is different things to different people. For some people, porn is not just fantasy, it’s sex education, and for some people, it’s their primary outlet.”

A study on problematic pornography usage revealed that the desirability portrayed within pornography can activate addictive behavior and evoke compulsive behavior, especially when consumed in uncontrollable excess.

However, Singh added that people should become critical about the pornography they consume by questioning the narrative and the imagery used to tell the story. She encourages viewers to pay attention to the surrounding text used to present porn and think about the realworld implications it may have.

If pornography has become a means to learn about sex, how can people ensure they learn healthy sexual skills that can benefit their sexual relationships? According to Singh, the first step might be to drift away from subjective terms like “healthy.”

Singh suggests viewers take into consideration the conversations that had to occur prior to the performers having sex such as fair wages, age verification and consent.

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Oscar Zamora. Photographs by Paris Galarza.

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A content analysis of popular porn videos revealed approximately 88% of the 304 scenes analyzed contained some form of physical aggression.

McQueen said, referencing erotic fiction she read in her teens. “And it’s like, no, that person has anger issues, nothing can fix that — therapy can fix that.”

When Charnell McQueen was in middle school she stumbled upon “smut” while online. Smut refers to erotic fanfiction that depicts sexual encounters between characters from television shows or movies.

McQueen said the narrative became visible when she started watching pornography and seeing femme-identifying individuals were often presented as submissive nurturers.

Her adolescence was spent on Tumblr, where smut and fanfictions were harvested and shared for consumption. McQueen was particularly intrigued by smut’s passionate and romantic language surrounding some of her favorite show’s characters. Now 27 years old, McQueen notes that relationships in her erotic readings had unbalanced dynamics that pushed tropes of women and feminine-identifying people saving their masculine-identifying partner’s internal mental health challenges. “You’d have a character’s partner that is verbally or physically aggressive. It’s like ‘The titties will suppress them and make them feel better,’”

“For a long time, I thought this is what porn is. It’s just white people, a man and woman fucking,” McQueen said. “Anytime there was a Black body, I was like, ‘Okay yes! Open a new tab.’ I didn’t know what it was, but I knew there was a Black person.” McQueen felt grateful to see Black bodies in porn, but the joy floated away once she noticed the language used in the title, caption and comments of those same videos. “It’s so weird to see Ebony which is usually associated with Black women and then BBC (Big Black Cock) is usually associated with Black men. I’m like, ‘Can I just get porn with Black women making out that’s hot?’ That’s what I want,” said McQueen. “I don’t want any ‘Ebony goddess tongues down her stepsister.’ Like, I’m tired of it.”

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She points out that pornography feels like a fantasy, often scripted, striving for perfection seen through an inconsistency of people sweating or practicing safe sex precautions such as applying lube or putting on a condom. McQueen has learned to not compare herself to porn performers. She knows they’re doing their job, one that they choose to refine their skills for. She’d rather focus on herself than worry about being perfect. Cindy Gallop had first-hand experiences with men who struggled to communicate in bed. Their actions mimicked those believed to have been learned from porn, and the frustration lead Gallop to start Make Love Not Porn (MLNP), a social platform that highlights real-world sex. MLNP is not porn. Its motto is, “Pro-sex, pro-porn, pro-knowing the difference.” As a social media platform, MLNP uses the dynamic of networks such as Facebook, Tumblr and Instagram, and applies it to sex. Gallop, who is based in New York City, originally started the website with the goal to help make open and honest conversations about sex easier for every person to have. Gallop said porn is not a reference point to MLNP, and points out how people tend to classify videos featuring naked bodies as pornography. However, according to Gallop, not all sex videos are porn because sex isn’t porn. “MLNP users are simply doing what we already do on every other social platform, in every other area of our lives, which is to capture what goes on in the real world as it happens spontaneously in all its funny, messy, beautiful, comical, awkward, fabulous, hilarious humanness,” said Gallop.

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The submitted content gets filtered through human curation, meaning a team of people review each submission to decide whether to publish or reject, which often involves a detailed email as to why anyone’s submission went unpublished. “All we’re doing is holding the mirror up to how we all have sex in the real world. Nobody is doing anything for anybody,” Gallop said. “MLNP is how you have sex when nobody’s looking.” The content is not directed, nor scripted, much less performative, Gallop said. It’s a reflection of real-world moments. “On Make Love Not Porn, you see the actual sex, but you also see the relationships. Because in our videos, those two things are indivisible,” Gallop said. “You see what it’s like to be madly in love and having sex with each other.” Gallop wanted to make a site that celebrated the real world everything: the human body, its natural hair, the different sizes of penises and breasts and all forms of vulvas. She believes nothing makes people feel better about their own bodies like seeing people who don’t fall into the typical beauty standards naked on film enjoying themselves and having loving sex. Porn visually excites people. Smut and erotic fiction’s words stimulate the imagination. MLNP videos resonate with people’s emotions. Critical thinking about the sexual content people consume is not about overthinking the content, but rather realizing that it’s not all about porn, nor the words, but about the real-life sex. Porn is about trying to learn how to experience pleasure in various ways, and how to give it to others.


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By Justin Garcia


As the alarm rings and the snooze button is hit for a couple more minutes of sleep. The alarm rings again. This time we should probably get out of bed and begin our day — instead, we continue to lay cozy in bed, rubbing those eye boogers out of the way to aimlessly scroll through social media to consume everything we missed while asleep. After being caught up with our social media feed, we feel able to get out of bed and begin our day. It could take between 10-30 minutes to get out of bed due to the consumption of social media immediately after waking up. Social media can be used for different reasons, including but not limited to communication, business outreach, creative outlet, media sharing or information sharing. The reason people use platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok and Snapchat vary; consequently, the consumption of these social media platforms is still on the rise.

According to a Pew Research study, the use of social media has become a way of life as 72% of Americans utilize at least one social media platform in 2021. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are visited by users at least once a day. Natalie Moore is an LA-based holistic psychotherapist, as well as a licensed marriage and family therapist, who focuses on “empowering individuals to make positive changes to optimize their life,” according to her website. Moore provided three key problems that occur with social media consumption: overstimulation, self-esteem and addictiveness. “Overstimulation can cause anxiety or make it difficult to sleep at night or make it difficult to focus on other tasks that are more important or more


pressing because we can actually become somewhat addicted to that overstimulation,” said Moore. She explained that overstimulation doesn’t let people focus on other important tasks and one can grow addicted to that sensory overload. Over-consuming digital media and constantly thinking about it could affect your wellbeing. “We’re seeing beautiful photos of people’s weddings, people’s vacations and people’s beautiful new babies, their beautiful home, and we’re comparing ourselves and our life situation to what we see other people doing. And so there’s this constant comparison of ‘Am I as good as them? Am I doing enough? Am I making enough money?’ It can really erode our self-esteem if we’re not careful about it,” said Moore. Following influencers or celebrities can harm a user’s mental health and make them question themselves. Comparing social media accounts with others is another factor that could affect one’s mental health and create self-esteem issues. These comparisons include not having enough likes on a picture or having fewer followers than a friend. Moore described that addictiveness is the biggest issue of all. Social media and technology, such as phone apps, are designed specifically to make people addicted to them. “They’re designed to give you that rush of dopamine when you see a notification. There’s this little rush that you get because somebody liked your picture or your post or somebody paid attention to you. And that can have an addictive 64

quality where people never really take a break from their phones because they’re constantly seeking validation,” said Moore. For Gianna Lopez, 16, of Whittier, California, “It helps my mental health interacting with people and communicating with others on social media,” said Lopez. Lopez is someone who is relatively new to social media due to the 13-and-up age restriction dictated by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This act was made to protect minors from joining social media platforms. She spends four hours daily on Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok. Letty Zamorano, a 63-year-old Los Angeles resident, said, “Social media does affect my mental health because it makes me feel like I need to do more with my life, like to go to more places and see more things.” They spend four to five hours daily on Facebook due to family and friends constantly posting. “I use social media to communicate with my family and friends, to stay updated with celebrities and the news,” said Zamorano. For others, social media is used to stay updated on trends, memes and tutorials.


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- Maxwell Longfield

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According to a Pew Research study on social media conducted in 2021, 70% of Americans are on social media to communicate with others, share information, engage with news content or simply entertain themselves. Monique Zamorano, 45, is an administrative assistant who spends five to six hours daily on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Zamorano said she uses Instagram the most as she is able to keep up on the latest makeup trends or collaborations between her favorite makeup artists. As a middle-aged social media user, Zamorano said she prioritizes her personal life and doesn’t let social media affect her mental health, consuming only things that interest her. Maxwell Longfield, 22, of Austin, Texas is a freelance music artist and film producer. He spends two to three hours daily on Instagram and TikTok. “Social media is a tool that can either be very helpful or detrimental to one’s mental health,” said Longfield. “I have had relationships with social media where I have felt it has been detrimental to my health, but recently I have done an overhaul on the accounts that I follow and have tried my hardest not to compare myself to other people.” Longfield describes his relationship with social media as business-related and activist-based.

awareness month which was in September. As he used to struggle with these issues he has made his platform a way to destigmatize some of these topics. Experts and sources provided some advice on how to use social media wisely for personal benefit rather than letting it consume you. Moore suggests creating boundaries and utilizing social media as a tool rather than only for personal amusement, “that you consciously use for a particular benefit or business in your life versus something that is the default habit,” she said. As a teenage user, balancing school and personal endeavors might seem difficult, but Lopez suggests to “not let it consume you and stop you from focusing on school,” said Lopez. As an artist, Longfield struggles to divide the personal and business side out of his social media accounts but does not allow room for comparison. “Although some people may seem to have better lives on social media, everyone has something happening in their life that others wouldn’t want,” said Longfield. The effects of social media consumption vary for every individual but the usage of these platforms will continue to spike as we dive deeper into a digital era.

“I mostly use social media to bring awareness to my music as well as various mental health issues that people may struggle with,” said Longfield. Some of the mental health issues that Longfield advocates for are depression, anxiety, and suicide prevention

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E TH GE N C T RI FI A N F I O T O R T H IF T N I G By Ximena Loeza


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Scrolling down Depop, the popular resale app, the options of secondhand items range from Tabi Maison Margiela boots to Juicy Couture jackets and vintage Levi’s. The choices seem endless and the prices vary from completely free to thousands of dollars, but many of these items come from similar places — local thrift stores. Secondhand shopping has seen a sudden resurgence in recent years, with many young people on TikTok making thrift hauls and styling videos featuring vintage clothing. Shopping secondhand has several benefits but also has several consequences. Yet when outside shoppers and Depop sellers are suddenly storming these thrift

stores, these stores begin to raise their prices, preventing access to the communities they were made for. In 1897, the Salvation Army launched in Boston as a “salvage brigade,” a subdivision of the fire corps that collected salvaged items. It was originally based out of a male shelter and residents of Boston would ask around the neighborhood for used clothes in return for food and a place to stay, according to Salvation Army’s page. Goodwill, which started in Boston in 1902, had a similar idea and hired poor and disabled people to collect and do repairs on used goods and clothes to sell or give to immigrants, according to the Goodwill site. 69


Jenica Sangil. Photographs by Paris Galarza.

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Behind the Scenes of Vintage Sellers Yuji Miyaji is a 28-year-old copywriter and small business owner who founded Home of Grails, a vintage clothing brand based in Berkeley, California. He began his business by tie-dying clothing and giving half the proceeds to charities in the Bay Area until he began fully selling vintage clothing on both Depop and Instagram. Towards the end of 2020, Miyaji realized the amount of inventory he had attained. He would go to Salvation Army, Goodwill or any other thrift stores he came upon in search of different items, particularly vintage Nike items. “Something that caught my eye when I initially got into vintage and started following vintage pages was vintage Nike. So I started curating a bunch of vintage Nike,” says Miyaji. He is heavily inspired by ‘90s and early 2000s streetwear, Nike being a big part of that subculture, so that was initially his primary focus. Miyaji recognizes the high prices that come with selling and purchasing vintage Nike items. He mentions how difficult and expensive it can be to source these Nike items. He pays a very high price for these items then he resells them for a similar price because of the huge market for vintage Nike. “I’m guilty of up charging for some of these hoodies as well,” says Miyaji. He recalls selling a Nike hoodie for $750 and how it originally retailed for $40.

“I think in terms of accessibility to vintage, it definitely pushes a lot of people out of the market especially when some pieces go for an unrealistic amount like two thousand for a hoodie when it’s retailing at like $40. It’s a select number of collectors that are going to be willing to soak up that amount of money,” says Miyaji.

The Rise of Thrifting Jenica Sangil is a 21-year-old dental assistant with a passion for fashion born and raised in the Bay Area. One of her TikToks recently went viral with 89,000 views and 18,600 likes, displaying the items she found while thrifting and vintage shopping in San Francisco. However, unlike many new thrifters, Sangil has been thrifting for years. She started developing her own personal style in high school. “I think when I started thrifting I really wanted pieces that were just in perfect mint condition. But then later on I started learning how to sew,” says Sangil. Sangil developed the skill of altering and refurbishing her clothes and was able to even sell some of those refurbished items on Depop. She was also able to learn how to dye vintage boots to return them to their original state and resell them on Depop. She also recently restored an Afghan coat, a suede coat with fur lining. In a collaborative study done by Penn State and Brigham Young University on Family Participation Patterns in Local Thrift Economies, 71


they found that lower and middleincome earners more frequently shopped at thrift stores for necessities, while higher-income earners shopped at these stores more for “antiques.” “For me, thrifting was always the thing that I would do with my family when I was little,” Sangil says. “Not everyone can afford a brand new coat or a brand new pair of shoes. So I think restoration is a great skill to have.” Jaypee Inguito is a 38-year-old business owner of Second Hand Hustle, a vintage clothing shop with several locations in Northern California, including San Jose and Sacramento. He’s been thrifting and shopping secondhand since around 2001, opened his first shop in 2011 and has watched the industry of secondhand clothing change to the way it is today. “I love it. I love it because when I opened up my first shop in 2011 it was a very, very niche market but now it’s surpassed a niche market that is actually the ‘in’ market now,” says Inguito. “Trends come and go but vintage has always been around and I don’t think it will ever leave.”

The Benefits of Secondhand Shopping Not only is shopping secondhand less expensive, but it is also much more sustainable. The items being purchased are already made and new clothes are not, therefore lowering the amount of waste being produced through production. It is also usually very accessible to people of all classes, with thrift stores covering cities like San Francisco. In a study by GlobalData, 2021 Market Sizing and Growth Estimates, it was shown that 33 million consumers bought some form of secondhand clothing for the first time in 2020 and 76% of these firsttime buyers hoped to purchase more secondhand clothing in the next five years. A big reason for this is believed to be the sustainability behind shopping secondhand. McKinsey and Company wrote in their Fashion on Climate report that circular business models like recommerce or rentals could help the fashion industry cut 143 million tonnes of GHG emissions in 2030. By that time, the report states one in five garments should be traded through one of those circular business models. According to the same GlobalData study, secondhand sales are expected to grow 11-times faster than traditional retail by 2025. Miyaji appreciates the benefits of secondhand clothing and believes it should be accessible to all. Not only

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is it sustainable for the environment, but Miyaji also mentions that the quality of the vintage clothing is unmatched to that of fast fashion. “This whole world is getting messed up through fast fashion and quality is not the same as it was before. People are saying that people are materialistic now. No, I think we were more materialistic before because the quality of clothes before was way better than it is now.” says Miyaji. Inguito praises the positives behind owning vintage clothing. Some of his own vintage pieces have lasted about 10 to 15 years already, and that is what drew him into the business. “Some of the cardigans I own are from the ‘60s, and I’m still in love with them today, and it’s still kickin’ tough,” says Inguito.

The Consequences to Secondhand Shopping In a study done by Finxerunt Movement, it is mentioned that Goodwill estimated flat prices based on items in a 2010 donation value

guide for donators. However, that changed in 2020, wherein that year’s donation guide items had varying prices. The difference is that in 2020, Goodwill was able to offer a larger range of prices for a large range of items, and in 2010, only offered flat rates storewide for items. Sangil notices this sense of overconsumption that plagues America and fashion consumers all over the globe. She mentions how she thought overbuying at a fast-fashion site is just as harmful as over buying at a thrift store and that they both lead to a lifestyle of overconsumption. “You need to think about where you are spending your money when you are buying clothes. Because most of the time if you have so much, you’re just gonna end up donating. And it’s a whole cycle.” says Sangil. Claudine Mallare is a 26-year-old born and raised in the Bay Area who draws inspiration for her personal style from Japanese fashion. Most of her closet is secondhand and she has been thrifting with her family for years. She runs a Depop site where she sells some of her secondhand clothing. She explains her frustrations with watching the boom of thrifting come to life. “On one hand, it kind of makes me sad because there are people who take advantage of secondhand shops and will resell things really, really high,” says Mallare. “But also I understand there’s a reason why things are priced higher because of its uniqueness and rarity.” 75


Fall 2021


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