by Tao Oliveto, Brattleboro, VT
Brattleboro has a dominant number of thriving local businesses, many of which thoroughly but subtly display their green creds. Thrift and vintage places – my personal eye candy – were especially irresistible, and practical, as it turned out. I suddenly needed a nail clipper/file and I found both, hidden amongst hundreds of antique collectibles of every category at a store called “Twice Upon A Time”. Proving, once again, that they don’t make things like they used to. These stores can be full of surprises – I have managed to stay out of mainstream drugstores for years by using thrift/vintage for basics like this – low cost and no packaging is a bonus.
I went back several times to Boomerang – a vintage and vintage-inspired clothing and accessories shop owned and operated by Loretta, who replanted her creative roots from LA. Here I found some fun and stylish used clothing – some are cleverly marked by era – Jerry was drawn to the 50’s while I found out I’m a 60’s – 70’s kind of girl. Boomerang also supports Rise Up International, a group of artists, ideallists and social entrepreneurs using the fashion industry to empower children out of poverty. Rise Up International doesn’t mess around when it comes to giving – they donate all profits to support free education centers, drug rehabilitation and art vocational schools in India, Central America and China.
As happened in a few different cases, I was readily engaged in conversation by the locals and felt welcomed, even as I accepted my designated title as a “flatlander”.
A haven for art, music, alternative health and recreation, “Brat” – as I brazenly use the local term – has not seen the last of me!