This is the longest I’ve gone without buying anything. Outside of the necessary survival goods — vegetables, bread, milk, personal paper — my debit card has fossilised. There’s been no running to a buzzing door. No feverishly murdering parcels with the kitchen scissors. I haven’t daubed a wonky signature onto one of those grey boxes that look like 80s mobiles for weeks.
That changed on Tuesday.
I bought this Story MFG jacket. It arrived today.
I’ve covered this jacket before. It’s the second iteration of a design I adore — bold as balls, speckled with hash leaves and toadstools, a little bit insane. But it took this article by Saeed Al-Rubeyi, of the husband and wife team behind the brand, to make be defrost the roubles. Utterly exposing and heartbreakingly honest — large partners canceling orders, Story’s commitment to their entire production chain, the pivot they’re having to take into smaller runs and more direct sales. I read it, my girl read it. We had a brief conflab to discuss releasing the funds and that was that — decision made.
I also read this piece in The Guardian: “economic crisis”, “the end of British fashion”. It’s not difficult to see what a devastating impact the virus is certain to have on our beloved indies.
Like many of us, I don’t really know what’s right. Should we buy to support? Or should we not, relieving pressure from delivery services? Yesterday, I went with my heart. I know I didn’t need this jacket and I know I’m lucky to be able to afford it in the first place. Thing is, I just want innovative and virtuous brands like Story MFG to still be there after all this is over.
I bought this jacket because I love it, but also, if I think about it, because I want my life after this thing to be as close to how it was before. Even at times like these, I wonder if I’m actually capable of a truly selfless act.