Complicating Simplicity In Seattle

Like a fighter spitting teeth in the final round, my last pair of hole-less jeans just popped a second button from its fly.  I’m one deep knee bend away from a wardrobe malfunction of career ending proportions now.

It’s been a year or more since I bought jeans and the process has become a bit more complicated for me since then. This is the point at which simplicity stops being simple.

If simplicity – taking less to give more – were only about saving cash, I know what I would have bought months ago: Mossimo jeans from Target.  $25 the last time I went shopping.  But it’s about more than that for me now.

So I wonder, how did Mossimo get the price so low?  Their website, Target and Google aren’t assuring me their jeans aren’t made by Haitian slaves in the Dominican Republic. And, are the chemicals used to dye and soften these jeans finding their way into local water supplies, causing birth defects or worse?  Again, no answers on-line and my friendly Target employee didn’t know either.

Ideally, I’d like to not only spend less money and use less stuff but also make purchases that won’t harm others – especially kids. I also want to reward companies seeking to do the same.  When it comes to jeans, that means organic cotton and dye and fair trade.  And that means expensive and downright inconvenient to come by.

After doing a lot of research on-line, I found one company making jeans like this in my size (freakishly long) and charging less than $100 (which is heck of a lot to me).  But I can’t find them in Nashville.  So I held off shopping again until I reached the land of socially conscious left-leaning hippie types who all surely walk around in hemp sandals and fair trade pants.

I was in Seattle on Saturday. Obama stickers and shirts were in great supply.  Health food stores and smoothie stops were plentiful.  I was eager to head home in jeans with a complete set of buttons.

The first store didn’t have what I needed. At the second store I explained what I was looking for and the college student helping me laughed.  He actually laughed.  I asked his manager for help and he said they didn’t have anything like that.  “Do you have any idea where I could find this kind of thing?” I asked.

He didn’t.

“But this is Seattle!” I protested.  “In the South we think of you guys as being progressive, liberal, you know?  Socially conscious hippie types.  I can’t believe you guys don’t have jeans like this anywhere.”

“Yea, we’re hypocritsters,” he smiled. “We’re hip and all but, liiiike, this is the land of vegans that eat cream cheese and butter.  It’s liiiike just talk.”

I asked the twenty-something behind the counter at the third store if she had any fair trade jeans.  “Ummmmm.  I’ve…never heard of that…brand,” she looked to her co-worker for support.  He just shrugged.

And I realized that soon I’ll be nearly naked from the waste down.  Or I’ll wear shorts.  Either way it won’t be pretty.

Help me find some pants or else.


Simplicity Posts:

Simplifying Simplicity Part 1

Simplifying Simplicity Part 2

Simplifying Simplicity Part 3