A Response to the Tagging on our Storefront...
When we arrived at our mile end store yesterday morning, we were greeted with an upsetting message on our window.
We’ve put a lot of thought into our response and appreciate any feedback you may have. We THANK every one of you who has supported us for the last 8 years. We are proud to be a part of a community that encourages sustainability within its creative practices and will continue to do better with you and for you.
We agree, Capitalism is not empowering. Capitalism has made it really difficult for us to run an ethical and sustainable independent business. We are competing against large corporations that are producing on a huge global scale, taking advantage of developing countries with incredibly low wages, disregarding environmental issues and being privileged to tax cuts. Their CEOs are taking home enormous salaries while their retail workers aren’t making a livable wage.
People have become acclimatized to extremely low prices, especially for clothing. We are often asked why we sell t-shirts with prints by local artists for $30, as if the artists do not need to take a cut (our artists get at least 50% of the sale). Why a pair of pants, handmade in Montreal cost $110, as if we’re paying our sewers $0.50/hour to make them (we pay our sewer $25/hour +). Why a vintage dress is $45, as if we don’t have huge expenses to keep the business running (commercial rent, commercial taxes and utilities are three as much as residential in Montreal).
Everyday we are making an effort to treat our employees well, to offer products that have as small an environmental impact as possible, to support local artists and to keep our prices accessible. We acknowledge that there is still work to be done but we are doing the best we can with our limited resources.
This message was written on our window with the installation of artist La Pimbeche in it. La Pimbeche is a feminist Montreal artist whose work is always empowering. We think the rage of whoever wrote this message is being completely misplaced and hope they are able to educate themselves on this issue.
We believe that owning a business that is run with integrity can be extremely empowering. Citizen Vintage is a passion project. We have worked hard in building it for almost 8 years because we believe strongly that our business adds something positive to our neighbourhood/community.
Love, The CV Team <3