Edited by: Tandaza Simama
In this “Icollectthrift takeover” we exhibit an interview with Dane and Chari Caston , a creative couple from Georgia that run a non profit organization , World Peace Connection, that firmly stands for peace and inspiration. They travel parts of the world donating raised funds to community leaders as well as connect people to a deeper part of themselves and develop a community of people who aspire to create a positive change around the world with one question , What inspires you the most about living and life ?
1. We are a movement that believes in the power of collaboration and to come across creators that actively practice this is inspiring. When and how did you realize the importance of collaborating?
After each & every interview I’m reminded of the importance of collaboration. It’s the stories of the people around the world that inspire each & every one. We are all one community. It takes us, all of us in a collaborative effort to make the change that believes in.
2. Where and when were you both introduced to the “thrift culture” and what were your first impressions?
Dane: Chari introduced me to the thrift culture. I’ve always been in love with fashion & followed a number of fashion blogs, but I felt that I had to have money to achieve different looks. Chari began taking me to thrift stores & my initial feelings were mixed. One moment I was happy, then weirded out, then became overwhelmed with all the clothes I had to look through, that turned into frustration & the later excitement once I got what I was looking for. After the 2nd or 3rd time I was ALL IN! I mean I will be able to create & use my imagination. I’d pick something up & say “I can do this with this. This would look fire with that! You know what we can both wear this!” Etc.
Chari: Thrifting has always been a part of my DNA. I mean come on, being raised by a single parent with 11 sisters, hand me downs was all I knew. Let’s be honest here, finding clothes can get pretty expensive. Therefore that trait of saving money is ingrained in me. To be real yall, one of my biggest fears is wasting money. My mom was never a fan of name brands and logos. She taught us its not what you wear but how you wear it. Therefore I strayed away from trying to let what I wear define me. But then in high school I discovered a thrift store that was selling clothes for .25 cents! Yes .25cents, for everything!! I was then able to experiment and wear new things.
3. What are the cheapest items you own and how much did they cost ?
We have what I believe to be one of the best thrift stores in the whole world! Lol, it’s called Park Avenue Thrift outlet. On Wednesdays EVERYTHING is 25¢ so there has been a moment when we’d go there and leave out with garbage bags full of items: shoes, jackets, tops, pants, matching 2 pieces.
Yes we try and do our part in lowering the carbon footprint. We created a fashion experience that we believe is very innovative & creates a memorable experience for our supporters. We will come up with a theme & thrift clothes that match that theme. Next we will host a pop-up shop & allow people to heat press our logo on the item of their choice. So at this point, they get a dope item & its 1 of 1. It’s a piece that they have that the owners don’t even have. Every purchase is a donation to the organization to help us achieve our mission.
5. Which places in the fashion scene is at its most organic?
I would say that the fashion scene is most organic in African- American (black culture) & Asian ( Korean & Japanese).
6.Have you been exposed to the thrifting scene in other countries ? If so, which was your favorite?
Yes, it was in Vietnam & Thailand. My favorite was in Chiangmai. It was amazingly cheap & some really unique pieces.
7. We now have high fashion brands embracing the use of second-hand clothing. What is your take on the rise in interest in the activity everywhere ?
It is what it is. I think if they’re doing it to get a buzz & because they think it’ll make them cool, “authentically cool” people will see straight through it. The game will always change, it will evolve as things should. With higher brands doing it, that’s just what comes with it in this time… it’ll run its course it won’t last forever. Nonetheless, if we want the world to be better & decrease the carbon footprint and they’re assisting in that for the moment well, I’m here for it. I do find it corny when they make things & try to make it look worn/thrifted.
8. The last question , What inspires you the most about living and life?
Dane: Currently I’m inspired by change. Change is inspiring me the most about life. When you realize the privilege attached to it you see it’s true value it. In this season of my life, it has given me a deeper respect & appreciation for change.
Chari: What inspires me the most about living is creating! I love seeing things manifest into the world after they were an idea in my head or placed in my spirit. Being used by God to create things makes me enjoy & appreciate living life every moment that I get the opportunity to breathe!