Life Without Laundry

Shopping for clothes has become one of my favorite activities living at Twin Oaks, and I get to indulge in it almost daily. Thanks to our sharing technologies, it doesn’t cost a dime. Commie Clothes is a shared bank of clothing at Twin Oaks, made up of donations from members, ex-members, friends of community, and whoever else wants to toss some clothing. The result is a hip, free thrift shop fifty paces from my bedroom. While the community does not begrudge anyone a large personal wardrobe, one is far from necessary. Any member may, as I do, pull clothes off the rack at the beginning of the day and toss them back the next morning, to be washed by a helpful communard fulfilling cos labor requirements for the community. While this creates more work for those doing public laundry, it keeps clothing free for members to use. This is a tradeoff  that follows from this method of sharing.

ImageHaving Commie Clothes has been a wonderful opportunity to explore personal fashion, and the farm a wonderful setting. There are many options available to try out and a low-judgement environment in which to sport them. I’ve gotten to play around with a slew of spring skirts, t-shirts from all different movements, colleges, and cookouts, awesome and awesomely bad sweaters, tons of ties, and the tiniest jeans I can fit my ass into. The best part is that I get to try any fashion out context-free. No one’s going to give me a hard time about dressing in a suit on a Saturday afternoon or showing up to work with the same dirty jeans I’ve been wearing for weeks. I can experiment with the popular fashions of the day (or of two years ago, depending on what is available) without having to give my dollar to the apparel manufacturers. I can shop every day without being a consumer.

Dressing straight out of Commie necessarily facilitates a detachment from material objects, which is an ongoing priority of mine. Instead of having my favorite pair of jeans sit in my room, coveted, they stay in public space accessible to anyone. Lots of clothing I wear remains in Commie Clothes for a long time, allowing me to put back on favorite pieces and develop a signature style as well as anyone with a full wardrobe. And when an awesome shirt does disappear from Commie, I get to see it on a friend. I know I’m not tying up something that someone else could be using. Plus, I have a bad habit of leaving sweatshirts, jackets,  and hats in random places. Now I don’t worry if they never come back to me.

There are certain things are tough to find in Commie, and I do keep a few personal items in my room. I have a coat, a scarf, a winter hat, my shoes, and a growing collection of fun socks.

Adder Socks