The Guardian (Ed Cumming) recently published an article titled; Can hipsters save the world?
The article challenges critics of the new hipster trend and particularly Channel 4’s interview with Cereal Killer Cafe’s owners, Gary and Alan Keely (discussed in a previous post by Bonney). Cumming’s argues that despite recent criticisms of Twenty-first century ‘hipsterism’, “economist Douglas McWilliams, The Flat White Economy, suggests that hipsters, and the ecosystem surrounding them, represent the future of British prosperity. Not only are they greener and more ethical than the rest of us, but the industries in which they work are driving our economy. We mock them at our peril.”
“To walk from Old Street roundabout to Shoreditch High Street is to see an extraordinary mix of open-plan offices and galleries, Asian restaurants with fat queues outside and cafés that will mend your bicycle, sprinkled with shark-eyed estate agents and a few resilient kebab shops.”
East London and hipster culture are a demonstration that the 21st century (postmodernist) has moved away from mass production, where during the height of fordism in the early 20th century you would of seen mass trade and production near the docks of the East End, you now see a more intimate, more personal feel. With creative, artistic independent gallery spaces, vintage shops and coffee shops. Although Harvey theorises that postmodernist and capitalism creates this idea of the stranger in the city, East London encourages a more individualistic ideology and hipster consumerism is all about defying capitalism and celebrating independent projects and spaces, this is why East London has such a diverse and magical culture
“It can be tempting to see the world that has been created in this part of east London over the past five years as a model for modern cities. A highly skilled, creative international workforce, commuting by bicycle, thinking hard about where their meat comes from, buying second-hand clothes and selling complicated things to buyers around the world. If you close your eyes and try hard to put aside any prejudices about men with waxed moustaches riding penny-farthings, Shoreditch can appear like a kind of idealised cross between Stockholm and Silicon Valley. Plenty of people hate hipsters, but if more of us lived like them, the world could be greener, more left-wing and less preoccupied by greed”.
Douglas McWilliams believes that the new generation of earners (the hipster generation) is less focused on the economy and how much they’re earning/ spending but they’re more focused on what experiences they can gain and be involved in. He argues that the flat white economy is more driven by leisurely activities then investments and marketing.
Posted by: Sheldon