February 16, 2014

14 Hip Things That Aren’t Just for Hipsters.



Hipsters do some pretty neat things.

And yet hipsters are often misunderstood and mislabeled as smug, foodie, scarf-wearing younger folk. So, if you’ve never considered what a true hipster is and, more, where you could be taking a few pointers, then read on.

1. Caring about where your clothes are made.

We should all care more about where we’re purchasing our clothing from.

It should be more acceptable, cool and hip to wear clothes that aren’t made in over-worked, overseas sweatshops than to wear certain labels or looks.

If you want to wear something that both appears chic and is mindfully made, check out Teeki’s hot pants or, say, a second-hand shop or your sister’s closet (hint, hint, Sarah).

2. Recycling.

I grew up with recycling. It was part of my upbringing and something that I considered normal. I learned about the importance of recycling at home and at school. Imagine my surprise, then, when I moved out west and lived in an area where recycling was not the norm and not possible. (There were no facilities anywhere reasonably close by.)

However, recycling doesn’t have to be putting an aluminum can in a different bin—it can mean re-using a jar for coffee grounds or turning an old shirt into an apron.

Think outside the box and begin to notice where and when things can take on a second life besides the trash heap.

3. Conservancy.

Hipsters aren’t the only people who should be advocating how to help save our planet.

I’ve actually blogged before about that old saying if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow yet it mellow.

Classy, I know, but it’s true. We all need to be thinking about using less water, less electricity and less in general. This isn’t true just because we should think about the future of our world, but also because we can conserve money and learn where we spend and use (and abuse) in order to shift our mental focus away from our current state of, possibly, unhappiness or lack of fulfillment.

In short, many of us consume—be it food or technology—because we’re wanting to escape—from ourselves. If we spend more energy working on our lives and our health—mentally, emotionally and physically—then we’ll gradually discover that we have less of a void to fill up in the first place.

4. Tiny houses. 

Tiny houses are just plain cool, for one (check out the images in the previous link for some proof). This isn’t to say that we all need to live in small abodes, but having an efficient yet quaint living space is ideal for conservancy and cuteness.

5. Short commutes, public transportation and biking.

It’s enormously good for the environment when we limit the length of our commutes. On top of this, though, it’s absolutely ideal to use public transportation or carpooling for lengthier commutes.

Oh, and hipsters aren’t the only ones who should be considering biking and using our own two feet as transportation options and opportunities for exercise and fresh air.

6. Bringing art into our lives.

The art museum, an amazing film and a great (actual paper) book are not only for hipsters.

Personally, I believe that one of the most important things I can introduce my daughter to is art in all its forms. It’s never too young to start (we joined the art museum when she as two) and an appreciation for a painting or sculpture above the mantel is something that can enrich all of our lives.

7. Building a community.

The reality is that our global economy and occasionally limited job opportunities mean that many of us have to live away form our parents and immediate families. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t create our own support systems.

Hipsters aren’t the ones who should be building a circle of closely knit friends and sharing time and space together in order to secure a community.

My two nearby friends are the people I call when I need help (or a hug) and, if you’re asking me, more of us should be creating this familial structure closer to our homes and to our hearts (because people are social creatures).

8. Finding music on NPR.

Okay, maybe you don’t get your new tunes on NPR (I’m sorry), but realizing that there’s soul-moving, feet-dancing music out there that probably won’t appear without first searching for it a little bit is not only a hipster notion.

Here, check this out.

9. Knowing how to wrap a scarf properly.

It’s not that hard to tie a scarf and make it look nice—and it’s cold outside (at least in much of the United States where the snow is seemingly endless).


10. Making things.

Knitting, making jewelry and creating things with our two small hands are not activities that are solely for hipsters.

It feels good to make something. If it’s been so long that you don’t even have a clue about the sensations of satisfaction and sheer joyfulness that arise when we create and make something special, then make something—anything.

Make a sock puppet for a kid you know (or live with). Make some vegan fudge, I don’t know—just do it!

11. You consider being intelligent and unique sexy.

Hipsters of today have something in common with beats, the original hipsters; with hippies, punks, grunge—you name it—because there’s something authentically cool and sexy about being able to express your genuine self—even if that means you’re putting quirky differences and a spicy intellect out there for others to see and possibly dissect.

Why? I happen to think it’s because a huge part of this is related to one simple thing: confidence—and I’ll be damned if confidence isn’t always sexy.

12. You know who Marcel Duchamp is.

If you don’t know who Marcel Duchamp is, then find out. Here’s a clue:

“Marcel Duchamp entered a urinal signed “R. Mutt” into an exhibition in 1917. It got rejected, but for six bucks (the price it cost Duchamp to submit the piece) he went into the history books as the founder of conceptual art, and Andy Warhol was provided a career. Duchamp was the quintessential Hipster.” The Hipster Handbook

13. Wearing vintage jewelry.

To be fair, this isn’t necessarily a hipster thing, but I do know that hipsters appreciate the value of buying second hand and the art and craftsmanship that went into antique jewelry.

I, for example, choose from a collection of lovingly handed-down family jewelry every single day. (And there’s no better right-hand ring than one connected with a good story.)

14. You’re passionate.

If we don’t have at least one thing in life that sets us on fire, regardless of whether or not we decide to officially call ourselves hipsters, then, seriously, what the eff is the point of life?

Life should set us on fire. We should become hot and fidgety and ready to leap before we look for at least one passionate cause or job (like, ahem, writing). If you haven’t found yours yet, keep searching. If you have, keep searching (because you might find something else).

Because being a hipster might be a relatively arbitrary term, but there’s huge significance in what we choose to publicly embrace and own—and then privately put into practice too.

“Genius is initiative on fire.”

~ Holbrook Jackson



10 Signs you’re a true Hipster.

Beware! 10 Things that don’t make you a Hipster & One Thing that Does.


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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo credits: Flickr/Curious Little Bird,  lightsgoingon, Pinterest Told Me To and DIY Cozy Home.

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