So the problem with high street’s ‘NYPD’ jumpers isn’t that it’s unoriginal..

I’ve never been good at writing or analyzing fashion. I hated textiles in college and couldn’t sew for the life of me, however I can spot a flaw in clothing trends as easily as the next person and recently I’ve seen tops, crop tops and jumpers in high street stores such as Primark and Topshop popping up with the ‘NYPD’ initials written on them. I remember my first thought was confusion as I saw one in Primark near the women’s clothing that normally has pop culture references on. I was scanning the tops with Disney on, the Harry Potter tops and came across one t-shirt with NYPD. I remember stalling for a bit and trying to figure out if this was a reference to a tv show or movie but all I could think of was just that it stood for New York Police Department. ‘That’ll never catch on’ I thought to myself, but I was wrong.

In my cinema job I noticed those t-shirts in different varieties picking up as a trend and even now I spotted a jumper with the initals on in Topshop, going at a hefty price of £35. Now it seems the jumper is very in trend with a lot of young girls buying it, but my main worry is do they know what the name stands for? Do they know the history of the NYPD and what these t-shirts and comfy jumpers endorse?

I stand by the activist movement of #BlackLivesMatter. I realise as a white ally I can’t speak for them and can only listen, but I personally feel people should have a think about what the NYPD has history for and listen to what happens and not buy these jumpers. There’s, hopefully, no money donated to them or such when these jumpers are purchased but the normalisation of the name still stands the more and more these jumpers are bought. People might buy them with the afterthought that they’re supporting officers who protect the people but that’s far from the truth. A main story to start with is the cruel death of Eric Garner. If you were not paying attention when this happened; basically on July 17th of 2014 police officers of NYPD approached Garner accusing him of selling loose cigarettes without tax stamps. Garner pulled his arms away briefly when the officer tried to pull his wrists behind his back to which Daniel Pantaleo (the officer and murderer) took Garner to the ground by his neck and pushed his face into the ground. It was recorded and seen by witnesses that Garner cried out that he couldn’t breathe repeatedly. Eric Garner then lost consciousness and the officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing but did not give him CPR or help. They left him there until ambulances arrived and Eric Garner was pronounced dead around one hour later. Autopsies concluded Eric Garner’s death was via a chokehold from Daniel Pantaleo and was ruled as a homicide. The NYPC policy prohibits the use of chokeholds. In December 2014 it was decided by Richmond County grand jury that scumbag Pantaleo would not be punished for killing Eric Garner. This stirred many rightful protests and to this day is still an important story regarding the uprise of #BlackLivesMatter activists and protests.

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This isn’t and won’t be the only innocent black man, woman, youth or child killed by NYPD or police officers. I probably couldn’t even fit every victim from 2016 on this page let alone previous years. Research Mike Brown, Research Ferguson, Research Tamir Rice, Research Sandra Bland, Research Mya Hall, Bettie Jones, Philando Castile. In 2015 black young men were 9 times more likely to be killed by police officers than any other American. So here we are, at my main point – do you want to spend £35 on a jumper endorsing and putting the name of one of the many racist police departments in America?

NYPD also has a vast Wikipedia database of their previous misconducts including officers raping women when responding to 9/11 calls, drunk driving and hitting a pregnant woman and not helping, punishing someone for speaking their own language on the job.

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Source: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/racist-nypd-hit-pregnant-woman-car-didn-article-1.2742087
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Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2013/06/24/nypd-latina-officer-punished-for-speaking-spanish-on-job/

They do not deserve to have their names out there on trend. This is an exploitation of young girls to use them unknowingly as an endorsement and should be treated as such. It extremely upsets me that I’m only seeing these jumpers on young girls too. We need to talk about the problem of the gross misconduct, murder and oppression police officers in America are committing. Plus I would judge if my daughter or friend spent a whole £35 on a jumper endorsing such a thing. There is better independent fashion creators and clothing you could put your money too and endorse.

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A £30 Jumper of a bear on a dinosaur – what could be better? 

 

Or even better, save some cash and purchase a pin or patch to help raise awareness. This is the kind of thing that needs to be promoted on clothing. Not the initials of a police department.

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Check out LoveLttrsforLiberation on Etsy

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Thanks for reading guys, please spread this message about if you know anybody who loves shopping in high streets or the latest trend.

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#WEARECOW: Manchester Vintage Lock-in!

I absolutely love vintage clothing. It took me a few years to catch on to the benefits of buying vintage or buying from charity shops when I first started clothes shopping for myself. When you grow up sometimes it’s hard to fall under the fear of seeming ‘uncool’ especially if you’re as shy and sensitive as I was. I remember being scared of the ‘popular kids’ at school judging how I dressed or what clothes I wore. There was always trends going round that people would always try to catch up on, even in a uniform based school. Jane Norman bags were immensely popular with the girls when I was in year 7 and I remember saving up for one because I felt uncool with a backpack. I’m pretty sure the Jane Norman bag broke and its being chucked away somewhere in my wardrobe. I can’t even remember it being a good bag or not.

But that’s really not the point of this post. In the past few years I’ve been introduced more to shopping vintage and finding unique treats in thrift/charity stores. Some of my favourite clothes have come from second-hand shops. Last Christmas I bought a denim vintage jacket at Pop Boutique in Afflecks Palace, Manchester. It is literally my comfort blanket in the form of a jacket.

Pop Boutique is one of the loveliest vintage/second-hand places in Manchester. My other favourite is definitely COW. Found in the Northern Quarter, it’s a two-story vintage store with so many choices. Recently they did a Vintage Lock In to welcome new students to Manchester, but anyone was invited! Me and one of my very good pals, Natasha, decided to head down and see what it was like!

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We got into the store for around 5pm when the party was starting and had a look around all the clothes whilst jamming to Baby Got Back, a brilliant song choice by COW right there!

One of my favourite things that I always seem to find in vintage stores is ridiculous t-shirts with dramatic realistic animals on it. Don’t know what I’m talking about? You are not looking properly in vintage stores..

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The WEARECOW Lock In also had awesome music provided by Electric Jug and delicious doughnuts provided by Common bar! Cow themselves also handed out free juice which gave me so much nostalgia as I haven’t had these little cartons of juice since discos in primary school!

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I wish on the evening I had more money to spend in COW because I came across a lot of cute, quirky clothes that I wanted to have and may have to go back for in the future. This pastel blue jumper definitely stole my heart. It reminded me of December winter because of the cool colour palette and I could picture it with some skinny jeans and doc martens definitely, it looked so snug.

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In the end I found two cheap adorable oversized jumpers that I chose between. COW provides quite a few comfortable, tidy changing rooms that you can try clothes on in! The first jumper which was blue only cost about £15 and the second one which was grey was £10! I went for the grey one as it was a lot lighter and unfortunately we are not into the completely freezing winter months yet, and with the lock in discount I got it for £8.50!

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I’d like to thank COW Manchester for such an awesome lock in experience and if they ever do any future ones I definitely recommend Manchester students and vintage fans alike to pop down and visit!

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x