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Friday, 06 October 2017 18:10

A Ripping Yarn! Featured

Written by
Ripped jeans Ripped jeans

Fashion slaves tear up the rule book – and their clothes

By Charles Gardner, Special to ASSIST News Service

Girl with ripped jeans smallerDONCASTER, UK (ANS - October 6, 2017) - Intrigued by the phenomenon of ripped jeans being the latest fashion statement, I had a little chat with friendly saleswomen at Britain’s quality clothes chain, Next, before enjoying a chocolate-y breakfast in their pleasant coffee shop.

Yes, ordinary jeans are still popular, they assured me, but you pay just as much (£30 – UK - I noticed) for the ripped version!

Now although I find all this quite amusing, I believe it’s also a new kind of madness further demonstrating the lengths to which we will go to re-invent our upside-down world.

Clever marketing has convinced most of us that it looks cool – increasingly so as autumn progresses – and although I hate to be a party-pooper, I detect something rather more sinister.

For one thing, it strikes me as an insult to the poor – paying good money for ragged clothes of the kind that, for many in the Third World, is all they can afford. And they would much rather not have the holes!

I grew up in South Africa, often seeing black kids running around with holey hand-me-downs, smiling through their poverty and grateful for having something on at all.

I don’t know about a fashion statement – it’s certainly a case of tearing up the rule book on design – but I do think it says something about the destructive nature of today’s Western culture, devoid of any rules and regulations. We would rather tear society apart than seek to build it up. We love to put celebrities on a pedestal, only to shoot them down at the first sign of fragility.

We have become so enslaved to fashion’s herding instinct that we will do just about anything to join the crowd – even tearing our clothes up.

Could there be something faintly religious about it, indicating perhaps that we are standing with the poor – a new kind of hole-i-ness – or is it just another excuse to show off more bare flesh?

I don’t suppose they’d attend a job interview dressed like that, I suggested to a friend, who wasn’t so sure. Some male bosses may well turn a not-so-blind eye!

Years ago I bought a beautiful pair of smart, pin-striped trousers from a leading label for a knockdown price – because it was a factory reject. The only fault was a tiny hole in one of the pockets, but it was invisible to anyone else, so I gladly wore those pants for many a smart occasion. I just had to remember not to put any money in my pocket!

Following my brief survey of the sales ladies, I went upstairs to enjoy my breakfast at the smart new coffee shop and headed for a cozy corner seat which – and I am not making this up – was ripped! Vandalized in fact…unless the fashion has extended to upholstery! I sat there anyway; it seemed totally appropriate – and perhaps someone was having a laugh on me. Whatever Next?

Jesus spoke much about clothes, saying: “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 5.25-33)

And in addressing the appropriateness for the occasion of what we eat, drink and wear, he even speaks directly into the issue of torn clothes: “No-one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse.” (Matthew 9.16)

As early as page three of the Bible’s 1,000-plus pages, God declares his interest in covering our modesty, for it reads: “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” (Genesis 3.21)

In the unlikely event of this new fashion being about identifying with the poor, there is a better way of doing that. You can support a wonderful annual project called Operation Christmas Child, which involves packing a shoebox full of toys for children in various poverty-stricken parts of the world. Run by the Samaritan’s Purse charity, they also suggest items such as pens, crayons, soap, hats and gloves. Just don’t send them any ripped jeans. For more details in the UK, visit www.samaritans-purse.org.uk/occ.or in the US, go to https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/order-materials/

Photo captions: 1) Girl with ripped jeans. 2) Charles Gardner with his wife, Linda.

Charles and Linda GardnerAbout the writer: Charles Gardner is a veteran Cape Town-born British journalist working on plans to launch a new UK national newspaper reporting and interpreting the news from a biblical perspective. With his South African forebears having had close links with the legendary devotional writer Andrew Murray, Charles is similarly determined to make an impact for Christ with his pen and has worked in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years. Part-Jewish, he is married to Linda, who takes the Christian message around many schools in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster. Charles is also author of Israel the Chosen (Amazon) and Peace in Jerusalem, available from olivepresspublisher.com. He has four children and nine grandchildren, and can be reached by phone on +44 (0) 1302 832987, or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

** You may republish this, and any of our ANS stories, with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please also tell your friends that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to the ANS website (see above) and signing up there.

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[pb_row background="none" solid_color_value="#FFFFFF" solid_color_color="#ffffff" gradient_color="0% #FFFFFF,100% #000000" gradient_color_css="" gradient_direction="vertical" pattern="" repeat="full" image="" stretch="none" position="center center" paralax="no" parallax_scroll="no" video_url="" autoplay="no" border_width_value_="0" border_style="solid" border_color="#000" width_value="" width_unit="%" div_padding="" div_padding_top="10" div_padding_bottom="10" div_padding_right="10" div_padding_left="10" css_suffix="" id_wrapper="" ][pb_column span="span12"][pb_tab el_title="Shopping" initial_open="1" fade_effect="no" tab_position="top" appearing_animation="0" ][pb_tab_item heading="Amazon" icon="" ]Now you can support ASSIST every time you shop on Amazon. With every purchase you make Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to ASSIST. It’s very easy to make this happen. All you need to do is shop via www.smile.amazon.com and select the charity of your choosing for your donation. I am asking that you make Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times (ASSIST) your designated charity for the site. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know with the same products, same prices and same service. It’s that simple![/pb_tab_item][pb_tab_item heading="CGF" ]Another way to help ASSIST is to make purchases through the Charitable Giving Foundation. Just go to the CGF website and everything is explained: charitablegivingfoundation.org
I recommend you view the short video. After you make a purchase, click on the “Causes” tab and fill in the “Select a Cause – After Purchase” form. This form allows you to select your designated charity. Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times (ASSIST) is located under the “Religious” section. You will only need to fill in the form the first time you make a purchase.[/pb_tab_item][/pb_tab][/pb_column][/pb_row]

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