Sunday, December 27, 2009

Peace, Love & Fair Trade = ZeBop

Cross the Patapsco River Bridge Mon-Fri from 12-6 p.m.

8034 Main St.
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Telephone: 410.461.8045
Proprietor: Tom Canning

Walking into ZeBop for the first time, I said to myself "Retro, 60s, Flower Children..." Fortunately I didn't say it out loud because this shop has transformed an earlier period in American cultural history into a fully contemporary statement.

I noted specific roots in my own past: One slogan printed on a T-Shirt, was identical to a necklace I wore in the 60s..."War is not healthy for children and other living things." That slogan has a rich history of its own. As to a personal involvement in the slogan, I'm now a member of "Grandmothers for Peace International," an organization that speaks out for peace in a variety of ways on both the national and local levels.

I am showing this T-Shirt first because these words, in and of themselves, are an eloquent appeal for our children's sake. That has not changed. So, for me, the shop and its contents represent a kind of continuity--and in the larger sense, this is what Ellicott City demonstrates in its architecture, its history, its sense of community and family ownership. It has survived fires, floods, and economic turndowns. I think I'll go back today and buy the shirt!

Now, back to the store: First, I met owner, Tom Canning, who owns a second ZeBop store in Frederick, Maryland. You can see the tie-dyed peace symbol behind him, of course.

Next, staffer (and a good friend) Kate St. John took me on a tour of ZeBop, pointing out cold-weather attire such as these mittens, as well as bags, shirts, skirts, and dresses. She told me "You can't lose these!" after I lamented I have about six single gloves and mittens.

Kate invited me to scrutinize the craftsmanship of the garments, adding "These jackets are made to last." I could tell that the fabric was of high quality, partly by the feel of the material.

After I asked about whether today's
tie-died T-shirts were created in the same way
they were made in the 60s,
she explained the updated methods,
none of which I can now remember.
When you drop by, you can ask her yourself!
Kate St. John, as well as other staffers,
are knowledgeable and friendly!

I loved this; in fact, it made me smile!
It is another slogan that is apt for
ZeBop, as well as Ellicott City
Historic District--and beyond.

Finally, I asked Kate to explain the Fair Trade label. She did,
and later, I researched the subject and found there were
10 specific Standards that address everything from work conditions, to materials, to the way products are sold. You
will see this label on clothing in ZeBop, which is still another
reason why it is smart to shop here at the beginning
of 2010, then go back at intervals throughout the year.
Ellicott City Historic District!
Web page content and photos: Kay Weeks
Be sure to visit Jeremy Kipp Clark's comprehensive web site
on Ellicott City and beyond


Denee Barr Art News and More said...

I'll come to Main Street Ellicott City and check out this shop. Thanks for letting us know what's new to check out in historic Ellicott City, Maryland

Anonymous said...

thanks Kay,,,a great write up!

Anonymous said...

More than information. Not only did I get a great feel for ZeBop , but I got to meet your friend Kate. Way better than an ad, its a trip. Thanks Kay..Harve