About 20% of the pots that we make don’t pass our standards for a pot that can be sold at full retail. You can read all about these imperfect pots—or “Seconds” as they’re called here. For the past several years we sold Seconds at in-person sales once or twice a year, and during an annual, online blowout that put considerable strain and stress on our fulfillment and care teams and created an unpleasant customer experience for the many who didn’t end up getting to take home pots.
Our seconds inventory provides a necessary source of revenue. We have to sell them, and we like that folks are able to purchase imperfect pots for a little less money. We’ve been thinking long and hard on how to get seconds out the door in a way that’s less chaotic. And while there's no "perfect" solution, we've landed on something that works for now that also potentially serves as a little learning/teaching moment and helps habitualize personal wealth spreading practices. We and the organization we have partnered in October are so pleased with the response so far, and judging from the Seconds we’ve sold, our customers are, too.
Since the start of October, we’ve added inventory to our seconds collection that you can shop at 25% off retail. We’ll continue, at the start of each month, to introduce a non-profit, grassroots organization or individual in our Western North Carolina community working toward racial equity, community reconciliation, and supporting the liberation of folks who’ve been systematically oppressed by white supremacy, patriarchy, and heteronormativity. In October, we chose the Asheville-based Center for Participatory Change; while we’re still working on a more precise means of collecting data, CPC is estimating that over $30,000 was donated through our Second Sale channel. So it’s working! We ask you to learn about the work they do and point you to where to donate to sustain that work. Donate any dollar amount, submit your screenshot (we’ll show you how down below) and you’ll get a password to shop the Seconds collection.
But before we do that, we'd like to offer up some information.
What is wealth redistribution?
Wealth redistribution is the movement of money, property and social clout or access from one population of individuals to another through some sort of social-societal catalyst. That catalyst could be voluntary, like “charitable giving” and “philanthropy,” or it could be mandated by the government in the form of state and federal redistribution programs like taxation, welfare, public services or land reform.
Why is wealth redistribution not the answer?
Most wealth has been acquired, grown, passed down, and hoarded within a framework of supremacy, by siphoning resources away from marginalized populations across the globe. Wealth redistribution keeps the power in the hands of the oppressors and oppressive systems. It asks that people and institutions who have access to stolen wealth and resources use their discretion to sympathetically and incrementally give access to that wealth to others who have less. In short—the oppressor chooses where and how funds are redistributed; often this redistribution still primarily benefits the oppressor. Regardless of good intentions, this process edifies the very supremacy it attempts to circumvent.
What is wealth reclamation? How is it different?
The concept of wealth reclamation acknowledges that the way wealth is distributed, hoarded and grows is dictated by an ethos of supremacy. And that white people, corporations, and nations functioning in a supremacy culture have stolen wealth from Brown and Black people. Wealth reclamation acknowledges that something that has been stolen cannot simply be redistributed without reconciliation. Reclamation is defined by the Wealth Reclamation Academy of Practitioners as “the equitable and just distribution of resources.” This process relies on “resource mobilizers” use of Black feminist values, radical inclusivity and intersectionality, working in tandem with marginalized communities to steward the rechanneling of “the flow of social and material wealth back into social justice movement and community building.”
How can we participate in wealth reclamation?
If we really, truly want to make our world more equitable we must be willing to “move up off of stuff”—as Clarissa’s mom used to say—in order to make space for folk who have historically been excluded and kept from building and living the life that feels best to them. Somewhere in these active processes of “moving up off of,” we allow space for what is just.
What are reparations?
To be clear—stand-alone actions like us asking our audience to donate money in exchange for something is not reparations, and let me tell you why: According to the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) Reparations Now Toolkit, in order for the process of reparations to be justly and thoroughly completed, five conditions must be present:
- Cessation, assurances, and guarantees of non-repetition
- Reinstitution and repatriation
Without all of these conditions, an action does not meet the qualifiers to be considered an act of reparations. Those who embark on this process need to know it will be lengthy, that they will need to remain communicative and mindful, and avoid working in silos. Participating in wealth reclamation in the way we’re suggesting here only meets the criteria of compensation. That’s not “wrong” or “bad”— it’s just not the whole deal. But this first step can get us to thinking:
What would it look like for us as a global society to push to see the complete processes of reparations fulfilled in our communities?
Exciting question, right?
Why do I have to donate? Why doesn't East Fork just donate?
“We want folk to engage with where the funds are going and understand why the funds are going there. Active engagement makes the process more sustainable and relational...It’s a little thing, asking folk to wander off a path for a sec they may not have usually but our hope is that this little thing can lead to a bigger and more beautiful relationship. We are looking for the place where this becomes less about transactional charity for discounted pots and more about the possibility of good work to be done. Hey, it could happen.”
— Clarissa Harris, East Fork Values Manager
This month, we're asking you to give to...
In November, we are helping to raise funds and awareness for Different Wrld (@differentwrld) a black-led, queer- and femme-owned production collective that will soon open a community hub at 701 Haywood Road in West Asheville, which locals remember as the former Mothlight music and art venue. With funds raised by this raffle, Different Wrld will:
- Cover operating costs on the venue, a safe space for expression and for community gathering and discussion and where artists, creatives and others can connect with and learn from each other.
- Purchase equipment so that creatives who don't have the budget can borrow things like computers, cameras, and video gear, making it possible for them to record and produce podcasts, get into photo or video work, try out digital illustration, create beats and record music, and so on.
“We started creating spaces because we need space. There are opportunities for creatives, but many of them are only for some and not for all. We believe everyone should be able to create and have access to the resources that they need. Different Wrld is a space where you can ask for what you need and get what you didn’t know you needed.” said Different Wrld founder and co-director Honey Simone.
“Our dream is to provide the tools that break down barriers for people to be able to explore their creative work. In helping break down our barrier, we pledge to continue to break down barriers in our community,” said Different Wrld co-director Roxanne Snider.
Different Wrld will also use the new space to host immersive art installations and music experiences. There will be a retail store, coffee shop and bar.
As for how the money raised in this raffle will be used, co-director Garnet Fisher said, “Your commitment creates access for underserved folx in our community to try out and learn how to use new tools and technology. It gives them space to explore and grow their creativity. Our intention is to hold space for people to connect with each other and the Asheville community. We all know what it feels like to be underserved and unwelcome. We know Asheville has more to offer our art community and creatives of all types.”
Let's get started.
1. Donate any dollar amount to Different Wrld.
2. Take a screenshot of your donation receipt or record
3. Send that screenshot to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Different Wrld" as the subject. If you do not put Different Wrld as the subject, you will not receive a response.
4. You'll receive a response from Care as soon as digitally possible* with the link and password to the seconds collection! That password will be good until December 1st. Please do not share your password with anyone.
*It may take a moment to receive that email—sometimes 1 minute, sometimes 15 minutes (technology, am I right?). If you do not receive an email after 15 minutes, please check your spam folder or resend!