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Top NYC vintage stores are hosting a clothing auction for undocumented workers

Emma Orlow
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Emma Orlow
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Being cooped up all day gives one a lot of time to browse online for a swimsuit for that vacation you might be dreaming of taking once all of this awfulness is over. And if you have the shoppies—yes, it's the most official of official clinical terms—like us, it’s time to put your bad buying habits to good use.

Some of the city’s top vintage stores—favorites such as Awoke Vintage and The Break—alongside a roster of fashion influencers have banded together to host a special auction that lets you shop their wardrobe online.

But beyond just supporting small businesses in a time of great need, 100% of proceeds from the sales are going to the BMFS Foundation (Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation), an organization serving undocumented immigrants by undocumented immigrants on the West Coast. According to the clothing auction’s co-host, Jessica Tran (who runs the Instagram-only shop Ghost Vintage and a shopping marketplace called Second-Life), she was attracted to the foundation because, "as an immigrant myself and the child of a refugee and an immigrant, I have deep ties to the cause and it feels like there has been so much we need to worry about and this cause hasn't had the airtime it deserves." (Tran's collaborator on the project is Natasha Halesworth, who owns The Consistency Project, a vintage store in Williamsburg). 

The foundation usually sponsors scholarships for undocumented students, Tran shares with Time Out New York. The Brooklyn-based entrepreneur also adds that the organization has "set up an emergency fund for families and individuals who do not get access to federal aid. They have received over 16,000 requests for aid."

According to a New York Times article published earlier this month, the current unemployment rate is likely around 13%—higher than any time since the Great Depression. It should go without saying that undocumented workers will be hit the hardest, with little to no recourse to obtain stimulus checks and other aid.  

The auction will go live tonight at 6pm EST; all you have to do is shop via the site. The auction will live on the Second-Life Marketplace website for the week, until everything is sold out. With 25 participating vendors, there will be 60-plus items for purchase. 

New York
Photograph: Courtesy of Second-Life Marketplace

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