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I read these and thought they were great too... But felt a little cynical confusion about them simply trying to sell more clothes, and using some sophisticated emotional techniques: projecting a cool, caring, creative image to us... but just so we buy more?

But I've actually spoken to a few of the Howies people over the phone - just some confusion about an order once - and they do seem totally genuine.

Which leaves me wondering... how much do we suffer the same cynicism? Do people see us as cynically trying to project a cool, caring, creative image... when all we want to do is sell them the gospel? We'd want to refute this strongly, but how? Just musing....

Brian Draper

I was also very struck by the new Howies catalogue, and recently ran a session with the staff at LICC called 'Why I'd like the Christian world to be more like the Howies catalogue'. I was impressed by the fact that they ran a piece urging people not to stick their products on a credit card if they couldn't afford them, and I loved the reflections about 'travelling light' and 'I acept ugly'. They resonate with what we've been trying to do through alt.worship in terms of feel, language, emotion, and so on. But Kester is right: it's hard and confusing to separate the whole selling thing from the emotion, from the life-affirming vision. Both Howies (as an ethical trader) and Christians share the same dilemma about 'selling' a better vision. At least Howies seem to do it with artistic grace.

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