I will explore the complex ukay-ukay phenomenon within the context of Filipino anthropologist Prospero Covar‚Äôs Total Environment Framework and attempt to interpret its facets.
My exploration will cover the evolution of the ukay-ukay from the 1980s‚Äô ‚Äėgeneric street piles‚Äô in the market area to the more upscale ‚Äėselections‚Äô in the city‚Äôs business district and on e-bay. I hope to present a coherent portrayal of these and in the process expect to cover the manner in which Baguio City fashion has been democratized and; in a larger sense; how consumers have acquired a global fashion outlook through the trade of goods stuffed in ‚Äėboxes‚Äô from Hong Kong .
In the area of social discourse; I will include the coining of terms that are uniquely applicable to the ukay-ukay trade and the connotations of certain figures of speech. Also of relevance are the roles played by the ukay-ukay proprietor: as castoff fashion expert dictating trends; as facilitator of brand consciousness; as price tag authority. Also of relevance is the proprietor‚Äôs ability to distinguish the seasoned local bargain hunter from the ‚Äėamateur‚Äô out-of-town shopper.