I will explore the complex ukay-ukay phenomenon within the context of Filipino anthropologist Prospero Covarâ€™s Total Environment Framework and attempt to interpret its facets.
My exploration will cover the evolution of the ukay-ukay from the 1980sâ€™ â€˜generic street pilesâ€™ in the market area to the more upscale â€˜selectionsâ€™ in the cityâ€™s 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 â€˜boxesâ€™ 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 proprietorâ€™s ability to distinguish the seasoned local bargain hunter from the â€˜amateurâ€™ out-of-town shopper.