by: Dominic Basulto
Who knew? Apparently, the opposite of "shoplifting" is "shopdropping." According to The Consumerist, shopdropping is when people print out "improved" labels at home and attach them to items in retail stores.
(Usually, there's a vaguely anarchic bent to all this, so don't think that shopdroppers are doing retail store owners any favors -- the labels are intended to point out especially egregious capitalistic practices that went into the making of the product.) Here's a link to a quick video about shopdropping in New York:
"Shopdropping is a tactic used by artists and activists to clandestinely place altered or recreated objects into retail stores. Handmade labels were printed out for students to color, cut, and paste. The project featured real people who make the products, their name, and sometimes even a story. The intent is to reconnect the labor with the product. To shopdrop on your own, go to www.PeopleProducts123.com. There you will also find useful information on fair trade and labor rights."
If it all sounds like a potential plot for a movie, well... watch the "Director's Commentary" for the Jude Law & Juliette Binoche film Breaking and Entering, now available on DVD. The original premise for the film was that a group of people break into a London home and leave behind items (rather than steal items) in an attempt to help the owners figure out their lives.