15 Things You Didn’t Know about the Hipster Economy

22 May 2021

Are You Curious About the Contributions of Hipsters in the Economy? Read on to Find Out.

Tattoos – check

Beard / Top Knot or both – check

Artisanal anything in hand – check

Helping to grow the economy and support local business… we’re about to check.

Dubbed the “Flat White Economy” let’s find out 15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Hipster-Economy.

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Reading a boring article is such a non-hipster thing to do. Switch out to the video version of this article instead:

With that said, let’s move forward with the article.


The Definition of “Hipster Capitalism”

Garland Magazine wanted to delve deeper into what hipster capitalism really meant after a paper was published on Sage Journals titled “Hipster Capitalism in the Age of Austerity?”

Garland gave the example of an artist. Instead of an artist hanging around for the unlikely chance a major academic position becomes available, or they receive a massive grant, or their work gets snapped up by a collector, they can still use their creativity and become a tattoo artist.

This trend is driven by not only social factors but also the decrease of specific industries.

Their definition of hipster capitalism is using the skill one already has and instead of pursuing the “expected” course of employment, that skill gets used in a new, creative and helpful way.


The Need for “Hipster” Jobs to Be Filled Continues to Grow

Over the past few years, there has been a rather specific line of work that hipsters are associated with. These include yoga teachers, baristas, tattoo artists, distillery employment and anything vegan related.

According to indeed.com, “bartending is the most widely available hipster job.” They also confirmed that hipster jobs with the most postings were for bartenders, chefs, baristas, yoga, and tattoo artists.

On a sidenote, these findings were pre-Covid so it’s possible that as businesses are re-opening, there may be a shift in these results.

Let’s see what hipsters are earning in these fields.


The Salary for These Roles Has Increased Substantially

Aluxers, in the past, if you were working as a yoga teacher, barista or tattoo artist, the remuneration wouldn’t have been amazing.

But as the crafts have become more specialized and sought after, the rate per hour has also increased.

As reported by Personnel Today, a UK-based HR website – note again pre-Covid, salaries in these roles have increased. Tattoo artists made on average £44.10 per hour while yoga teachers made roughly £21.98 per hour. Baristas and bartenders made considerably less at around £8.10 per hour but that’s possibly due to longer hours of the job, compared to the shorter, more concentrated period worked by yoga instructors and tattoo artists.

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How the Hipster Industry Has Grown

PR News Wire just released a report on the exponential growth predicted for the coffee sector and specialist coffee shops. They say, “The global specialty coffee shops market is expected to register an incremental growth of USD 80.78 billion.”

We mentioned the beards earlier, and that means there’s a market for men’s grooming products. That industry garnered revenue of $56.2 billion in 2019, also brought forward by PR News Wire.

Globe News Wire predicts that the organic food market will be worth $272.18 billion by 2027 and the Brewer’s Association says the craft beer market is worth around $29.3 billion.

As you might have experienced yourself, buying products in any of these categories can often cost a lot and we’re going to find out why, next.

If you are interested in reading more about expensive beers, check out 15 Most Expensive Beers In The World


“Hipster” Products Are More Expensive and Here’s Why

For a start, many “hipsters” hear young, motivated person wanting to go into their own business… make everything from scratch. They source their products locally, employ locals and do everything themselves… and that’ why the cost is often more than your mass-produced varieties.

We often associate the products with the person selling them, and Aluxers, “hipsters” do not want to sell themselves short. And that’s advice we should all follow whether we’re hipster or not.

Price Intelligently published an article about how hipsters are driving up beer prices and their take was, that for hipsters it was all about image. They used the example of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer and stated, “Pabst knows that brand image, not taste, is the main reason hipsters are buying the beer, and they also know that cool kids can generally pay a little more.”


Australia Is Driving ‘Hipster Service Economy’

Australia is experiencing the same spike in job seekers looking for “hipster’ jobs. Between 2015 and 2018, there was a 38.5% increase of people seeking this type of employment according to The New Daily.

Research released by Indeed, confirmed Australia’s status as being miles ahead of other countries when it came to coffee culture.

Indeed economist Callam Pickering said “We place greater emphasis on great coffee and good food, and that’s being reflected in the hiring decisions being made, and the jobs we’re taking on.” He also predicted that, “Service industries are expected to “dominate jobs growth” over the next two decades.”


Not Everyone Supports the Hipster Economy

Aka, hipster bashing.

Hipster’s have been around for centuries; except they were known as Macaroni’s or Bohemians. And hipster bashing has been around just as long.

 Anthony Dursi, writing for Huffington Post, brought forward thoughts on why hipster bashing continues. He said, “It seems that commentators are conflating two different modern issues: urban sprawl/gentrification and rising economic inequality.”

He concludes his article by saying, “can we for one minute just celebrate the fact that our global urban youth thrive in multi-cultural neighbourhoods, celebrate and adapt to new trends and invest their money into local businesses?”

Which brings us directly to our next point…


Small Business Rely On “Hipsters”

One of the many things that make a hipster a hipster is the desire to find bands, brands and coffee that you don’t know about. And this means they’re all about supporting small, local businesses. You won’t see a hipster walking around with a Starbucks coffee in their hand at the mall, that’s for certain.

So, they’ll be at the local farmers market buying a loaf of artisanal bread and beautifully bottled home-made jam.

We mentioned this in our video 15 Things Loved by the Poor Until Rich People Ruined Them, where we said at a farmer’s market, you’re going to be charged a month’s salary to pick up an artisan bread and a hand-bottled strawberry jam… and hipsters are happy to pay for these items.

They know where their food comes from, they know they’re supporting small businesses and they know and appreciate the time it takes to produce the items they purchase.


“Hipster” Economy Is Opening a Whole New Line of Ethical Businesses

We’re not saying you have to be hipster to be ethical, but hipsters have played a huge role in pushing for ethical and locally sourced alternatives.

People want to live and wear their values. Hipsters are driving sales of ethically sourced clothing and manufacturing.

Other ethical business includes second-hand shops, including books, furniture, records and clothing. Any job that requires skills that people can learn without necessarily needing a college education, industries that look to uplift the community, and outlets that don’t require the support of big corporates.

These businesses are part of the “Maker Revolution,” as described by Mark R. Hatch. They’re artisans, crafters, DIYers, and inventors and they’re changing the way we change the world.


The Hipster-Economy Is Pushing for a “Moral Economy”

Aluxers, when it comes to a moral economy – this is a basic explanation. We all work to make money. Many industries make way more money than others, but each industry is important in the efficient running of society.

A moral economy would mean that people could do what they love in terms of employment but still get paid a fair wage. Many hipsters believe that a Universal Basic Income would alleviate these problems, but there are pros and cons to this as you’ll see in our video 15 Things Universal Basic Won’t Solve. Be sure to watch it.


What Does It Mean for Big Business?  

One of the big drawcards of the hipster-economy is authenticity, which is often what big business isn’t able to provide.

In a research paper by Ico Maly from Tilburg University, he cited Pine and Gilmore2008: 35, “In a world where businesses offer more and more deliberately and sensationally staged experiences, consumers increasingly choose to buy or not buy based on how genuine they perceive an offering to be. Authenticity is becoming a critical consumer sensibility.”

With that in mind, big business can grow along with the hipster economy, but transparency and authenticity are a must.

Aluxers, even hipsters can fail in this area as you’ll find out next.


The Mast Brothers Fooled the World

At one stage, you couldn’t go to a Shake Shack or Rag & Bone without encountering the beautifully packaged Mast chocolate bars selling for $10 each! You’ve probably bought one or at least gifted one.

These “bean to bar” chocolates were made by the Mast Brothers, a hipster duo from Brooklyn. A Dallas-based blogger accused the brothers of buying bulk commercial chocolate, melting it down and then re-packaging.

In an article published a few days ago by The Courier, they mentioned the Mast Brothers chocolate as part of their article titled “Premium Chocolate Market to Witness Steady Expansion During 2021-2027.” So, it seems there’s still a demand for their premium hand-crafted chocolate despite the controversy.


How Hipsters Are Helping to Drive the Plant-Based Movement

Aluxers, another industry that is seeing a surge in sales is the plant-based movement. Be on the lookout for a new video we’ve got lined up for you called 15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Plant Based Industry, where we really look into the industry.

Hipsters and food – they go hand-in-hand and according to Food Navigator these foods and hipsters are a match made in heaven.

Hybrid meat and plant-based products and anything seaweed related. This trend is not fizzling out as you’ll discover when you watch that video.


Hipsters and Gentrification

In every city there are certain areas that are considered unsafe, dangerous, run-down, unkempt, and going nowhere.

Bring in the hipsters and the area gets a sudden revival of sorts. Businesses start opening again and the area becomes more stable, exciting – even coveted.

One retired blogger, whose site was called “Die Hipster,” blamed the hipsters for driving up rent in Brooklyn.

It’s an interesting topic and one can argue both the good and bad of it. Reviving a tired area is great for local economy but driving up the rent where it’s no longer affordable for those living there already, is not so great.


Hipsters Have Helped Us Do Different and Be Different

The beauty about the hipsters and the economy is that they’ve taught us that we don’t all need to be building an empire to do great business.

People appreciate the product as much as the person selling it.

You can try completely outrageous business ideas and succeed and finally, you can go to your job every day and absolutely love what you do!


Aluxers, what is your take on the hipster economy? We’d love to hear your thoughts.