UK culture minister Matt Hancock, whose department is also responsible for digital policy, said in a recent speech: "The hipster is a capitalist." He should probably have been told that calling hipsters hipsters is a bit of a faux pas, but he may have a point. The hipster’s reverence for craft, local fare and artisanal production might seem like a rejection of capitalism in favour of something more romantic, but the capitalists and hipsters haven’t found themselves altogether at odds. Perhaps that’s because, rather than fighting a battle against global capitalism, cultural homogeneity and economic exploitation in the realm of politics, hipsters have chosen ethical consumption as their arena: the politics of shopping. And, whatever form it might take, shopping is always ready to be harnessed for marketing purposes. The miraculous economic revival of the famous hubs of urban regeneration, from Shoreditch in the UK to Woodstock in Cape Town and Maboneng in Jo’burg, have all been closel...

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