In the early 1960s, when the hippy movement first took off, their remit was clear: peace, love and understanding. It was a brand new message and one that inspired millions of people: young, old and in between.
Sadly the hippy movement didn't end war forever, bring peace to the universe or make everyone and his dog love one another no matter what. But despite the consternation all those weird hairy people caused by rebelling so spectacularly against the stiff, stern traditions and conservative culture of the time, they did actually manage to change the world. And that change is significant.
Now, more than five decades later, they're still here. People with the same kindly, tolerant, warm hippy values are still buying our bohemian clothing, UK and abroad. But what does it actually mean to be a hippy in 2015?
The hippy movement - Where boho values still survive
Is hippiness a fashion thing? It seems to have become so. While you don't need to drape yourself in rainbow coloured rags to be a hippy these days - it's much subtler than that - high street fashions are still inspired by and reflect the boho mind set. And hippy fashion still comes and goes like the tide, on and off the catwalk ever since the '60s. In fact our boho clothing has flown off the shelves decade after decade, something we can confirm since we've been running our shop since the 1960s.
Take harem pants. We've more or less always stocked them. And there's always a strong demand, whatever shape and style of jeans people are wearing at the time. Whether you're in skinny jeans, flares, loons, bags, oversized high waist vintage 501s or absolutely massive hip-hop denims, the harem pant is a boho fashion constant.
The same goes for the not-so-humble granddad shirt, another boho clothing item we've consistently sold for fifty years or more. They're practical, good looking and easy to wear...and as a result they're a proper hippy classic.
Every few years London Fashion week seems to focus its beady eye on boho clothing, hippy styling and the ethnic look. Then the trend passes for another few years... but even though trends come and go, our boho fashion keeps steadily selling. From our perspective the whole hippy thing is so deeply ingrained in British culture that it never really goes away.
A hippy state of mind - what does it mean?
You might believe crystals like amethyst, quartz and feldspar can affect your state of mind, happiness, success, love life, career and health... or you might think it's a load of unscientific nonsense. Contemporary hippies come in both flavours.
Dressing the part
You might be a rebel, someone to whom high street stores are the purest hell. There's no way you want to look like everyone else, a carbon copy clone. You prefer to follow your own star and create your own unique look. If that sounds like you, there's probably a hippy influence behind the way you feel.
That's not to say that having a hippy mind-set means dressing the part from top to toe. It's very rare to see a full-on hippy complete with all the trimmings unless you're at a fancy dress party. These days it's more a matter of mix and match. Our customers tend to buy individual pieces of hippy-inspired clothing and mix them with slightly more conventional, classic or high street fashions. You should see the amazing-looking individuals who come into our Brighton shop. The looks they create are absolutely stunning.
Do you dye your hair?
The British punk movement added vivid colour to the hippy hair mix and a lot of the people we come across in Brighton are still taking it to the next level. Take Michaela, who works with us. Her hair constantly changes colour from gorgeous sea greens and sky blues to mauves and purples, pinks and oranges. She isn't a punk. She isn't a hippy. But she knows her own style and has great fun playing with it. Does that sound like you?
Peace and love
Very few people would disagree that peace and love are good things, something to aim for, pass on to others and inspire your entire life. Love and peace are classic hippy attitudes but they're still alive and kicking today. Take the Occupy Movement with their 'We are the 99%' slogan. They believe in a fairer distribution of wealth and resources, an idea that was prevalent in the hippy movement. As Wikipedia says:
"The phrase directly refers to the US income inequality and wealth inequality in the US with a concentration of wealth among the top earning 1%. It reflects an opinion that the "99%" are paying the price for the mistakes of a tiny minority within the upper class. As of 2009, all households with incomes less than $343,927 belonged to the lower 99% of the United States' income distribution, according to IRS reports."
If you feel aspects of life are quite simply unfair, that's the hippy in you talking.
Standing up for your rights... and those of others
Have you ever put your money where your mouth is and actually protested about something you feel is unfair, wrong or unequal? Protests were the hippy movement's bread and butter, encouraging ordinary people to stand firm against the worst excesses of the authorities. These days there are numerous ways to protest, including online. If you've found yourself furious at the unfairness of contemporary life, signing online petitions, getting active on social media or blogging for a good cause like a person possessed, your feelings may well have roots in the hippy movement.
Green politics. Environmental issues. Conservation. Voluntary work. They're all hippy preoccupations and they're just as powerful today as they ever were. If you find yourself voting green, marching for gay rights, protesting against the drug laws, sleeping in a tree to prevent fracking, lobbying your MP online about local conservation issues or dedicated to saving the whale, you can probably call yourself a contemporary hippy.
Are you laid back or manic?
Hippies were famously chilled: relaxed and calm, unflappable and mellow. If you're flexible in your attitudes, trust the universe to do good by you and always expect the best from people, some of that lovely old hippy optimism is colouring your world.
Do you eat meat?
If you're a veggie or vegan, the origins of your beliefs lie with hippies. If you insist on organic free range foods, you're mirroring hippy values. If you dislike eating food stuffed with e numbers and additives, the same goes.
The power of kindness
Kindness ran through the original hippy movement like a beautiful golden thread: kindness to yourself, your fellow humans, the wonderful beings that surround us - whether furry or hairy, scaly or feathery - and the beautiful blue planet we all live on. Can you think of any other cultural movement that had kindness at its heart?
Buy your boho clothing, UK and beyond, from us
Just because you have hippy values, it doesn't mean you have to dress the part. But if you fancy exploring some of the most beautiful boho fashion in Britain, much of which is hand made in Nepal by our good friends there, click through to the shop and fill your boots.