A few years ago, I stopped writing New Years’ resolutions and started writing New Years’ intentions. This may sound like a small difference, but it is actually revolutionary.
Unlike a resolution, an intention can’t be checked off a to-do list. Instead, it’s just a gentle reminder to guide your actions throughout the year. With no way to fail, it’s more of an intention to change and expand your viewpoint or how you approach life.
This year, my intention took a little while longer than usual. I’ve gotten into the habit of starting to think about what my New Year’s intention will be before the December holidays, and unconsciously, I start noticing things that I’m thinking about and collecting ideas, storing them away for when I can sit down to reflect on where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going. And I like to let my intention brew – playing with the wording, trying it on in situations and noticing how it might encourage me to live differently before I commit to it.
Well, I finally arrived at what my 2014 New Year’s intention might be, and I was surprised to realize it had a place here.
As a late-20s professional finding her path, it’s been easy to get lost in the constant changes of life and the struggles experienced everyday. So this year, I intend to see abundance – to see the abundance of love, generosity, compassion, opportunity, friendship, laughter, and even money that can exist when I start noticing it and looking at things in a different way.
Maybe my intention or even the idea of setting intentions is a bit too abstract or kumbaya for you. And that’s ok. But I think it has a place here. After I determined my intention, I woke up the next morning and realized it worked right here within the philosophy of This I Wear and might give us a new way of thinking about the “shopping” problem, especially in the apparel industry.
Fashion is at a point of confronting scarcity. There is and will be a scarcity of resources to prevent producing and consuming apparel (and all the other things we make) in the way that we are doing it right now. And at the same time, maybe companies are scared that there will be a scarcity of profits and happy customers if they change their ways in recognition of this resource scarcity. And today, for many of us as consumers, we may see a scarcity of choice since so many of our options are poor quality, better quality but unattainable, or it’s just plain difficult to find things that we need that are produced in ways that match our values.
But what if all sides of the situation, consumers and companies and all the people in between, saw abundance instead? What would that mean?
It could mean an abundance of new connections, new creativity, and greater meaning in our lives. It could mean an abundance of materials found by creating new technology or upcycling garments and materials. Or it could mean that as consumers we see an abundance of choice in stocking our closets with things we acquire outside of the traditional marketplace – from shopping in our friends’ closets to swapping clothes online or buying secondhand and vintage. It could mean an abundance of opportunity to learn how to tailor our own clothes or make something from scratch! It could mean an abundance of connection in buying from and supporting emerging designers in our own communities. This list goes on.
I know there are a lot more ways that we can find abundance even as we take on the issue of scarcity. I’d love to hear from you on how you think the fashion industry or consumers can reframe this scarcity as abundance. Or share your own “New Years Intention” (or prediction) for fashion in 2014. Comment below to keep the conversation going, and here’s to an abundant 2014 for all of us.