Tagged: new years intention


This I Wear | Water

“Water is the same as the blood in our bodies; stagnation brings on death.” – David James Duncan, DamNation

When I watched the documentary DamNation a few weeks ago, I found myself trying to hide tears from my boyfriend who was sitting next to me on the couch, because I couldn’t really justify why anyone would get emotional about a movie on dams. But there is something undeniably powerful about water. And tears are water after all.

The film, if you haven’t seen it yet, is a moving and stunningly beautiful look at how dams in the US were built to create progress, but now they literally are holding us back and causing more harm than good. From Washington to Maine, the dams highlighted don’t live up to what they promised and have damaged important ecosystems and the inhabiting wildlife. They have taken away livelihoods and sacred Native American grounds. They have created artificial (and under-used) recreation and drowned priceless natural beauty in water.

So by the point in the film when you see a dam exploding open and the water gushing forth, it becomes very easy to get a little gushy yourself. The author David James Duncan so perfectly captured the feeling at that moment in the film of why this liberation feels so vital: “Water is the same as the blood in our bodies; stagnation brings on death.” The release of the water instantly feels like a return to life.

I have never been interested in politics in my life, and I am too embarrassed to tell you the last time I voted, though I can confirm that at present I am registered to vote. But this film was just one more little watery gurgle that now is not the time for inaction or passivity.

Last summer, I realized that at the root of my interest in sustainability is a desire to live a life of kindness and compassion, for other people, for other living things on the earth, and for nature itself. It just so happens I’ve found my outlet to contribute to this through my work and lifestyle centered on sustainability. It’s just made sense to me. And like a healthy river, the fresh flow of life is always expanding my understanding of this.

This year, I am so excited to see where THIS I WEAR is headed. We’ll be turning three over the summer, and I’ve already got a few months’ worth of post ideas lined up. I am taking my cue from water and going with the flow, perhaps headed into uncharted waters but always embracing the vitality and direction the flow offers.

In fashion, we are more connected to water than we think: it ensures the growth of the natural fibers we weave into fabric and allows the colors we love to adhere. It cleans our clothes when they are dirty, and often carries away bits and pieces of our clothes into the oceans.

I hope you’ll be inspired by this flow and the opportunity to bring new life where there has been stagnation, to move beyond just changing the way we shop and dress but reconsidering how we live. This is the year we get closer to a more sustainable vision for fashion, and it’s going to take everyone to get us there. Luckily, we are not alone.

“Here is the river flowing, so great and so fast. There will be those that are so afraid that they’ll try to hold onto the shore. They are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know that the river has its destination. Let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river and keep our heads above water. See who else is there with you.” – Hopi Proverb

Want more? Patagonia’s campaign connected to the film, “Crackdown on Deadbeat Dams”, is in its final push, so watch the film on Netflix and then head over to Change.org to sign the petition if you feel moved to act.

[Images, left to right: still from DamNation by Travis Rummel, Charlize Theron for Vogue by Annie Leibovitz]

A New Year’s Intention

This I Wear | A New Year's Intention

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.

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