the problem of human existence.
(via this read that I loved)
Love is the only sane + satisfactory answer to
the problem of human existence.
(via this read that I loved)
Overalls are made to layer...nothing new there. The various stylings of this pair of overalls from Ali Golden caught my eye though. My default thought on wearing overalls veers toward pairing them with fitted tees + tanks. Layering a cardigan overtop is cozy + looks great...but can present a little issue throughout the day...on + off. ;) I had almost decided that jumpsuits + overalls just don't work for me as well in the winter. Then I saw these outfits...all using the same pair of overalls.
I enjoyed seeing a few layering options that I don't usually consider...looking so good here. Monochrome layering...layering a sweater or button-down underneath...and a bunch of footwear options that change up the look too.
I love finding a little bit of inspiration to increase the versatility of what's already in my closet. So...I'm reconsidering wearing my overalls in winter (+ always love them for spring, summer + autumn). :)
All lovely photos via links.
the beautiful in-house production space of Conscious Clothing
A recent series in the New York Times (see * below) offers insight into the lives of garment workers + young shoppers around the world. The two groups are so closely linked, yet many shoppers have never really thought about where their clothing comes from.
We most often compare ourselves to those in our perceived tribes. This might be an instagram tribe, a style tribe or a tribe of proximity (school or mommy group or coworkers...). We learn thinking, behaviors + new norms from the groups with which we spend our time. Even much of the so-called ethical fashion community online ends up creating desire rather than contentedness.
When we compare the ways that we are able think about + consume clothing...to the ways garment workers have to think about more basic needs...it creates perspective.
"Seamstresses are the key element in the fashion chain, we are the ones who put the clothes together," said [a seamstress from Brazil]. "You basically have to kill yourself in front of a sewing machine in order to provide for your family." (via)
These articles reveal some heartbreaking testimonies from garment factories around the world...including in the United States + China. They even raise questions about origins that may be presented as ethical:
-How do we know that a made in the USA label = fair wages?
-How do we trust the wording on a brand's website about the origins of their clothing?
-Does a brand really know the conditions under which their garments are made?
So, what can we do? Again, the principles of the fairdare serve us well. We can reconsider "need". We can wear what we have...mend + repair...refashion...swap...shop secondhand... and make our own clothing (with attention to fibers + commitment to longtime wear). When it comes to purchasing "fair" clothing, we can look for:
-a small brand with the designer making his or her own pieces
-a brand that makes ALL of their clothing in-house with commitment to makers' well-being
-a brand making their product close to home + making frequent visits to the factory
-a brand using traceable materials + a commitment to every part of the supply chain
-an item of clothing that is fair-trade certified
Both brand + consumer need to prioritize farmers' + garment workers' well-being higher than getting the cheapest product possible. As consumers, we can read the fine print on the brands' "about" pages with a critical + educated eye. Education comes from reading articles like the ones linked here. They contain so much information + have caused me to be even more critical in a few areas. I'm in the process of making a few changes to the ethical brands page. We can vote with our dollars. We can let brands know when we'd like them to do better + also when they are doing things that we love. Articles like these are also incredibly helpful in reigniting resolve + encouraging action. Remembering that there are garment workers with concerns for having enough food, the education of their children, the health of their parents, and being forced into labor puts my own closet concerns in perspective.
All lovely photos via link.
* check to see if your library offers online access to newspapers (ours does)...this is helpful for newspapers like The New York Times with limited allowed articles per month
Not only are the photographs in Making a Life beautiful + transporting, but the words of the artists are thought provoking + stretching. This is a book about the why of making rather than the how.
I identify with not only the desire, but also the need to make things with my hands + to make them beautiful. Like so many of the makers highlighted, I gain joy from making, testing + discovering.
Simplicity often prods me to think about the necessity of objects being made + where sales come into the picture. Yes, I receive value from creating beautiful things, but do those things have value in + of themselves? Do they have value if they are not necessary? How much stuff do I need to bring into this world?
At the same time, what do I lose by not making?
From Making a Life ::
Melanie Falick: In traditional society, hands-on competence, learning to do what is expected of adult men + women, is what growing up is about.
Ellen Dissanayake: Yes. Girls were taught to prepare food, boys to make animal traps + fishing nets. In some groups, only females or only males made pots or wove baskets. All these skills were acquired as a matter of course by watching + interacting with others, and the skills were within the capability of all normal people. Today, although they have the 'freedom' to choose their own paths to satisfying work, not all young people can figure out their own place in the larger world, where it is difficult to acquire the skills that will bring the money + prestige that have become the measure of success. In traditional societies, a material object that one made was tangible evidence that one had accomplished something, even though it might not have been 'the best'.
We're all spinning on blue
Watching the same clouds
Breathing in, breathing out
A few of mine ::
-lots of candles
-a cozy blanket
-good (library) books
-good warm drinks (chai is my favorite)
-roasted root vegetables
-warm treats (especially apple crisp, pumpkin bread, popcorn + cookies)
-a good movie
-a walk under cloudless or starry skies
-cutting snowflakes + hanging them in windows
Sometimes I can forget what truly brings warmth + simple pleasure to this season of frigid temperatures + darkness. Revisiting this list periodically keeps me from looking for contentment in the wrong places. It's not about having the right blanket or tea...it's about taking notice of the no longer cold toes + the warmth of the cup.
If we fill our lives with simple good things + are constantly grateful for them...we can be full of joy. This is a discipline...a chosen way of thinking + living. Make a list that speaks to you + get to it. ;)
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time