Everything that comes with spirituality and New Ages believes has had my strongest interest and believes since I can think. Once I started traveling it occurred to me that there is a whole world and belief system out there, which relies on the diversity and influences of culture – cultures that are underrepresented or not even existing in Germany. So, I found myself being in London or New York and slowly discovering the market of spirituality. Before going there, I quite frankly did not know what a Botanica is and that Conjure Candles are commonly sold next to coconut juice and household items.
This was more than ten years back, and now while I was so very much into the topic I didn’t know many others who were, but times have changed! Suddenly, we are all addicted to our Co-Star app and I even see my most potato German friends going crazy over palo santo and sound baths. What is it with spirituality that gets us going?
Social media certainly did its trick because, in the end, we all want to be connected – and here we can be connected with a purpose. We want to make sense out of the millennial existence, understand our dating behaviours, or simply gave a higher level to connect to feel less lost. Emptiness and exchangeability are the doom of our generation but not if we sage-smudge the hell out of these feelings!
Now, what has that to do with fashion?! The business anchoring exactly the most superficial and sometimes cruel aspects has a newfound love for the spiritual-because let’s face it: fashion needs a new purpose. Creatives and designers referencing the aesthetics or religion or occult is an old game, but being verbal about your own believes, holding Sunday Service instead of a fashion show (Mr. West), or selling healing stones at high fashion shops (Browns Fashion) is a new move.
For me, this is all very pleasant to witness, and now where I get most excited about is the trend of sustainable fashion and spirituality. Two movements that sound very different, one driven by technical facts and critique and the other by emotions and hopes. But why does it work so damn well?
The key is the concept of care. When you love spirituality, it means that you have a great portion of self-care and care for others going on. As Janja Videc from the wonderful Slovenian brand WITCHES SISTERHOOD told me, ‘new age spirituality focuses a lot on self-love and places individual experience to the front stage, but to me personally, it’s pointless talking about spirituality if it doesn’t include awareness of the consequences of our actions.’
The motivation she describes goes very well with what I would hear from my fellow sustainability professionals: it is about the bigger picture. Her brand works with organic and GOTS certified materials, all designs are crafted in Slovenia with a great level of care for the local economy. Especially in the context of designs, it becomes almost a personal matter, so says Janja further ‘Because when working I am always coming from myself and my feeling of the world so it is impossible not to reflect in my collections’. These thoughtful collections just would be not the same if they were produced harmful to the environment or people.
‘The key is the concept of care.’
Individuals working in supply chains and actually crafting your product are such a big part of the sustainability game and how fashion can give away vibes. Vulnerable individuals and production hubs in the global south deserve our greater care right now. Copenhagen based brand Casc8 works with artisan groups in India on recycling and hand-weaving techniques. The designer Sara is hands down one of the most sincere people I met in a while. Her general care and take on the project reflects on her brand and the communities she is working with. Especially in her limited edition, Green Calcite bag is the best combination of conscious fashion with healing powers-this is just magic to me!
Spirituality is something very personal and almost inwards while working with sustainability shows a more planetary based level or care. In the end, it’s two sides of the same coin. While I certainly don’t want to convince anyone of my beliefs, I just hope that the good vibes from my Green Calcite bag might spill over to the person next to me on U8 in Kreuzberg-because it’s 2020, and we all should connect and care for each other.