ECO-FASHION & PATIENCE

By Patti DeSante
 

There is a wonderful satisfying feeling when you sit at a park bench and your feet don't touch the ground. This is rare for me because I have a 35” inseam.


You swing them. At least I hope you swing them. I do. There is beauty and joy in the swinging.


I feel present as I swing them. I try to take a selfie of my feet swinging. I think to myself, “I am going to write about this in my next eco-fashion blog.”  I take a photo, but can't seem to get a good picture.


First thought, “My legs look fat.” 

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The inner critic is loud today. “Really, I think to myself. Is this the first thing that arises for me when I get present? Is it to take a selfie of my state of presence and then criticize the way I look. God almighty..something has gone wrong with my presencing..”..Inner critic overload.

I live in Vancouver, British Columbia, part-time. Presencing is the language of Vancouver, although I am not convinced many are genuinely present, including myself in this circle of disembodied yogi’s. Blame it on the coffee and weed. I know I know, I am so critical in every statement. Well that is being present. Noticing your inner state at any given moment minus the judging..I am judging.

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I am also aware of my love of wildlife as I sit wondering how on earth this moment connects to my next fashion blog. You are probably wondering the same thing.

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I suddenly become aware of how I will miss this particular ecology soon. I also abide in the Warm Heart of Africa - Malawi. I will be leaving in a month.There are many differences between the two cultures.

 One Cultural icon of the Ngoni People of Malawi.

One Cultural icon of the Ngoni People of Malawi.

 

"Gwada, umvetse.” Kneel down in order to understand.

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Malawians are present without any efforting. They are walking embodiments of one of the many benefits of being present. They are PATIENT. Their Patience is there bow, their kneeling. They offer an ecology of presence and ultimately patience that humbles us westerners and also lightens our earnestness. Patience often dissolves in laughter and this transmutation is a necessary tool in the quest for planetary sustainability.
Malawians OWN the strength of Patience. Ok I admit patience can be carried to a neurotic, like waiting for a bus to fill for five hours before it even begins it’s torturous 12 hour journey without even a peep from anyone asking, “When are we leaving?”

KudeKha

Patience in Chichewa, local Malawian language. pronounced Koo-day-KAA

Patience is born when we create a pause between our experience of a feeling and our response to that feeling. If we spend time with our experience the thoughts, the feelings and sensations that arise we may gain insight and our intentions and actions take on an active focus, clarity and vitality. This life enhancing virtue is contagious. 

Eco-fashion at its core is synonymous with the virtue of Patience. Yep, I am capitalizing it for a reason. TO BECOME PATIENT WE HAVE TO PRACTICE PATIENCE and that is tough.

 Zuhal Kuvan Mills-Eco Fashion Educator

Zuhal Kuvan Mills-Eco Fashion Educator

Of course eco-fashion education is critical. But education alone does not necessarily transform a society to choose less harmful habits. We know this. We all still drive cars. We buy things we know we don't need including eco-fashion and go on vacations when we know others are starving.

So we will as this blog develops, unpack and understand more intimately the underlying beneficial qualities that eco-fashion practitioners strengthen for the purposes of contributing to a larger field of overall planetary sustainability.

 Green Embassy. This fabric is made from ghost nets, plastic bags and bottles collected from the ocean

Green Embassy. This fabric is made from ghost nets, plastic bags and bottles collected from the ocean

We will be asking eco-fashion designers, activists, educators, consumers, and distributors, key question’s like, "What do they find in their eco-fashion experience tests their patience or lack of it the most and how has it ultimately translated and brought benefit to their relationships outside of fashion?"

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Eco-Fashion praxis goes beyond simply being a new lifestyle afforded by trendy hipsters supported by liberal parents who simply adopt eco-fashion as their brand of alternative social do-gooding neo-capitalistic planetary exploitation. Praxis, as the educator Paula Friero understood was an inventive and interventive way of life that encourages free, creative reflection and thoughtful action in order to change the world, (for the better), even as the learners are transformed in the process. From an integral basis we can examine fashion patience more comprehensively. From the subjective and objective individual experience to the cultural, social and economic collective experience, eco fashion as praxis is an industry that can enable us to transform how we relate to everything with a greater sense of clarity and capacity to do less