When the stories we live feel half unreal and half real, may we create a piece of art from the experience that can enlighten others when the mind is traveling at light speed, without grounding. To Write, paint, sculpt, or sing, is to focus our attention on our breath and observe our sensations; in this right way the art of living manifests when we are in front of the doors of perception. What we see is what we are. What we project is what we feel. May all doors dissolve in equanimity and full awareness, taking us all in the path of real peace, real happiness, real harmony.
Cuando las historias que vivimos se siente medio fantasía y medio realidad, ojalá surja una pieza de arte de la experiencia que pueda iluminar a otros cuando la mente viaja a la velocidad de la luz, sin aterrizar. Escribir, pintar, esculpir, o cantar, es enfocar la atención en nuestra respiración y observar nuestras sensaciones, sin apegarnos a la idea de "Yo"; de esta forma correcta el arte de vivir se manifiesta cuando estamos frente a las puertas de la percepción. Lo que vemos es lo que somos. Lo que proyectamos es lo que sentimos. Que todas las puertas se disuelvan en la ecuanimidad y en la consciencia plena, llevándonos así por el camino de la paz verdadera, la felicidad verdadera, la armonía verdadera.
To live simply, so that others may simply live
Frank Angiuli - Natural High Lifestyle
As I reflect on nearly 20 years of work experience focused on sustainable clothing and product design, I recognize that I've never really cared for the term Eco fashion for a lot of reasons. It doesn't exactly inspire a sexy provocative picture, but more importantly, fashion is trend driven, and choosing your clothing based on what’s currently "in style" is inherently not eco friendly. As a result, identifying and reaching your customer, in an already niche market, becomes more challenging, as the customer is reminded of the "do I really need this?” self inquiry, rather than pushed to the impulse purchase one finds in most traditional retail environments. Preferably, I think identifying the conscious consumer, who appreciates elegant design and quality transparent manufacturing is a more productive descriptor, and offers real staying power. Once you've identified your customer, you can continue to provide them with clothing and products that will ideally improve overall quality of life by suggesting comfortable mindful habits and experiences.
In my eyes, truly sustainable design is synonymous with modern design. Todays progressive designers and companies are taking the full life cycle of a product into account. This starts with sourcing fabrics. I chose hemp because it represents one of the fastest growing, renewable natural resources known to man, and is inexplicably illegal to grow in the United States. I set out to change the perception of hemp by offering simple beautiful clothing designs and complimenting it with a collection of products for the beach, farmers market and yoga studio. The power to suggest these destinations with the natural high lifestyle brand is an appealing way to market smart sustainable culture, while identifying an attractive and healthy customer base of mavens eager to share the word of well being . Today, recycled polyester fabrics made from plastic bottles are gaining popularity. This addresses the major environmental concern of plastic accumulating in land fills and spilling into the oceans. As long as we address the end of life cycle of the finished product by recycling it again, this too offers a sustainable solution, albeit outside of what would be considered a traditional natural lifecycle. Meanwhile, Patagonia is leading the way in this area, promoting longevity by offering free repairs and recycling old clothes at their retail stores. While most natural high clothes and products can end up on a compost pile at the end of their lives, most clothing ends up in landfills because many durable fibers and trims are simply not biodegradable.
Conscious design and manufacturing requires that human resources must be accounted for. Living wages, clean, safe working conditions, child free labor, and supporting the local economy are keys. Transparency is the name of the game in today's world of social media. Fast, cheap fashion like that offered by H&M and others that emulate them may greenwash their core business models by offering Eco fashion, but I for one will hold out to a higher standard. How do we live simply in a throwaway culture that many experts recognize as speeding out of control? Do we live our own truth and ignore the direction pop culture is leading the masses, or do we turn up the volume to bring our agenda to the forefront, despite it creating waves in our personal reality. Perhaps balance is the answer. A balance that can be practiced in yoga class, at the beach, in the work place and everywhere in our day to day lives. Maintaining equanimity is essential to our personal well being, and also can have a profound effect on the people in our inner circle, and those that follow us. Change begins within, and often is a direct reflection of where we choose to spend our dollars.
Gaia theory suggests that the earth is a living organism. The lungs are the oceans, rivers circulatory system and so on. Global warming can be interpreted as a stress reaction to an imbalance in the organism. A fever designed to help heal the invader causing the illness. Clearly the quantity and behavior of humans are stressing the planet. Its essential now more than ever to make choices that are in alignment with the needs of the planet. Unfortunately, even many of the most progressive technologies can have a negative overall impact when scaled to 8 billion people living on the earth today. We can make a difference however. It starts within. Staying balanced and healthy in our own body temple, while treating others the same way we treat our selves. Choose what you consume wisely. Choose quality over quantity. Choose renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable inputs while considering the quality of the expected output or what you will get from your purchase. Consider where and how it was made, the human resources required to provide it, the packaging it came in and where it will go at the end of its life cycle. We need to redefine a luxury lifestyle to suit the needs of a planet that is communicating in the only way she can that she needs help. Shop local, support local organic farming, bring your own bag and bottle, meditate and share the knowledge and perspective by living by example. To live simply, so that others may simply live…