The early 2000s saw the rise of online shopping and fast fashion. At the time, we saw the world recession, then in 2005 came along Youtube, Facebook, and the exponential rise of internet usage and new low-cost ways to run businesses that promised big returns. All of this happened pretty recently if you think about it, but just by the blink of an eye we are now consuming at a higher rate than ever, and businesses are cashing in on the binge consuming of products we don’t really need. Alain de Botton describes our modern day addiction to our smartphones, the main source of our consuming behaviour, ironically on his most recent youtube video called ‘The Problem with our Phones’ on The School of Life channel. “We consult our phones rather than ourselves”, he says, adding that “we are yet so far from the technology that is required for us to flourish.” In other words, Botton is describing the deep underlying truth that today we are so plugged into the capitalist paradise of the internet that we have lost touch with ourselves.
Thankfully with every movement comes an anti-movement, and if there is one that we’d hedge all our bets on, it’s ‘mindfulness’. Coming back to our senses, withdrawing from our fast paced monkey-minds that scream reaction, and floating above to take role as the observer, mindfulness is the key to connecting back into reality. Without mindfulness, we don’t have the capacity to deeply care about the wellbeing of our planet, no matter how many sad Facebook videos of dyeing whales spam our feeds. Without mindfulness, we can’t question why we have the sudden urge to buy that H&M stretch denim skinny jean, because we won’t really understand that we are really running away from our true feelings of fear or self-judgement.
So in the Ponytail space, we are over the moon to hear news of mindfulness taking root in the garment industry. Our friends at Heddels have shared a recent video they made about their visit to a ‘post-consumer-waste’ recycling plant in Karachi, Pakistan, that transforms used denim jeans into new cotton fibers. This wonderful thinking has made way for a process that allows manufacturers to create new garments directly from old ones. Out of the tonnes of used clothing waste, we see a speckle of light shine through. The Heddels team explored the new recycling technology with the system’s designer, Ampelio Del Lago, and how it could help keep some of the 26 billion pounds of clothing thrown away by Americans annually out of landfills and in circulation. Hope is here.
Video produced by open-end agency.