Style & Sustainability: A First Step

Style & Sustainability: A First Step

I’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to introduce the topic of sustainability to the repertoire of subjects in the mix here on One Who Dresses. I’ve been finding myself struggling to figure out how to make sustainability interesting yet digestible, informative yet entertaining, substantive but also light. And I’m having difficulty because the fact of the matter is: sustainability is really central to the existence of this space. Why?

Because I think we get closer to our real style when we take our human spirit and our conscience along for the journey. For this reason, I want to create a forum that allows us to have an ongoing conversation about sustainability. Not from a theoretical perspective. Instead, I wish to foster a dialogue on sustainability that feels fresh, relevant, and most of all, helpful to our experience as modern women, working to balance the many demands and desires of our lives. I really believe that as women we care about getting dressed, we’re vested in how we look, and we are also troubled by the problems in the world at large. Part of the task of this emerging series will be to tackle these seemingly disparate desires in one space, and to shine a light on the fact that they’re actually more connected than they might seem.

The canopy in Puerto Rico's El Yunque Rainforest

The canopy in Puerto Rico's El Yunque Rainforest

So, I’ll start with a question: what does sustainability mean to you? I’d really love it if you would share your thoughts with me, either in the comments section below or by emailing me at nadine@onewhodresses.com. It doesn’t need to be anything more than a few words, an image, a quote, or some sort of definition that seems true to you. 

In the mean time, maybe it would be helpful if I tell you what sustainability means to me. I think sustainability means being regularly mindful about the impacts of my decisions on other people and the environment, to the point of assuming this mindfulness as a way of being. At its core, sustainability, to me, extends from respect—for what is Infinite, Divine, and Essential in our world, and in ourselves.

Importantly, I don’t see sustainability as a limiting construct, although I once did. What I mean is, I used to think valuing sustainability forced me into an “either/or” situation. For example, I could either love fashion or care about the environment, but not both. Over the years, I learned that this either/or interpretation turned out to be a very bad idea and a fundamentally false choice. Because, as it turns out, sustainability is actually all about “and.” And “and” (is that the first time three ands have ever been used in a row?) is one of the most modern concepts imaginable because it empowers us to have it all, not to have to choose.

Your turn. I’m listening.

 

The feature image is of the canopy on Mt. Kilimanjaro, which my husband Sherif and I trekked together in 2014. Either taken by him while I was experiencing altitude sickness or taken by me while he was. That pretty much sums up our entire experience.

When Style Meets Wedding Duties

When Style Meets Wedding Duties

Subzero Style & Siberia

Subzero Style & Siberia