Connection is the nexus of the sustainability movement. It is clear we have lost our connection to the natural world; one just has to look at the massive degradation of biodiverse systems, and the rising pollution levels – and with increasing globalization – there seems to be an ironic loss of connection among people too. While there has always been division, and our species has a history plagued by cruelty, war and colonialism – we remain beings who need to be anchored in communities, existing as part of a whole. In order to arrive at any solutions for healing the deeply embedded wounds of this loss of connection and meaning, we must be urged to work, live and play together in harmony; to learn to connect and love each other as one human family, aware and acknowledging of our privileges and our place within the world. We ask you to connect with yourself and those around you; and Nature too, for this is who we strive to protect on the journey to sustainable and intentional living.
The divisive nature of the current economic ideologies lends themselves to create a society in which we think of ourselves as individuals, constantly competing with each other for success – rather than collaborators who together can share the fruits of our efforts. In sustainability, we often point to transparency and traceability; two key words alluding to the fact that most of what goes on in production is done in the darkness; leaving us as consumers ignorant of the true cost of what goes into our consumption habits. When companies, businesses and industry players collaborate – the potential to cultivate accountability that is transparent and traceable, in a truly sustainable way, becomes more feasible. As they say – a problem shared, is a problem halved. One only has to look at the creative collaboration that goes into staging elaborate runway shows, or creating beautiful films and albums; this potent connection through collaboration is a beautiful model upon which we can build our sustainable future. We invite everyone to have a seat at the sustainable table, assured in the knowledge that creative problem solving is the foundation of our ever-evolving existence as human beings.
Everyone is born with strengths and gifts for the world; honing our particular crafts can arise in all sorts of forms. In the context of fashion, we owe much to the artisanal craftmanship of indigenous people – and one such example of honouring this can be seen through the work of The Ethical Fashion Initiative, a collaborative project that works to create trading and work opportunities for skilled artisans to connect to the international market place. Their ethos is that providing aid and intervening in developing countries is disempowering, and robs people of their potential to become skilled, valued and self-sufficient. Providing ‘’aid’’ is in itself a problematic symptom of the West to make up for its dominating presence across the globe; so to witness movements like this highlights the importance of sustainability as a social justice movement – it is about shifting the narrative of oppression and subjugation of human beings and the earth, to a world that is inclusive, diverse and where our economic and political interests are transcended by our common objective; to make the world a brighter and safer place for everyone.
Sustainability is about creating sustenance in a way that is mindful and caring. It is a multi-faceted word, and can be used for corporate green washing – a common phrase for companies who appear to be tackling environmental and social issues, but this is done for a marketing ploy rather than an act of making a true difference. At Luxiders Magazine, we are committed to remaining positive in the face of such instances, as well as the notion of sustainable luxury; the idea that true luxury is about having things or experiences that are beautiful, bespoke and not paid for by the suffering of any being. We know in our hearts that our world is meaningful because of the connection, collaboration and crafts that we share; and we hope you come to know this too.
+ Words: Holly Beaton
Holly Bell Beaton is a writer and stylist with a passion for the intersection between biology, technology and design. Raised in Cape Town and of Swedish heritage, her travels across the world have encouraged and informed a global perspective regarding the future of fashion and its relationship to planetary health. She is currently working for a sustainable fashion label in Cape Town, South Africa.
Follow her on Instagram: Holly Beaton