March 28, 2019 9 min read
LEATHER + VERSUS VEGAN LEATHER
I was a raw vegan for 8 years and a animal rights activist. I completely understand the thought process and confusion around this topic.
I dug really deep into it as a reflection and ended up down allot of rabbit holes.
Plants have feelings too, so therefore in order not to consume or hurt anything we would have to be breatharians . When I realized all living things have intelligence and feelings my mind was blown. How can we say a tree is less intelligent then a goat ? or cow ? how can we say we understand the intelligence of life on the planet. Who am I to say this life is worth more then that life.
All life consumes life, it is a cycle and circle, and lets be real drive a car ? fly on planes? use paper ? get stuff delivered ? do drugs ? wear clothes made out of toxic things by people paid 140$ a month or less for 6 days a week far away from families in horrible conditions. Who if they ask for 160$ a month get shot at and some worse? .
Go deeper down this rabbit hole ? what’s wrong with fashion ?
It’s one of the most damaging forces on the planet environmentally and in human rights ? why ? because everyone wants everything cheap , fast, and disposable .
The problem is there is a huge cost to that one you don’t see. Ever been to a sweatshop ? ever lived in a developing country ? ever seen real poverty ? can you imagine living on 140$ a month ?
Why are they paid so little ?
Anyone making more then 30K a year is rich on a global scale
these rich people have been programmed to want to shop
Shopping is like a drug and so is consumption
these people have been programmed by companies who only care about the bottom line
to only shop when its cheap to wait for sales to get it cheap fast and every year
throw it all away to buy more stuff
all of it was made to sell you stuff you don’t need
the entire beauty and fashion industry is created to make you feel like you need
cheap polyester plastic non breathable things which were made to fall apart
so these companies go around the world and try to find the cheapest labor possible
and if someone complains about human rights they move countries
these companies pressure in direct or indirect ways the factory owners to do more for less
the factory owners then have to pressure the garment workers
leading to people making 140$ a month or less all around the world
making cheap clothing out of things which will kill the ocean and the planet
that will never bio degrade that are toxic to wear
An estimation offered by the Environmental Protection Agency says the average individual throws away 70 pounds of clothing each year, which generates 14.3 million pounds of textile waste.
that waste is killing our planet, the animals and you, and guess what we have this idea its ok but its not.
So leather ? fur ? Silk ? expensive ? slow ? why ?
Well after zooming out and connecting the dots between our consumption, the planet, the animals, the humans and all life. I ate raw food vegan for 8 years and was a activist for animal rights and now I use leather + fur + silk primarily . I make “expensive clothes” “ slowly “ and I feel it’s the correct thing for me to do. How and why did that happen ?
So unless we get rid of about 1/3 of the worlds humans the planet can’t go vegan and survive currently without allot less humans . As long as humans eat animals there will be animal skins and bones. Throwing them away is wasteful more so throwing them away to make plastic that is toxic and will kill more animals and the planet in the long run and us then just using the skin of the animals we are eating.
WE really need to use everything and leave nothing unused.
We use goat and sheep which is what people eat here and it the bi product of the meat industry they are using the whole animal and if I can find a cool thing to do with the bones it will be next. Leather breathes, it last forever one jacket last you a LONG time, yes the dyes are not ideal but everything is dyed so it’s no worse then anything else your wearing except maybe organic non processed hemp or bamboo and even that has impacts.
Isn’t it better to have 1-2-5 coats that last you 10-20-50 -100 years ? and save a bunch of things from landfills ? I mean where does our “trash go?” I know its easy to not think about the magically disappearing cans until you see this.
Our goal is to make clothes so beautiful and so valuable and so expensive and so well you NEVER EVER throw it away.
Because yes the death of a animal matters , but the death of everything on earth hangs by a thin thread of balance we have mostly destroyed as humans and if we don’t stop we will go extinct , that or if the sun explodes or a comet hits us or who knows the earth decides it is sick of us hurting it and just finds a way to protect herself from us by eliminating us.
we use goat fur same animal as the leather we created a in-house processing technique to make it soft. It last forever it is warm and its expensive so it won’t end up in the ocean or a landfill. We honor the animal , and its life, and we all need to honor life more period ours, our planets, animals . This idea life is disposable and consumable is the problem not some fur and leather.
Expensive but last forever and well I hope the worms are ok, but we honer them to , it is breathable durable and beautiful.
As the owner of the company who grew up poor in US standards 6 people making 30k a year. I understand “ I can’t afford it “ but I have tried over and over to get our price points down lower and I can’t without sacrificing more things I can’t sacrifice .
In the last three years I have often been fed by my partner , friends or supporters because even with our sales trying to pay a fair wage, trying to figure out how to do this eco friendly, and treat my tailors well I often turn around and put everything I just made back in.
I am trying to re-create the structure and system of fashion not just be cool and make designs. I want to find a way to pay my tailors even more, and use even more eco friendly materials and create better ways to make fashion not harmful.
It’s not .
You have been programmed its expensive you have no idea the true cost of fashion.
Most people don’t . If I pay someone middle class wage in a developing country even other brands say its too much, I want to pay them more . I want them to not worry about money or food or school. It’s hard because everything I pay them to be fair makes your clothes too “expensive”
I don’t want to use materials that will fall apart, so I don’t but guess what the real deal isn’t cheap. Silk + Fur + Leather last but is not cheap. Why do I use it and not polyester like a bunch of other “expensive” and “fast fashion brands” because it feels bad. Its bad for the planet and fine you don’t want to buy my clothes it’s ok. I can’t change my ethics for you. I try to use as little plastic in my fashion as possible.
I have worked hard to restructure to reduce our bottom line, I gave up my house in LA and live in a developing country or with friends so I can try to make this work. When there is no air to breath and no water to drink and only money to eat I will remind you if we do not change all of our consumption habits we will all end up eating paper and go extinct as a race.
life is worth more then consuming
so I really want my customers fans friends to think about this before buying anything.
If you can’t afford to buy from me, go to thrift stores, sew, go to etsy, re-use, recycle, or support other companies trying to change this industry . I get it and yes compared to companies who have no issue destroying a planet or hurting people for a low price point we are expensive .
This is why I do what I do. I don’t care if you buy from me. I do care if you think about this so please do every single time you shop I do and when I buy something from anywhere part of me cringes if its even close to anything I just spoke about.
Why do we have to wait so long?
for now until I find the right financial partners who care more about vision the quick profits the way I have been able to do this is to only produce what people want , the way we survive is to use the profits to keep the structure as stable as possible so we can invest in the future of our vision.
It would be way more “fast” and profitable if I just sent my patterns to a sweatshop and let them run with it . But would I sleep at night , no, and well this stuff takes time. Every thing is hand sourced every part of the process is touched and thought about. So it takes time, to choose the skins, to translate the vision, to cut it, to sew it , to check it, to pack it, to ship it, and to create it.
I would love to stock our top sellers soon once I find the correct partners or grow a little more but until then I NEVER want to throw anything away and am proud to say I have sold every piece of RITUAL and even a bunch I shouldn’t have sold. Slow is way better then fast everything that is quality made from furniture to fashion takes real time.
is what is killing the planet , animals and us, fast is not good for us the programming was made for us to be born, become slaves, make money give it all away, and then we end . Thats no way to live and so this whole fast grow up, fast consume, fast work, fast end , is a energy thats not good for anyone humans animals or the planet and so
I used to hang out with Simon Sinek in NYC when I lived there debating with him about why. He was working at a ad agency at the time we met when I modeled for him and we were friends. He took it to a whole other level and I feel his work is something everyone should see and learn from . https://startwithwhy.com/
Why was always something I asked , as a kid it was the question that got me in the most trouble.
Why ? got me spanked, in time out, and seen as the “black sheep” and why continues every day all the time everything I do I ask myself why .
So my WHY for RITUAL was I could sit around all day writing, blogging, creating but what was I doing ? was i making a difference or was I just another sleep walker making money burning it and making more .
Because I care about the future , I care about our future, I care about the planet, I care about people, I care about people feeling happy, free loved and empowered and because I care I wanted to do something . I created a company because I knew it may take me a long time, I may fail , but if I do not maybe I can take all my feelings of caring and wanting to do something and actually contribute to change through a brand .
Why? because even if you never buy anything from me or my brand if you question why you consume what you consume . If you start to care little more and maybe even tell others then well if that spreads fast enough far enough we have a chance of not destroying this beautiful planet and all life on it .
Which is exactly what we are doing with our fast +consumption
We are like the nothing and we are the only ones who can change it .
No one but us can save us from our future . We collectively create it.
I can’t change everything so I am trying to put one small dent in a small blue dot because
I love that blue dot and everything on it and I don’t want to see it and everything be buried in our consumption.
Those nightmares and visions have haunted me since I was a child and seeing it happen in real time causes me to feel so much the only thing I can do is use my being, my art, my voice, and this little thing I am making to try to push back agains the energy consuming this beautiful place I currently call home . For paper that won’t save us when there is no air to breath or water to drink.
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