We have been thinking, researching, and racking our brains about how to educate people about the failures of our clothing industry. We have put our marketing caps on. We want to make a compelling argument about why you should buy our clothing versus something that was made in a sweatshop. Choose OWL’s hoodie over any other mainstream hoodie you can find. We could give statistics. Define what a sweatshop is. Share a story; put a name to the people that make mass produced cloths. But what would that accomplish?
At times it seems all too much. How do we as humans solve such a massive problem? A problem that is so systemic that many of us don’t even know it’s happening or what it really is. We all know sweatshops exist, no one likes them. No one shops for sweat shop clothing. We all want to support companies that treat their employees ethically, in theory.
But how do we make that happen? Can we shop ethically and still put food on the table for our families? Do we buy that one quality item or two that might make it through a season? How do we take on the stress of things that are happening an ocean away when we feel the weight of our own lives on our shoulders? What do we choose to make a priority?
What we at OWL keep coming back to is encouraging thought. Thought about where our cloths come from. How they are made? Maybe not thinking in a revolutionary way, or in a form of protest, but from a place of appreciation. How was this garment transformed from a plant with its roots deep in the earth to an piece that can take you to a different place and time. Who’s hands spun the fibers into yarn. Who’s arms were sore after a day’s work weaving at the loom? How did we get to a point where it is even possible to turn plant into fiber? Can you feel the history that you are bathed in as you walk through life clothed in our ancestor’s blood and innovation?
The clothing industry is deeply dysfunctional. It is the second greatest cause of pollution on earth. Art and fashion are brought to the average person on the backs of some unfortunate soul who they will never meet. That hurts. It hurts our land, our water, and our people. Maybe the small step of considering can make a difference. When you feel that fabric. When you test that fit. Think. Think about all the hands that have touched that garment. Does it make you feel good…in your heart? Does it make you feel like you are keeping a tradition alive? Does it feel like something your child will cling to long after you are gone?
As we continue down our path, as a company, are doing our own thinking. Thinking about what we are doing right in our personal and business lives and how we can continue to evolve. We have the same struggles as many of our customers. We grapple with this big problem that seems too much to overcome at times. OWL’s commitment to you is to continue to create with a spirit of transparency about our process. By keeping our focus local we have more control and awareness of how our fibers are grown and how our fabric is produced. We will continue to learn about the humble craft of fiber, fabric, and clothing production while always keeping it honest and true. We invite you to join us on this journey because from here things can only get better.