In a world of mass-production and over-harvested resources, I find it a delight and a luxury to come across a responsibly crafted product, especially around the holiday season.  Unsurprisingly, living, producing, and creating sustainably has become a skillful artistry, and sustainable craftsmanship and process is quickly on its way to being the ultimate in luxury production.

It has been extremely encouraging for me to see the Slow Design movement taking root around us. One may see such artistry in the culinary world, as so many chefs joyfully curate the finest, locally raised ingredients with which to design. From olives in Georgia, to Alabama milk, I find hope and inspiration all around me.

And it truly is a luxury, one that I hope may become more common than not, that each of us will know the source and quality of their food. The openness regarding the source and quality of sustainable dining holds both the chef and the diner accountable, allowing both parties to take pride in their choices.

What a joy to see this movement creeping into the fashion world, as more and more are striving to close the skill gap to design and produce thoughtful and responsible garments. This careful process honors both the consumer and the producer, as the producers use techniques learned from and influenced by craftsmen before them, armed with age-old practices of creating a beautiful product. Sustainable fashion proudly speaks with the lovely, rich dialect of its roots.

Just a few who come to mind:

Nisolo Shoes rely on life-long, generationally taught shoe making skills.  The founders, while studying in Peru, noticed the high-quality of the shoes and helped the makers work together to create a business based on the quality and skilled production.

Boxcar Press is doing such great things with sustainable printing and we have respected the careful and traditional work of Hable Construction for years. And we have recently done several posts on some of our favorite Made in America companies.

As the holiday season draws upon us, I am hopeful that the movement of luxury fashion designers towards creating sustainably is not so much a trendy, knee-jerk reaction to a consumer cry for responsibility, but more of a thoughtful realization that “luxury” and “sustainability” are really not so different. And I also hope that these ideas will find their way into our homes and onto our friends and loved-ones bodies.

We have seen and truly believe in a wholly sustainable manufacturing process. We know that the terms “luxury” and “sustainable” might often be interchanged, though seemingly contradictory.  Luxury does not have to mean excessive or extravagant, but can imply quality, lasting value, and story.

Perhaps over quoted… BUT. Sister Parish comes to my mind over-and-over again:

“Even the simplest wicker basket can become priceless when it is loved and cared for through the generations of a family.”

It seems that sustainable fashion is not the new luxury, but, instead, the perfection and preservation of luxury.  This holiday (and in the coming year) let’s wear our luxury with pride, boasting in the special beauty of the piece as it is enhanced by the honesty of its complete story.


2 comments on “THE (NEW) HOLIDAY LUXURY

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  1. katie

    that was a lovely post, natalie. i will continue pondering the ties between luxury and sustainability.

    happy sunday, katie