This sustainable clothing maker takes a more nuanced look at the positive aspects of newness.
How do you feel about new? If you follow the fashion world, you'll notice that newness is a critical part of headlines like: What styles are in? or What's new for spring? I think part of the attraction of new is that it wakes us up and reminds us that we're alive and experiencing something unique (which, if you think about it, is undeniable).
Rose Gerstner is the founder of Sympatico, a collection of womens hemp and Tencel clothing. She regularly blogs on topics dealing with sustainable clothing and artisanal fashions.
New isn't valuable in and of itself but only in relation to us as individuals or as a culture. New can be finding a different way of wearing an article of clothing. Or perhaps an addition to your wardrobe necessitated by a change in your life. New is the child of creative adaptation.
And without getting too seriously philosophical, reality seems to consist of one brand new moment after another. In fact, many spiritual practices urge us to live in each new moment rather than dwell in the past or worry over the future. The Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh continually talks about the freshness and coolness of each new moment. His exhortations to live mindfully in the present applies to all of us, irrespective of our spiritual background.
Everything is changing all the time. That much we know about reality; in fact it’s the resistance to change that gets us into trouble. In the ‘60s, we said, “go with the flow.” Another way we might have said that is, “Live in the moment.” That’s not to say we forget all about the past and the future. Rather, we’re no longer so preoccupied with what already happened or what is coming in the future. Instead we meet each new moment as it arises.
Even though there really may be “nothing new under the sun,” as the maxim goes, a different take on an old reality can be just the ticket to inspire us to start seeing things in a fresh way. That's when newness approaches creativity and where much of its value derives. Saying something in a unique way, expressing the truth of the moment, describing the human experience— that's always valuable.
Take a walk down any supermarket aisle and the goods on the shelves will call to you with their labels proclaiming how they’re new and improved. But beyond the confines of a marketing ploy, the quality of newness is essential and inevitable. And thank goodness for that! To be caught in a Ground Hog Day-like world in which every day follows the same outline would be stultifying, don’t you think?