‘We’re doomed’ So you might as well be happy and live perfectly by your values

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Esteemed social scientist and policy maker Mayer Hillman who has over 60 years of experience predicting the outcomes of macro social behaviors, says, with a beaming smile, ‘We’re doomed. The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so.’

Today with CO2 concentrated in the atmosphere at over 400 parts-per-million we’re beyond ‘the point of no return’.

‘Hillman accuses all kinds of leaders – from religious leaders to scientists to politicians – of failing to honestly discuss what we must do to move to zero-carbon emissions. “I don’t think they can because society isn’t organised to enable them to do so. Political parties’ focus is on jobs and GDP, depending on the burning of fossil fuels.”’

‘Without hope, goes the truism, we will give up. And yet optimism about the future is wishful thinking, says Hillman. He believes that accepting that our civilisation is doomed could make humanity rather like an individual who recognises he is terminally ill. Such people rarely go on a disastrous binge; instead, they do all they can to prolong their lives.’

‘Can civilisation prolong its life until the end of this century? “It depends on what we are prepared to do.” He fears it will be a long time before we take proportionate action to stop climatic calamity. “Standing in the way is capitalism. Can you imagine the global airline industry being dismantled when hundreds of new runways are being built right now all over the world? It’s almost as if we’re deliberately attempting to defy nature. We’re doing the reverse of what we should be doing, with everybody’s silent acquiescence, and nobody’s batting an eyelid.”’

With the high probability that the end is near, it seems that one ought to live without fear nor without holding oneself back from one’s most earnest desires. Of course this doesn’t mean we should stop respecting people and planet— it behooves us to do so even more.

We need to STOP pretending, right now, that large companies that leveraged exploitation of cheap labour and lax environmental regulations for fast fashion 40 years ago (when warnings of environmental destruction were already imminent) will be able to become sustainable and continue ‘business as normal’ by the year 2030 (which is the goal at which all UN Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved by all stakeholders within the fashion industry- a timeline which already seems to be just too late).

As consumers, we have the power to change the fashion industry, the second most polluting industry in the world, by choosing what kind of clothes we buy. Stop buying new clothes from companies whose mission is to sell you stuff. Stop buying new clothes from companies that continue to use toxic synthetic chemicals in their supply chains. Stop buying clothes from companies that greenwash you into believing that wearing their ‘recycled clothes’ that used more energy and resources to recycle than make virgin fabric from organic cotton are ‘sustainable’, whilst they go burn all the clothes from last season’s collection the didn’t sell. Stoping buy clothes and bags made of plastic: Polyester, polyurethane, acrylic, nylon, spandex, lycra-they release bioaccumulating micro-plastics that are probably in your drinking water and salmon on your plate.  Stop buying clothes and bags made of fabric that comes from regenerable wood pulp but is processed using caustic chemicals that are released back into the environment. Think before you buy something, know what you’re buying and why.

Live by your values that you understand to their very roots of origin. Tell that girl/guy/they you like them. Give your parents a kiss. Hug your pet. Finally take that next step to becoming who you want to be, a step into happiness. You might as well do it now, as the world as we know it is probably going to change, very soon. Even if we’re not doomed, you’ll still be glad you did it.

 

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Fashion Week Discoveries

Fashion weeks are exciting, beautiful, laborious and get you thinking. Attending and working backstage at Milan, London, and Paris fashion weeks were invaluable experiences, and I met some amazing people. Exposing myself to these events made me realise however that I don’t want to invest my time to become an unpaid intern just to land a pre-existing job in an industry in need of more deliberate reformation.

By the second week I was on my way to the Ferragamo show and passed by a homeless man prostrated on the floor, seemingly unconscious or asleep with his hand sticking out as if waiting to accept help or a handful of coins- a sadly typical urban scene, I know- but I really took it to heart, and my heart told me that it didn’t make sense to continue fighting for this pre-existing spot in a largely self-absorbed industry in need of massive change. I love fashion, but aside from being the second most polluting industry in the world, spending hundreds of thousands to millions of euros on a fifteen minute show with a rocket ship that moves up and down isn’t fashionable, and shouldn’t be the future. Can someone please change the channel?

I got over the spectacle of it all and got used to walking in to and/or saying hi to people like The Sartorialist (street photographer Scott Schuman), Anna Wintour, Suzy Menkes, Anna dello Russo, Caroline Issa, Christian Louboutin, and Rihanna. They’re just people doing their jobs and being celebrated for it. Go follow your heart and do your job, in fact following your heart is your job.

 

 

Retiring a Pair of Shoes

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My dad bought these shoes for me in 2007, when I was in grade 8. I’ve worn them throughout the weeks for a good ten years. They’ve seen many things. Why just dump them out? Being sentimental, something key for sustainability and connecting with Nature, I decided to put them on display for a while, until, perhaps I’m able to frame them in some way. It’s great to be able to look at a pair of worn out shoes, (that aren’t necessarily completely worn out, although the more worn the better, I guess), and to feel nostalgic for all the places and memories you walked with them in.

If you don’t care much for your shoes, don’t buy them, and don’t just toss them in the garbage. Hack them, and make them into something else (a planter?), or drop them off at a convenient shoe recycling location (Thanks Nike).

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-Le Flâneur

The ‘new’ Renaissance

 

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I was reading some of Vivienne Westwood’s published diary and came across her thoughts on the renaissance era we are currently living in, an era where ancient knowledge is being re-discovered.

During the Renaissance period between the 14th and 17th centuries,  ‘Basic, common-sense “truths” that had stood un- questioned for centuries, even millennia, were eroding away. The Earth did not stand still. The sun did not revolve around it. The “known” world wasn’t even half of the whole. The human heart wasn’t the soul; it was a pump. In mere decades, printing boosted the production of books from hundreds to millions per year, and these weird facts and new ideas traveled farther, faster than had ever been possible.’

Ancient texts dating before the time of Christ that live on in many of today’s indigenous cultures tell us many things about what life is all about etc. that seem to be re-surfacing in today’s trends. Things like, understanding that plants and trees are all networked together and communicate with each other, and that plants and water react to the emotions you share with them. People are cutting meat out of their diets, questioning the ‘status quo’, and demanding sustainable living. Instead of the printing press, today we have the interwebs, accessible to more and more people around the world, helping them, in the same way Pinocchio became a real boy through his educational struggles, become not puppets, but real men and women, boys and girls, who live from their hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.

Carry on, people of the world, be yourselves, be courageous in Love, and in the process of practicing Love you’ll directly be re-connecting to Earth and putting a halt to climate change. #climaterevolution #fashionfutures #love #peace #earth #justbe

 

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-Le Flâneur

Why do I choose to go vegan?

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It’s hard being vegan. Even for someone like me. I ate cheese yesterday, but didn’t realise I ordered it, but I ate it anyways, because it was in front of me, and I was weak. I ate feta and cream at brunch today. There is regret. It takes a lot of effort to be yourself in today’s world. I didn’t forget to thank and pray for the cows and goats though. You can only pray so much however and if you aren’t taking any action the praying probably isn’t coming from the heart.

So it’s ‘Veganuary’, as disgusting as that may sound to some… But hey! The Animal Agriculture Industry is the number one contributor to green house gases and human induced Climate Change.  And if, unlike Trump, you hopefully believe that climate change is real, like me and many others, you’ll decide to go vegan, at least a couple times a week, if not everyday.

Choosing to go vegan however hasn’t just been an ethical issue; being vegan has provided a number of quality of life benefits (aside from making me less anxious and more hopeful that Climate Change will slow down if more people go vegan):

-clear skin

-higher energy levels

-lower food bills (in theory, as meat becomes less and less subsidized, and more vegetables and other crops are planted to feed people and not livestock).

But where do you get your protein from?

When people say that plants have feelings too… Plants don’t show the clear feelings of fear and pain that cows, pigs, chicken, and fish do. Plants don’t quite run away. Plants were designed to be harvested. Humans designed ways to hunt and kill, by choice. Have you ever seen or read about a man killing a deer, antelope or cow just with their teeth? Nope humans aren’t lions.

The milk of other animals was meant for the babies of those animals, not for humans! 

And if you think that the dairy industry in Europe is humane, small dairy farms seem to be quickly disappearing

And unless you really know where your eggs came from…  Don’t eat them.

At the end of the day, since all animals and animal products originate from plants, instead of inefficiently going through animals for nutrients, why not just go straight to plants? Well maybe because more land in the USA, for example, is used for Animal Agriculture rather than edible plant agriculture, so fresh veg is generally more expensive than it ought to be…

Anyways less talk, and more action! Go vegan and plant more vegetables.

Remarks on Citizenship

A ‘citizen is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) as, ‘A legally recognized subject or national of a state or commonwealth, either native or naturalized.’ Citizenship is, ‘The position or status of being a citizen of a particular country.’

Following Theresa May’s speech where she said, ‘If you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’ indeed makes literal sense in line with the definition above. Yet as the Prime Minister of a nation that was a key player in propelling globalisation in the first place, May does not take into account the semantic leap of what the phrase ‘citizen of the world’ means. The OED defines this phrase as: ‘A person who is at home in any country.’

Indeed, you do not have to be a world elite to be able to feel at home in any country; with the proliferation of refugees in the world who truly are citizens of nowhere, but of the world, this is an insult.

To close it all, aside from semantics, May seems to undermine what it means to be a citizen of a city, state, or nation.

To be a citizen one must actively take part in society, without negligence.

‘Being a citizen was a big thing in Ancient Greece. Education was their tool for making a good citizen that would be helpful in decisions and war. Each citizen would feel that they had a share in the decisions, which were their right and duty. And that is what it meant to be a citizen in Athens, Ancient Greece.’

Did citizens act on voting ‘Leave’ for Brexit? With the amount of people who openly stated they wished they knew more about its consequences, let alone even bothered googling its consequences before making a decision, the amount of negligence that occurred during that historic moment makes it clear that true citizens of the United Kingdom did not vote; vulnerable human beings uneducated about the world by their government were merely brainwashed by whichever camp spent more £ on marketing.

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P.S. Whenever you see someone who is meant to be serving the people wearing patent leather boots and red gloves (Think Pope Benedict XVI)… Think twice.

Flâneur-ing: West London

Walking through the memorial by Hyde Park Corner

Bumping into a protest for peace in Syria

Walking through I felt the sound of fighter planes in the sky. As a civilian, London felt in that moment like a safe haven because of its borders in a world that’s seemingly at war. Are borders real? What are borders?  The world is full of contrasts. In architecture too. Without contrast we can’t see.

Esperanto

People often ask me why I can speak a number of different languages and why. Ideally I’d like to learn all spoken languages of the world in order to communicate with all verbal communicators of the world (not to exclude those non-verbal speakers).

I was happy to have been told about the Esperanto language by a German friend over a Diwali celebration the other evening (talk about cultural mixing). Esperanto of course means, hope. It is a language originally constructed to help unite all people of humanity regardless of culture, that is often most conditioned within our minds through spoken language.

To learn a bit more about Esperanto and its cognitive effects check out this TED talk.

My first stanza

[inspired by the Nowness ‘My first appartamento’ series ]

A true designer awakened to his or her inner purpose doesn’t only design products to fulfill material desires, but simply designs life for transcendental sentiments that in turn won’t cause any suffering. When a true designer designs his or her own living space, it becomes a temple, a sanctuary, a place of refuge. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just thoughtful.

| Snappets of my first stanza (room) at the Sir John Cass building in E. London |

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