Life as we know it is about fashion; political, historical, cultural… Trends and anomalies, people seek to belong and stand out. I started off this blog as a way to show one of my then hobbies – amateur fashion design & fashion art but it’s moved on to incorporate much longer lasting interests. Unfortunately I couldn’t change the website address and didn’t want to start another blog but thankfully the name still fits, kinda. (Disclaimer – this isn’t a professional blog or advertising space, I’m not paid for content but do occasionally review items offered in exchange for a fair review.)
Am I Vegan or a Plant Based dieter?
I’m vegan, 11 years; regretfully didn’t start long before. Veganism is a lifestyle; for animals, the environment, human welfare and my personal health. I started for the first three factors and as I went along the last one was a direct benefit/effect. I learned more and more about where food comes from, what we are told are foods and how to forage, how food is produced, processed, affects the local communities, whether to leave it raw or cook/prepare it to make the nutrition more accessible for the human body and of course variety/increased choice of ingredients/products. I don’t fall into sub-sects of veganism because I embrace veg, fruit, wholegrains/grasses, nuts, seeds and beans (organic with hopefully organic seeds and fairtrade as much as possible, unrefined/non-pasteurized and filtered with reverse osmosis, distilled & UV’d water) and I use a variety of cooking/heating methods. I got into the personal health side because I was finding alternatives to what I was used to and trying to reduce artificial chemical intake from food/cosmetics/household products. I follow ayurvedic principles and holistic/homeopathic approaches for natural health and remedies/prevention. Whether my clothes are new or second hand there is no silk, leather, wool, fur or pearls. I realize it’s impossible to be 100% vegan as a modern day human in this reality/world we live in with animal bi-products everywhere, experimentation behind practically everything (and not labelled), human exploitation/vulnerability to toxic industrial processes/product handling and poverty all seen as common if seen through the complacency at all and what I call normalized atrocity. But I never stop trying to reduce or eliminate the non-vegan components in my existence; it’s not a matter/question of having enough money or resources such as time and availability, my being vegan is based on courage of conviction. Overcoming ignorance, having will power and the desire to be the most ethical is what it takes. I’ve wanted to be ‘good’ for as long as I can remember and have one underlying rule – not everyone is equal (anymore) but they must be treated fairly (I don’t forget and I don’t agree with forgiveness being an act of compassion, it’s given only if deserved and it can only have the opportunity to be deserved if it isn’t connected to something unacceptable) – that is what has allowed me to see that the arguments for and against ‘minorities’ are the same, it’s just the so-called ‘minority’ (even when the group is a majority) group that changes name/face.
Religion? Politics? Philosophy?
I don’t subscribe to any religion. I’m just looking as far back as possible and at any changes I find.
I was saying “I’m a member of the world/Earth” before Obama used it as a slogan though used ‘citizen’ instead.
I don’t subscribe to any particular political ideology either, even with the best intentions or what is marketed they get mis-used.
I’m Indian and born in Britian – does that mean anything? Depends, there’s things I like and dislike about both but that goes for cultures in general. I’m not one for patriotism or xenophobia.
If anything I look wistfully at the void/source/unmanifested and in terms of the manifested/living ethics is where it’s at, talent is just a bonus and is meaningless otherwise. Next to ethics is kindness, it can’t always be achieved in the realities we live in but if possible it rates high and things like fame don’t even register.
Am I a fashionista?
Nah. Thankfully I don’t have the burden of being a slave to fashion and I don’t feel the need to know what’s ‘in season’. I think life is stressful enough without the extra double edged candy of delight/dependency of ‘what’s in season’.
My personal ethos:
“If you put together clothes/accessories that look good on you, you like and are comfortable in then you will pretty much always be stylish – maybe not fashionable but definitely stylish.”
People always thought I spent a lot of money on clothing but the truth is I’m thrifty and practical, I’ve never had much disposable income and I live by ‘waste not, want not’. I basically look for quality that will last long, versatility that can be mixed and matched and value that is found from places like vintage/second hand stores/charity shops/auctions etc.
Remember at the end of the day ‘we’re’ here (the consumers) to buy, follow and make ‘them’, the fashion elite/people who decide what is fashionable, rich. They don’t really care about us or give us any credit for liking their work. They like those that defy trends like Gaga, as long as there’s only a few and not a large percentage of the population, because they can control that ‘rebellion’ by investing in it, cashing in – it’s another opportunity to make fashion for the rest of us. Not only do consumers create the wealth by buying, we are employed to do the work of making the garments, and then we buy/pay to advertise them.
I’m not a label buyer or a fashion buyer, I buy clothing I like and can afford without going into credit/debt that will take ages to pay off. Most of my clothes are second hand, vintage, charity shop, auction and I know when I have enough – I don’t just buy or spend for the sake of it. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have style. I’m just not into chain behaviour and I believe in quality/versatility/value. I like fairtrade, I’m not in to buying clothes whether cheap or expensive that have likely come from a sweatshop or underpaid overworked adult labour and I don’t want to haggle traders into buying from them at practically cost price either. I like fashion/adornment, the beauty of expression but I don’t think blood, sweat, tears, greed and ripoff should go into it and I don’t like the way its used as a tool for insecurity to pressure others.