Guardarrr #21: Pay attention to the atypical

Esta es la versión inglesa de mi boletín, puedes encontrar el mismo texto en castellano aquí.


I’ve been dressing badly for the last couple of days.

Not badly according to whatever rules of elegance or the current trends. That stuff does not usually worry me. But I’ve been dressing for a couple – or four – days in a way that doesn’t reflect who I am. I’m putting on clothes that don’t really do it for me, as if I was dressing with my eyes closed… and the result feels like a badly chosen costume.

It is neither a surprise nor a mystery. I have been very busy, I am in a house that is not mine, I have access to very few clothes. Objectively there are too many other things occupying my mind for me to worry about clothes.

And that’s exactly what I wanted to talk about today: to suggest that we pay attention to the moments when our normal priorities disappear. If I am obsessed with healthy food and meal planning, under what conditions do I start to live on Snickers? If having a clean and tidy home is my zen, when does it no longer matter and let it become a snake pit? If you know that your mind needs meditation and your body – stretching, what is enough for you to forget these needs?

Obviously, there are times when a profound change in priorities is to be expected. If you are passing complex exams, moving, mourning, having a wedding, pregnant or taking care of small human(s), change is normal.

That is why I’m more interested in the moments when there is no great reason for you to suddenly stop doing something due to lack of bandwidth. Tell me how it is for you in the comments, but I don’t need a serious crisis for this to happen, just thinking many things at the same time is often enough.

When I feel so saturated that clothes lose all their importance, I think of Sherlock Holmes:

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. […] It is a mistake to think that this little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent.” (Conan Doyle. 1887. A Study in Scarlet.)

That vague frustration with what I’m wearing is an indicator of the limits of my little attic being breached. If I notice in time, I try to stop and do a little mental tidying to make sure that those concerns truly deserve all the space. It is not easy, especially if I have already entered the crisis mode where I am convinced that there is no time for any pauses whatsoever. But I also know very well that ignoring these signs of mental exhaustion is even more dangerous.

And we shall talk some other time if I might happen have too much attachment to expressing my identity through clothes…

Los buenos modales al lado del mar: no coger nada, incluidas las conchas, no dejar basura, incluidas las colillas, y saber lo suficiente sobre el ecosistema que te rodea, por ejemplo, qué es la famosa posidonia.

Gijón, capital del antitaurinismo español.

Is Renting Clothes Really Better for the Environment? + The original study + And, of course: Renting fashion can be green, argue clothes renters.

Can Luxury Brands Ever Really Be Inclusive? Consumers Are Not Convinced: “Younger consumers see the concepts of luxury and sustainability as contradictory, which is understandable, as some brands’ apparent attempts to tackle social challenges have come after they received widespread criticism for their own apparent failings, as opposed to in a more proactive capacity.”

What I want to do in this newsletter as well at some point: Patina section by De Bonne Facture.

And that’s it for this week! I hope that you enjoyed reading and would be very happy to hear from you, regarding the unexpected preference changes or anything else… in the comments below, via Facebook or Instagram, or via e-mail at luize.ratniece [a] gmail .com

Guardarrr is a weekly bilingual newsletter dedicated to sustainability and mindfulness in fashion. It is written by Luīze Ratniece, a sociologist and textile activist based in Barcelona. Guardarrr is both a tool for reflection and a crowdfunding channel for the wardrobe tracking app that Luīze is building. If you read this newsletter and value it, please consider going to the paid version to fund this project for a monthly equivalent of a coffee + pastry. Each subscription warms my heart immensely and helps going on, thank you so much for being here with me!

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