Some are feeling the heaviness of change, transition, uncertainty toward the future. We must never forget that the future is inside us and we make decisions every day that shape our world. It’s Thanksgiving again, a time for for gratitude and appreciation, family, and present-mindedness. But I’d be hard-pressed to find someone not ingesting fearful news of post-election fallout, or at least more of the same hyper-critical reactions to words and speculations about the future of America. Even more ubiquitous as we approach this traditional day of thanks, rest, and celebration of abundance is the reality of the injustice and oppression inflicted on Native Americans and peaceful water protectors at Standing Rock. A conflict that seems to have been been cyclical yet constant since the genesis of the United States of America and the conquest of this land. Could it be part of a larger inner conflict, division, or a disconnection with ourselves, others and the land?
In order to change oppressive systems, we, the people who operate them, must change. If we slow down and listen to people, the planet, if we are more conscious about where we spend, donate, or put away our money, if we think about small changes, like in diet, clothing, and consumption, then we can slowly, steadily, and sustainably shift to a more intentional, connected, and compassionate world.
So this year we are calling for a Black Friday Rebellion. Buy from fair trade businesses, small businesses, people you know personally, locally. Support groups or organizations that support the environment, like Patagonia, that work with the disenfranchised, or groups and movements who are trying to break the cycle of mass consumerism by directly connecting with the hands that make our stuff.
We imagine a future with people that more intimately connected to our clothes and other products. Clothes that carry intention and meaning. Teysha intends to create a platform and an example for how we can encourage people to not only take the time and have the patience to get a pair of custom boots made for them, but to consider their role in actually participating in the designing of shoes and textiles.
Teysha’s new Earthweaver application will allow consumers to digitally design a pair of handmade boots or smoking slippers by choosing textiles that are woven by various cooperatives and individuals from Guatemala, and in doing so, directly support indigenous weaving communities and curate new designs.
We imagine a future where people can design their own clothes with meaningful intention and expression, and more importantly, directly support makers, artisans, and creators of beautiful threads, kicks, and things. Teysha is a bridge for artists to collaborate cross-culturally, and with technology, it is possible to connect people in positive and creative ways and offer a realm for crowd-sourced, designed, and curated fashion. We hope that, concurrently with the inevitable and urgent shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, fashion can change from an industry of cheap, massive production, to a conscious, direct, ethical, and sustainable means to care for ourselves and the planet.
So, if you are considering an alternative to Black Friday madness, consider designing and sharing some one-of-a-kind Teysha boots, create works of wearable art, and support culture and community amidst the confusion of consumerism.
Teysha is also doing a one-for-one blanket campaign to support Water Protectors during the coming winter at Standing Rock. Buy a blanket or design a pair of boots and Teysha will send a warm woven mountain blanket to those facing the cold in North Dakota.
We should be grateful and joyfully celebrate the gift of life, all of our blessings, and the abundance that everyone has all around, an abundance that comes from Mother Earth, who we must honor and protect if we hope to continue to enjoy her gifts.