There are undeniable signs of a collective awakening, a new kind of awareness. In the way mindful practices are spreading, in the increasing detachment from religious dogma, in the demands for ethical corporate behaviour and sustainable practices, in the quest for transparency in fashion, in the rise of veganism and organic food, in the resurfacing interest in tradition and durable products. In this article, the fourth in our five-part series on craftsmanship in modern times, we look at the connection between Craftsmanship and Conscious Living.
WHAT IS TO BE CONSCIOUS.
Conscious Living is about bringing clarity to every aspect of your life. Being ‘conscious’ is being aware of what you are doing, knowing why you are doing it and taking responsibility for your actions. It means listening to yourself and making deliberate choices based on your values and your truth and on the general awareness that your choices, whatever they are, bear consequences: on yourself, on the people around you, and the planet. It means waking up to your life in the present moment and realise that every small action makes waves like ripples in a pond.
A conscious life is a deliberate and thought-out life. It’s the refusal to wander adrift, letting others dictate your wants and needs. Conscious Living introduces the concept of you not as a separate person but as interconnected to all other people and things. This is the very basis of Conscious Living. And by simply becoming aware of the interconnected nature of all things, you will begin to see the effect other things have on you and the effect you have on other things.
WHERE THERE IS CONSCIOUSNESS THERE IS POWER.
So, why live more consciously? The more ‘consciousness’ one brings to any aspect of life, the greater power there is. Power to make a positive change or influence an outcome. Power to experience a deeper level of fulfilment and joy. Power to create and choose. Being conscious means being aware that you, your words, your vote and the way you treat others and spend your money, matters.
The happiest and most successful people in the world practice Conscious Living, whether they call it that or not. In fact, the road to happiness and success in anything is often paved with gradual steps towards a more and more conscious lifestyle. And by success, we mean success that positively contributes and connects with as many people as possible, all the while keeping your loved ones, your health and your practice of inner peace and happiness first.
We can be conscious of being conscious. Noticing when we are ‘present to life’ or ‘checked out’. When all of our senses are engaged, or when we are numb. Where there is lack of consciousness, we live our lives out of conditioned habits and impulses — which may or may not serve our highest potential and happiness. There is so much to pay attention to in life, it is easy to go on ‘autopilot’, to go unconscious. Unfortunately, wherever we are on autopilot, we’re not consciously directing our lives.
BUT HOW CONSCIOUS ARE YOU?
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably more conscious than the average person. There are likely aspects of your life where you are very conscious. Maybe it’s your health, and you’re keenly aware of what and how much you eat, and how frequently you work out. Maybe you have made your first steps towards meditation, spirituality, yoga. Maybe you’re conscious about the environment and have made choices to recycle, buy organic food, reduce your meat consumption, oppose the relentless trend cycle of fast fashion and shop from sustainable brands. And, likely, you are conscious of your authentic self — your likes and dislikes, your fears and desires.
But waking up to life is an everyday journey. We don’t just decide to ‘live consciously’ and we’re set. In fact, the more one investigates consciousness and lack thereof, the more one may realise just how many areas aren’t fully conscious. The more we become aware of the world we live in, its dynamics, its politics, the media and other forces at play, the more we realise that countless are the fields where our choices and decisions can make a difference.
We can be conscious of our thoughts and beliefs that are shaping our lives. Beliefs about ourselves, others and the world. Beliefs about what is good and what is bad. Thoughts that are true or untrue in reality. We can be conscious of our choices.
What do you say ‘yes’ to? What do you say ‘no’ to? Will you eat healthy or junk food? Break the law or follow the law? Be considerate or rude? Vote for a party or their opponents? Buy cheap made fast-fashion or durable products made responsibly? Every word we speak, every vote we cast, every penny we spend matters and contributes (or not) to changing the system. And has consequences: on us, on our loved ones, on the people around us, on the environment, on the next generation. Where are you ready to expand your consciousness?
CRAFTSMANSHIP AND CONSCIOUS LIVING.
The recent years have seen a growing interest in craftsmanship, precisely because of the increased awareness of the impact that fast fashion has on climate change, pollution and habitat destruction, as well as modern slavery and inhumane working environments. There’s a growing trend of customers who actually care how and where their garments are made, who understand what they are buying, who demand products made in an environmentally and socially conscious way. And the way they spend is changing the fashion world.
When we choose to buy a T-shirt or a pair of jeans made in countries ruled by oppressive regimes, who do not share our values, where workers do not enjoy any protection, where the environment is not a concern for the authorities, we align ourselves with the corporations that off-shore their production to these countries and with their governments welfare and environmental policies. Are we conscious of that? When we start asking who actually makes our garments and make a purchase only once we get an answer that matches our values; and we choose to pay more for quality clothing or footwear made in countries where the laws protect not only labour and environment but also us as consumers; then we are signaling that it’s time for a change.
Those who live consciously tend to pay tribute to the makers, especially those that use traditional craftsmanship and innovative techniques that cut out waste and pollution. Craftsmanship is where consumers can reconcile their love of fashion with conscious living. A new more conscious lifestyle opens up new doors. And as it's all about quality over quantity, it often revolves around timeless style, modern living and contemporary design.
CONSCIOUS LIVING AT UNTAMED STREET.
UNTAMED STREET was born out of an immense appreciation for artisan work. Our focus is to work with artisans who tell a story through their work in a socially and environmentally responsible way. We strive to address the needs of the conscious consumers, those who share our ethics; those who understand the importance of preserving ancient traditions in a fast-paced fashion world that threatens each craft. Craftsmen and customers together, empowered to make a difference through what they create and what they buy.
Thank you for reading our article and sharing our passion for handcrafted products.
This article is part of a five-part series. Read our previous article on modern Craftsmanship, THE PARADOX OF SUSTAINABILITY IN FASHION.
the editorial team.
* * *
At UNTAMED STREET we embrace craftsmanship. UNTAMED STREET collections are all artfully handcrafted in Italy, in the Medieval town of Montegranaro, Marche with locally sourced materials. Producing high-quality, handcrafted products is a collaborative enterprise with our suppliers - small, family-owned workshops whose obsession for craftsmanship matches our own.