The Spirit of Our Clothing

Hand embroidery samples, 2015. Ania Zoltkowski.

Hand embroidery samples, 2015. Ania Zoltkowski.

“Everything that is dead quivers. Not only the things of poetry, stars, moon, wood, flowers, but even a white trouser button glittering out of a puddle in the street... Everything has a secret soul, which is silent more often than it speaks.”  - Wassily Kandinsky

Aboriginal spirituality implies that not only do animals and plants have souls, but even rocks have a soul.

Ancient Greek philosophers Pythagoras and Plato both believed that the world and the Universe itself was infused with an animate Soul.  

In Bolivia, the government passed laws in 2010 and 2012 for the Law of the Rights of Mother Earth,” - which recognise Nature as having ‘all the rights, powers, duties, and liabilities of a legal person’. 

In the Japanese Shinto tradition, there is no distinction between animate and inanimate objects. Everything lives.

Spiritual and ancient traditions, have long believed that everything in this life is sacred, and must be revered. There is no difference from humans, to birds, to rock. 

This has me pondering whether our clothing, carries more within it than we care to recognise. 

If we take this belief, and understand that everything in this life is sacred, then aren’t our clothes sacred too? 

And how are we contributing to this sacredness or aren’t we?

Is there an energetic difference between clothes that are crafted with love, care, attention and intention, as opposed to clothing that is manufactured in exploitive conditions, with materials overly-extracted and infused with toxic substances, made under the direction of CEO’s who prioritise profits and growth over care of the planet? 

Is it possible that clothes can carry the energy present throughout the different parts of the supply chain, from the cultivation of the raw materials, to the workers conditions, to the intention of the designer, and that of the shop assistant selling it? 

Do all these supply chain touch points, contribute to the overall energetic frequency of the finished garment? 

Could our clothing be holding onto the flourishing or the trauma of the supply chain it went through to get to you? 

And if so, how is this effecting us the wearer?

What do you think?

(* Thoughts I’m pondering and further exploring within my work).