SNAPSHOT: Slow Fashion with Rick Manayan and Hilda Vargas

Our upcoming Harvest Edition features a Slow Fashion Editorial courtesy of photographer Rick Manayan and model Hilda Vargas (both are gorgeous, badass, and the best companions). Peep the article, below, and stay tuned for more photos when our first issue drops next week.

As my socialist papa tells me, "the mall is where the revolution goes to die." It's not that deriving happiness from what we wear or the things we treasure is in and of itself bad: fashion can be a source of creative expression (rare bird of paradise, Iris Apfel and the vibrant designer Duro Olowu embody this notion with particular chutzpah). And most of us possess some object(s) in our lives that bring us real joy: a favorite fall coat, a beloved family heirloom, a beautifully bound book of poetry plucked from the $1.00 bin at a flea market.

What is environmentally unsound is when we buy from a place of scarcity, of anxiety, of boredom. When we seek replacements rather than repairing. When we shill out for a nice shirtdress even though what we are really craving is a sweet summer day spent in the sun. Consumption can be a numbing, soulless experience (see: malls). And the fashion industry alone consumes 33 trillion gallons of oil. Investing in fast fashion, then, is a vote for climate, social, and economic injustice. And man oh man, I do not want our society's penchant for the sort of threads that dissolve within a month to be the downfall of civilization.

So when you do choose to consume, consume wisely and from a place of genuine appreciation. Scour for secondhand and embrace sustainably made products. Buy (much) less and buy (much) better and with a keen commitment to ensuring that whatever business you are giving money to has equitable labor conditions and eco-friendly practices. A litany of disposable goods won't mean a fraction as much as the hand knit sweater you buy for a friend because she just moved from warm L.A. to blustery N.Y.

The most environmentally friendly option will always be working with what you have. Embracing products that are made with a minimal environmental impact and that help to maintain a culture of handiwork, however, can work in tandem with a sustainable lifestyle. The truest kind of conscious consumerism acknowledges that we can’t buy our way out of environmental and social ails: consumption isn't a cure-all. Living with less can open us up to the kind of luscious experiences—to connect, to explore, to collaborate—that you won’t ever find in a very shiny and very sad mall.

For our Slow Fashion Editorial, Model Hilda Vargas and photographer Rick Manayan take us on a tour of a gorgeous homestead in upstate NY. Hilda’s thrifted wardrobe works well with an olive green clutch from close to zero-waste factory Campos Bags and a pair of bamboo sunglasses from Woodzee. We hope these photos will inspire you to think differently about how you buy and to what end. And we hope as well that these snapshots serve as a powerful reminder that the sweetest things can’t be bought. Because the best part of this editorial wasn’t playing with clothes; it was sharing a loaf of rosemary bread with Hilda and Rick as chickens clucked at our heels and the sun shone golden on the end-of-summer garden.