Clothing trends are funny. When early humans used animal hides to cover their body, there came a new generation of loom-spun fabrics that boasted of more refinement. Then the refinement went on to such an extent that animal hides were replicated on fabric and people flaunted leopard prints and zebra prints. Then it became a sign of class to wear actual animal fur instead of artificial prints. Later, the animal activists rose to the occasion (thank god) and started a revolution that made it uncool to wear fur. And now humans are back to looking for plant-based fabrics that actually looks like fabric and not like animal skin or anything else. I read all this from the research that the lady who wears me is doing for her latest article.
It was fun knowing how clothing has such an intimate relationship with human beings. It kind of made me reminiscence about my personal relationship with human beings and what I understand about them. After many centuries of being second-skin to human beings in the form of my ancestors, I can say that the human spirit is something that always amazes me. I mean, it is incredible how brain won over brawn and humans fought their way to the top of the food chain. But then, somewhere along the line, I think it all became too much of humans versus nature. Humans seem to have created a bubble around them and forgotten that they are a part of nature too. Even crops that are grown for commercial use are facing dire effects of this imbalance so it is easy to imagine how the wildlife must be affected. Another unfortunate development that comes out of this whole thing is climate change. Although us Linen folks have it easy as flax is a resilient crop, certain crops like cotton are affected negatively due to climate change and thus the clothing industry is also indirectly affected by all this. This again affects the humans in a cyclical way and the only answer to all this seems to be sustainable living practise.
When I look at people around me, I can’t help but admire the kind of intelligence that humans have. It looks like stuff that can make impossible things possible. Sadly, their greed seems to be blinding them and taking them off-track. Consumption has to be reduced to a sensible amount in order to bring back balance. To reduce consumption of clothes, I suggest buying sustainable clothes that can be styled in multiple ways like the saree and the blouse that can be paired in multiple permutations. Also, long lasting fabrics such as the Linen itself should be embraced and more creative ways of wearing old clothes should be thought of. There is no meaning in following trends blindly. Instead, I feel that people should define their own styles based on their own intelligence. Trends are just imaginary anyway. Cycling is back in fashion after the craze for speed-beasts so how far can recycling be? Recycled clothes are always so much more fun than boring clothes, right? Maybe, people can find more meaning in going back to simple fabrics like Linen that have stood the test of times.
I mean, Linen sure was used to cover mummies in Egypt but that shouldn’t deter people from wearing Linen more often. Maybe the Egyptians used Linen not just to preserve their physical bodies but also because they took only the most precious things with them to their tombs!