Consciously Considered: BE MATERIAL-ISTIC

"We are too materialist in the traditional sense of purchasing all of these things, but in a different sense, maybe we are not materialist enough?" ~The Minimalists


I recently heard this while listening to The Minimalists Podcast at the gym. Let me quickly set the scene. There I am. Hating every moment of this self-induced, treadmill torture when I hear these words and a light bulb flicks on. I paused my workout for a moment to jot this question down. Then I spent the rest of my work out mulling over this statement.

As a society, we care about having things. We care about having a lot of things. The rise and success of fast fashion and mass-production is evidence of this. Culturally, we are very materialistic. At the same time, however, we do not really ask questions about the "materials" used to make that stuff we bring into our lives. Where do these materials come from and what is their quality? Are our goods being built to last? What is their impact on the environment? What is the true cost of the things we purchase? In this regard, we are not materialistic enough.

Whether it is intentional or not, where we each choose to put our dollar speaks volumes. Your decision between buying shoes from a slow fashion brand like Nisolo or from Forever 21 makes a statement about what you value. Quality or quantity? Handmade or machine made? Environmentally responsible or not? A business that supports a community of artisans in Peru or a business that has factories all over with very little transparency?

Whatever your preferences, they are yours to make. I am not here to judge. I promise, no judgies. I only ask that you shop intentionally. Make sure that your preferences and values align with the purchases you make and the companies you support. For example, if you want your shoes to be well-made, then do not buy them from Forever 21. You know they are going to fall apart in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Support the values that matter to you not just in theory, but by example. This should extend from big purchases, like a car, to the most routine ones, such as your cleaning supplies and the sweater you are wearing. It is important to care about the materials and processes that produce your stuff and inquire about them. I challenge you to be more MATERIAListic.

Click here to learn more about the values, materials and processes that go into every RESPONSIVE TEXTILES piece. For a crash-course, here is an overview:

  • Only high-quality, natural and sustainable yarns are used to make RESPONSIVE TEXTILES knitwear.
  • We mainly source yarn from mills in the United States, Canada, Uruguay and South Africa. However, we have also sourced yarn from Peru and Italy.
  • Garments are knit by me (Kristine of RESPONSIVE TEXTILES) on my hand-powered knitting machine. So no electricity is used in our manufacturing process, only arm strength. And yes, it keeps the arms toned.
  • Everything is handmade out of my Augusta, GA studio.

What a closer look at the process? Click here to go behind-the-scenes and see step-by-step, the making of the Sunlight Top. Have more questions about our materials? Please feel free to just ask! Contact the studio here.