Taking the next step

Lottie Buchanan

The year 2020 will not be forgotten by anyone who has lived through the unprecedented turn of events experienced this year.  Aside from the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 was a significant year for global fashion and cultural reform. There is no doubt that this year has changed how people think, what we value in our lives and the way we choose to live. With the New Year finally arriving, what is the next step? Apart from the obvious negatives that are sure to come, there is undoubtedly a wave of positive change building up on the horizon.

For us as a new jewellery brand, this year was the year to discover and create. Our East-West heritage gave dual insight into the spirituality of the two different places and created an artistic idea of the unity we wish for the world. Our core values rooted in Taoism connected us to the pandemic situation because its teachings became increasingly relevant to dealing with the personal struggles that everyone was facing. More than anything this year, we have learned the importance of mental health. Taoism is heavily focused on themes of simplicity, patience, compassion and ‘going with the flow’.  From these teachings the Tao Collection was born; We created a piece of jewellery as art that people could form a connection with and use as a spiritual guide on their personal journey. 

So what is the next step? For fashion, for us and for the world? In 2021 it’s clear to see that there is going to be new ethical responsibilities for the fashion industry. Sustainability and climate friendly products are already gaining popularity and brands that are not taking part in this shift that were once renowned for dominating the industry, are disappearing.  Within our brand we recognize that sustainability is vital for the future of our planet and fashion. It’s important to us to be a part of the change, so we are continuing to source natural and eco-friendly materials while still hand-making each piece of work. 

It is undeniable that this year has made people care and not just for the people and places that we personally see everyday. People care and are beginning to fight for those who make the clothes we wear and those who deliver them to us. Giving proper respect to the origins of popular styles and recognizing appreciation versus appropriation has also been highlighted. As a society we have created new connections with our communities and raised the bar of ethics with our consumerism that will help us to rebuild a better society in the future.  

 In Taoism there is a concept called Wu-Wei which translates to ‘doing nothing’ or ‘effortless action’. It is the idea of following the natural path that your life is taking and not creating obstacles or forcing things to happen. It has been described as letting your life flow like a river. It seems that although people have been stuck at home not living their lives actively the way they normally would, Wu- Wei had been taking place. So many wonderful things have happened because of this pathway that life has taken us down. For example air quality improved in many cities, the Korean movie ‘Parasite’ won best picture at the Oscars, Black Lives Matter became the biggest movement in history and opened up vital conversations on privilege and discrimination. Despite the circumstances these positive events still all happened! While the idea that we can’t control our journeys is hard to understand at the moment, when we take the next step it will all be worthwhile.