by Celine Semaan Vernon
Take a moment to contemplate.
Dear Space Ship Earth,
We now have been roaming around you for a little more than a year. Our journey has opened our minds to something that astronauts describe as The Overview Effect. A sort of a shift in our understanding that suddenly becomes clear: we are floating in space, on a vulnerable yet strong and beautiful planet and we are in this together.
They say the main reason we went to Space was to be able to look at the Earth for the first time, this dynamic and alive place, that is glowing all the time. We needed to see it in order for us to understand it.
Recent scientific discoveries of Neutrinos from outside of our solar system are yet again a proof that the Universe is alive and moving. Another evidence that we are all interconnected.
This is how astronauts celebrate Thanksgiving. Let us be thankful for being present and alive on one of the most beautiful planet in our Solar System.
This Radio Lab's episode is amazing, listen to it and stay amazed with the world we live in.
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HAPPY THANKS GIVING EVERYONE!
flying over the Earth
by Celine Semaan Vernon
Karyn Traphagen was the first to wear the Terra Modis dress at the ScienceOnline conference. Shortly after that, Glendon Mellow interviewed our founder Celine Semaan Vernon for the Scientific American blog!
- Where does your studio name Slow Factory come from?
I imagined our store floating in space next to the satellites and printing directly from space :). We are also part of the Slow Fashion Movement which means we are a sustainable business, we almost print and make according to our demand, we run limited editions and sell out of them very quickly. Only after that do we start a new production with natural fabrics sourced from India from a socially and environmentally responsible company, and the garments are made between Montreal and New York. It’s not a fast-paced process. It takes time to make things right. And for the worms to make silk, it takes time too. :)
- What’s the loftiest language you could use to describe the NASA and satellite images being worn on clothing?
To me it almost spiritual, to wrap yourself with the Universe, with the Earth. The nature of the Universe facilitates meditation, I personally find peace of mind looking at these images. That is how it all started. And what can be a better way to remind ourselves of the beauty we are surrounded with? I believe this thought keeps us open-minded and kinder.
- What’s the fastest, coolest soundbite you could use?
I’m not sure I understand this question..
- Fair enough! Besides I came up with one that’s now the title of this blog post. You describe yourself as a “Creative Commoner of the soul”. How important is it to you to get images out into the world that are under Creative Commons? Why wouldn’t you be more protective of the images?
Is there a point to try to lock these images down under a copy right license? They belong the to the World. Even if I tried to limit their use, I might only cause more harm both to myself and to culture. I believe that Everything is a Remix. In fashion, there are no copy rights, only trade marks on the Logos: the creativity in fashion, the trends, the culture and sub-cultures are so rich! In music the copy-rights are creating more harm then good, because now that we have entered the loss of the physical support for music, how do we monetize on it? There needs to be a new way to think about making money that is not based on limited the use. What inspires me is the act of generosity. That what is fuels science, culture and the arts in general. Why try to limit the use and therefore limit creativity? What good does this serve the humanity?
- What image would you never put on a dress? (Personal aesthetic reasons, political, etc)
The image of war.
- Karyn Traphagen is one of the great science connectors of our time. How important is it to you that the dresses and clothing spark conversations?
Without conversation, the dress doesn’t exist. That is how important it is to me to have it seen, worn, re-appropriated, styled, owned. Its story will be heard only when it raises enough awareness that we all shift our thinking from the mindset of using the Earth to respecting the Earth and reconnecting with its energy so that we protect it and slow down on the extraction of oil and tar sands. It is an alarm bell just like so many others. The more we ring them, the more they’ll be heard. As a humanity, and to reconnect with our surrounding and creating new ways to reuse energy. Science is the breath of progress.
You can read the full interview here.
by Celine Semaan Vernon
What is Slow Fashion and why are we called Slow Factory?
"Slow Fashion is not your typical seasonal fashion trend, it is a movement that is steadily gaining momentum and is likely here to stay. Today’s mainstream fashion industry relies on globalized mass production where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in only a few weeks. With retailers selling the latest fashion trends at very low prices, consumers are easily swayed to purchase more than they need. But, this overconsumption comes with a hidden price tag on the environment and workers in the supply chain." - Reversing Environmental Damage
You have probably heard and been appalled by the tragic collapse of one of the sweat shop factory and have probably signed the Avaaz petition urging Gap CEO to sign a safety agreement protecting and improving the conditions of their workers abroad. The fast-fashion has spoiled our senses in judging what to buy, let alone what to wear. Fashion knock-offs made by mass-production companies such as H&M and Gap are very tempting, made with polyester instead of natural fabrics they cost peanuts compared with the originals and barely last a season if worn daily and machine washed. This is the vicious circle in which we all live in: buy cheap, throw it after a season, buy more.
In the past 5 years I have been dedicating myself in buying with a conscious. I buy natural fabrics made by local or socially conscious designers and surprisingly my wardrobe went from 1000 pieces I never wear to 10 essentials. This philosophy is what drove me to start Slowfactory. A factory that produces slowly with natural fabrics only and made locally by people who love what they do.
My passion for both fashion and the Earth was to find a way to raise awareness about the state of the Earth as well as offering a product that is environmentally conscious. Quality comes first and although I come from a User Experience background, I found myself caring about the stitches and fabric of each piece of my collection.
"Slow Fashion represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and “green” in one unified movement. It was first coined by Kate Fletcher, from the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, when fashion was compared to the Slow Food experience. Carl Honoré, author of “In Praise of Slowness”, says that the ‘slow approach’ intervenes as a revolutionary process in the contemporary world because it encourages taking time to ensure quality production, to give value to the product, and contemplate the connection with the environment."
Once we are aware of the consequences we have a choice. And we can chose to slow down.