A Catalyst for Change: Organizing Inspirsession

While I may have taken a two-month leave of absence from Inspirsession, it has been on my mind a lot lately. There's the usual musings -- what's currently informing my fashion whims, which closet project have I exhausted my friends with this month -- and, on another level, how this blog might be affected by the current state of our world.

While I can't say that environmentalism figured into my first fashion fascinations, the aim has become increasingly important to me in the past few years. Discovering the capsule wardrobe method, living out of a backpack abroad, moving to NYC, and enduring the election of our current Commander in Grief (or, more specifically, witnessing his immediate disregard for the general state of our planet) have all thrust me away from fast fashion and toward more sustainable, ethical practices. As discussed in my previous post, a year of secondhand shopping proved to me that newness does not equal happiness; I could take just as much pleasure in a pair of used boots as a pair bought fresh off the rack. While it's obvious that I'll never be one of those zen-happy minimalists who selects their daily uniform from a sleek clothing rack, nor will I embrace the earthly modesty of a sac-like hippie dress and market-made sandals, I nevertheless took a sense of personal satisfaction in my efforts to bring mindfulness to my closet.

A few days ago I was having a meal with a friend. For reasons also pertaining to the environment, I am a practicing vegetarian, and when this fact came up in conversation, they admitted they had once been vegetarian as well. It's not in my nature to question other people's dietary choices (in fact, I find the whole topic rather boring), but this person chose to share their reasoning anyway: "You can't do it alone!" They delivered this line matter-of-factly, possibly with a smack of their gums, and as if that was the end of the conversation. Incidentally, it was: I was gobsmacked into silent confusion.

The idea that justice cannot be achieved singlehandedly is a fair presumption. Yes, it takes an army to change politics. Yes, Rome wasn't built in a day. Yes, my single effort to eschew meat wasn't exactly stopping starving polar bears from eating their young. But that a person would choose to air this kind of cynicism as justification for their own misgivings is appalling to me. It made me wonder why they didn't just pledge allegiance to the Great Cheeto himself and set the nearest child on fire. I went home furious about it, and that fury lit the match which eventually came into contact with dynamite: an email from an organizing superwoman, Maggie Moore.

Maggie was hosting a meeting called "Good Guys New York: Organizing for Artists in the Trump Era." The very title terrified me. While I'm undeniably obsessed with organization as it pertains to filing, alphabetizing, and list-making, I'd never so much as considered organizing people. I do not consider myself a "people person." I'm friendly, but introverted. I shiver at the notion of being in charge of other adults. I have been told by leaders that I am not a leader.

Nevertheless, I went. Once there, I dissected my frustration with the comment made by my friend. I confessed the private excitement I felt for all things fashion. I discovered a desire for national change lurking within my wardrobe structure preoccupations. I recognized an outlet for enacting this change. Once more, I married inspiration to obsession.

Inspirsession has served many purposes over the years for me: it has been a personal journal, a gallery, a how-to manual, and a travel blog. But I'm hoping it can become something bigger. Something beyond itself. A catalyst for change in a larger community. It is with great hope I journey onward with my ideas, with a wish that they will continue to solidify and narrow into direct actions. Actions I can offer to you who have chosen to listen, so that we might accomplish together what, as my friend insists, no human can accomplish alone.

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