The Moral Wardrobe: Te Amo

solo six te amo crew sweater review
If there's one thing I beat myself up for (ha! Imagine there being only one thing), it's that I let my Spanish language skills lapse.

As a Floridian, it was a no brainer to take Spanish classes. And although it was particularly useful to be able to make some Spanglish small talk there, it's pretty important anywhere in the States. At my day job, we have a large Spanish-speaking customer base (and Farsi-speaking, too) and I don't feel like I'm offering the type of service they deserve, though it can be mutually amusing to mime and point to one another.

Now I'm just on a guilt trip with myself for not making it a priority to pick it back up (and learn some retail-related vocabulary), but the guilt trip isn't the point of this post. Rather, the point of this post is highlighting this amazing sweater from conscientious fashion brand, Solo Six...
solo six te amo crew sweater reviewsolo six te amo crew sweater review
I've been eyeing this sweater for months and months, so finally I reached out to see if there was a way we could collaborate. Solo Six sent me a sweater in exchange for some photographs. 

I recently had the opportunity to database hundreds of Central and South American textiles for a shop customer who is moving out of the country.

Through the hours-long process, she told me the meaning and ritual significance of each symbol, pattern, and color combination. 

It drove home how important it is to learn about and respect cultural heritage. In this case, the weaving traditions of the Maya and other indigenous groups are inextricably linked to religion, worldview, and the practices of daily life. When we wear or use these motifs without understanding their weight, we dishonor people, plain and simple.

This is why I really appreciate the concept behind the Te Amo crew. The design is a nod to souvenir bags sold at local markets, which often include a similar multicolor design and tassels at the bottom. I love that it riffs on this cultural exchange, on the way that weavers intentionally secularize their sacred, intricate designs to attract an American market - and continue to protect their heritage in the meantime. To me, this is one of the better ways to live out cultural appreciation rather than appropriation (for more on that, read Ethical Unicorn's recent post on the topic).

The Te Amo Crew Sweater is made sustainably and ethically in Bolivia out of 100% baby alpaca (alpacas are not harmed in the process), which gives it a soft, luxurious feel and makes it both breathable and warm.
  solo six te amo crew sweater review
Ethical Details: Sweater - c/o Solo Six; Denim - #30wears; Boots - old; Earrings - Often Wander

Tip: you can get the Solo Six Sweater for a tiny bit less money if you're a new customer at Garmentory and click through this link (you'll get a $20 store credit and I will, too).

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