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We are closing in on the end of January, a month that symbolizes reflection and the integration of the goals we may have set for ourselves, whatever they may be. It’s a month during which we look backward and onward, simultaneously. We reflect on the mistakes made, what we could have done better, and how we will do things differently moving on. We are all on our own unique journey towards this more or less abstract idea of a personal goal. Whether it is reached or not — some may argue — matters little in the face of the things we learn on our path to it.
At ASKET, we have a clear goal in mind: to radically alter the way people relate to their clothing. But the path we are on presents itself with new challenges and opportunities every year. The fashion landscape is turbulent after all, known to shift radically every season, month, sometimes every week. To survive it is to remain open to the things that emerge, to prepare and to adapt. But to change it, is to never lose sight of one’s convictions. Novelty is both its fertilizer and its poison, causing it to grow and expand without a goal other than growth for growth’s sake. It’s erratic and continuously proving to be as destructive to our ecology as it is to the joy found in clothes and personal expression. The duration we use a particular garment continues to shorten; it is no longer about the cultivation of a relationship with our clothes, but rather, the continuous replacement of them. It is about remaining abreast of the latest trends to avoid risking social rejection if we choose not to participate. This industry continues to worship speed. Every other factor is sacrificed to let it keep on accelerating, including: quality, human well-being, ecological harmony, to name a few. A new generation of fast-fashion is looming and growing at speeds previously unimaginable, leveraging the latest tech to scrape TikTok dailies and turn it into a product the next day at prices and speeds that shouldn’t be possible. This is what we are up against. A literal machine — a relentless one.
But we always remain optimistic. Because we know that many share our sentiments and believe in what we do. We know that everyone carries the innate capacity to discern what’s best for ourselves and the environment around us. And this gives us hope. Deep down we all know things need to slow down, radically, and that we need less things, drastically. This doesn’t just apply to clothes, but everything. Joy, growth, and anything else good life has to offer is found not just in the acquisition, but also the aversion of things. In the age of content overload, this is a matter we need to be ever mindful of.
The Pursuit of Less is and will always be our mantra. It permeates everything we do and lies at the heart of every decision we make. It puts us in a position that is utterly antagonistic to the many things on which the industry is based. But it also gives us the freedom to slow down, providing us the time to focus on what’s truly essential, be it the garments we create or the planetary realities we are facing. And it is as much of a response to the fashion system as it is a reach beyond it, onto every aspect of life. It’s about navigating the noise and living with less distraction — more focus. On the things that truly matter to you.
To truly appreciate The Pursuit of Less is to recognize what it liberates: time and space, the foundations for introspection, meaningful growth and change. Less — in many ways — is more.
We have big plans for 2023, some of which you may have read about in our 2022 Wrap Up email. Regardless, we will enter it with an attempt to be ever more attentive to the things we see, and be mindful about everything we do. We’ve set a new year’s resolution for ourselves: to pursue even less, to reflect more and write about it. The world, disorderly as it can present itself nowadays, is hard to verbalize — but we’ll try our best to put it in our words. We are on a journey and your part in it is vital. What better way than to have you read them. Or — even better — influence them.