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Now, don't get me wrong. I love me some kandi. I am always typically wearing at least one bracelet. In the picture of me for "Captain's Log" I am actually wearing a kandi cuff.
I don't have a lot of kandi because I don't horde it. I keep it for some time. I might have 5 in my collection at any one point in time, but I typically give them away when I'm at shows. For me, kandi doesn't have to be a trade, it's a gift.
I'll try to make my point quick so you actually read it. I may never be popular as I have unpopular things to say, but I don't care. Someone has to say it.
Kandi is not PLUR. It is a material item (often made with a lot of beautiful intentions and love and creativity). Kandi in itself is not PLUR, it is a REPRESENTATION of PLUR. Therein lies the difference and that is my concern. Kandi is no more PLUR than feathers are "spiritual". I am concerned that people are confusing the two on some level. And now I am talking about our fashion in general right? This is not really just about kandi.
We are facing an extreme crisis for all of humanity right now. Ecocide is and has been happening now. Climate change/ global warming is a "major factor" but what drives all of this is? It's us. It's our behaviors. OUR choices. OUR energy consumption. OUR decisions on what is important and how we are choosing to live each and every day. In ecology, everything is connected. We should resonate with that as that is how we feel at parties and something so many of us often say. I often do not see people acting in a way that truly reflects what they say they believe. I understand that part of it is a disconnect and so I am here to help illuminate what is often not seen.
I don't want to dis fashion completely. We have to wear something. I personally love all the color we bring to the world. However, many of our choices are not eco-friendly, at all. The materials being used are not biodegradeable and contribute to toxic pollution when manufactured. Kandi, for instance is made from pony beads. However, a better name might be "petrol beads" as they are made from plastic. What sometimes people do not realize is that plastic is a by-product of petroleum ... SO ... if we are concerned about things such as gasoline, climate change, oil extraction, fracking, and even pesticides being used on food (as pesticides are another deriviative of oil) then technically we are contributing to all of that by wearing it. We give all of those things the "ok" by showing that we wear it, which we could argue is a representation for those things going on in the world. To me, PLUR means we understand "everything is connected" and therefore infers we should be taking into account ecological principles.
For climate change to even be mitigated, we have to stop taking fossil fuels out of the ground.
I see the same thing happen with other spiritual traditions though, which we are, a modern spiritual movement. The creation of deities does not mean the deity is god and we are closer to it. To wear mined crystals and stones or wear feathers does not mean we are more spiritual. We have confused everything. Those things may remind us of an idea but that idea can and does exist on it's own. I would urge us as we move into the future of our scene what we truly want to represent. Do we want to perpetuate old models? That is not very evolved for a scene that thinks we are at the forefront of human evolution. I challenge us to take it further.
What is the solution?
I don't want to discourage everyone from channeling their energies into creating what they consider to be beautiful art. To be honest, I could go after the art world in much the same way. So many of our modern products were not designed with ecology in mind. We stand at a time now where we can start to make different choices. My job is to get conversations going, make you think, inspire you to join all the artists and engineers that are trying to shift our current methods to ones that will bring forth better balance, that take ecology into mind. If you want to wear pony beads, help us find a way to make them out of reclaimed plastic. Help us find ways to recycle them. I urge us all to at least consider what we are doing, why we are doing it, what we are truly saying/representing with that "doing", and encourage us all to take bold steps to truly represent PLUR.
I will prove to you that we do not have to sacrifice color. We don't have to sacrifice our creativity either. We have to channel our energy / creativity in a different way to find PLUR(R) solutions. Through Trashion and new and natural materials, there is hope!
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