We are sitting center in our seventh year at Fayettechill and in an era where developing a strong set of principles is of top priority. Personally, experience has taught me one thing in particular - everything we do as a company needs to have a positive intention behind it, one that is mindful of the planet.
Every shirt, hat, and sticker we create consumes resources. Humans are not perfect, and so our processes for harvesting are not yet perfect. We’re working on it, but the simple truth is that each of the luxuries modern man employs to enjoy life enacts a small, yet quantifiable cost to Earth.
When you expand out from the individual scale, our impact covertly accumulates to possible catastrophic status. As we grow from a small clothing company based out of the dorms and garages of our college years, into a budding national company, we now produce at a scale that has the potential for a substantial effect on the planet.
We all have a duty to be mindful of the impression we make on this planet, but this axiom should be understood as ten thousand times more important for those of us that call the outdoor industry home. We profit from the beauty of the planet. We mine our inspiration directly from it. Every profit gained, picture taken, and inspiration gathered is the result of a 4.5 billion year orchestration toward the planet’s present form.
Our answer to this one way relationship? Conscious capitalism. To make sure that the planet, and the natural world in general, receives the least amount of damage from our manufacturing. Defined, conscious capitalism can be understood as the mindful choice of enterprises and their supporters to follow principles that benefit both human beings and the planet.
Fayettechill is one of many test tubes of conscious capitalism incubating around the world. While our approach to conscious capitalism is multifaceted, it can be boiled down to the following three examples:
Mindful manufacturing -
With respect to business, everything starts with product. 100% of our manufacturing conversations center around how our products relate to the environment, both in reduction of planetary harm during construction and in how they functionally respond within the outdoors once complete. We focus these conversations around a handful of initiatives including Made in the USA, Organic Cotton, Recycled Polyester, Fair Labor, and Blue Sign Certification. We work to create long lasting and quality clothing for less need for newly manufactured things and long term landfill.
Promoting a lifestyle that associates value with nature -
Once our product is complete, the next step is to demonstrate a lifestyle that champions the natural world’s supreme value. Our hope is that every social media post, art, or film published associates the natural world with value in the minds of our audience.
Conversing about Consciousness -
After we establish product and media from experiences, an opportunity arises to pivot the conversation to consciousness itself. We aim to demonstrate that a wide array of positive actions can result from a simple shift in perspective. This shift is the “chill,” the laid back approach to life that isn’t reactive, but rather attentive to the present beauty and power in the natural world. From such a perspective we can learn from the wisdom of the ages and slow down our obsession with consumption.
As mentioned, Fayettechill can be understood as an experiment in conscious capitalism. We want to tell a story that inspires our supporters to take pride in how and where their clothes are made. The good kind of pride - the type that comes from special attention to the details sewn into our clothes.
Why all the extra effort? Our drive comes from our enchantment with nature. Nature brings out our best form. It pulls passions out from within us and unsheathes a fuller form of self. Naturally, and without fail, it has the power to pull us into the present.
Such enchantment can happen to anyone, spontaneously and without warning. Perhaps it’s discovered through your body’s attrition to many days on the mountain, when you become so full and aware of its full potential to survive and be alive. Perhaps it’s awoken while riding down a trail, finding the line you love and engaging with it fully. Or it could simply happen while staring at a river, sitting still and seeing first hand the universal characteristic of change.
As humans we desire to draw meaning from every experience. We love to create purpose. Instead of grand theories, this meaning is achieved on the small scale, through the day to day practices of conscious capitalism: intentionally creating products with purpose, learning from and celebrating the value of the natural, and developing focus on different ways of being, in exchange for unavoidable material distraction.
At Fayettechill we sit at a strange interface between natural creation and human consumption. We’ve found a home in the emerging conversations that cultivate the concept of conscious consumerism. And so, that is why you - the conscious individual who is kin to our movement - are so important. You validate everything we do. Every ounce of energy or financial support you send our way only serves to strengthen our resolve to continue our experiment. Your mind, and the values you associate with the world, is the actualizing force of our existence, the spark that ignites our world and propels us into the future.
The result we are looking for is of an exponential nature - to associate value with the natural world in as many ways possible, strengthen these values through community, and celebrate them through a lifestyle that is conscious of just how incredible it is that we have this baby blue pixel of paradise to enjoy together, in this very moment, and hopefully for many more present moments to come.