State of The Loom

We make organic clothes. What are we doing making a ‘zine?

Rogan and I are building a green-roofed garage adjacent to his house in Montauk. The project is a multi-purpose structure for storing surfboards, protecting an aging 1964 Chevy Impala from the harsh salt air, and growing vegetables protected from the local critters’ (deer, fox, rabbit) ground-level assaults.

I was half-paying attention to Rogan 12 feet above me and standing too far away to adjust his ladder, when he hastily hopped down. The ladder buckled under his feet, and he plummeted to the stone gravel before I could break his fall. You never want to watch something like that happen, regrettably I did. I felt paralyzed and he seemed frozen in mid-air for eternity. Luckily, Rogan has 9 lives, and walked away with a few minor cuts and scrapes.

The roof incident is a lesson, an aphorism, an analogy for all of us not paying full attention to our relative shaping of the world. Our capitalist economy expands through population growth and the suggestion we’ll be happier and healthier operating as individuals, rather than a shared community. Yet, Community is not MySpace or Facebook, peace of mind is not a 401K, nutrition doesn’t come off a shelf, and love is not a precious stone. We have personalized everything we buy and make, the goal being total control over the outcomes of our desires. Rogan’s mishap hints at the potential result if we do not cooperate with each other and with the laws of nature. In other words, it’s easy enough at this point to see the harmful effects of pumping too much CO2 into the atmosphere and chemicals into the soil and water, or of not treating workers right. It’s up to us to make even the smallest choices that move away from this cycle—to break this “fall” rather than look the other way or remain unprepared to help.

When it comes to making clothes, for us that means choosing cotton grown without pesticides, from small farms run by families and connected to communities, much preferred to faceless corporate agribusiness. Our jeans, T-shirts, and other clothes are made by people who are treated well and paid fairly. We want the rest of fashion to follow our lead. This matters to us as much as how our jeans make your ass look.

The Loomstate way isn’t just about wearing Loomstate. It’s about leading an examined life such that the convenience of now is questioned against the longer-term effects of our choices, and the associated alternatives. In a world of greater independence, access to information, and expansion of choice through media and industrialized efficiency comes a greater responsibility as we pursue our individual gratifications. What do we desire?
Why do we embrace these choices? Are they authentic and fulfilling? Do they improve our quality of life without destroying something in the process?

No one’s perfect—including us—but whether in fashion, fuel, or where we put our kitchen garbage, there are some sexy and thoughtful alternatives to the way we’ve been doing things. This has become a quality-of-life issue above and beyond style. Authentic style is an accent on life, but only worth noting if born in happiness and fulfillment. Otherwise, who are we fooling?

We decided to create this ‘zine because Loomstate isn’t just about clothes. What’s inside is a natural extension of what we do and what we think about. You’ll find stories about people and things that reflect our idea of authenticity and considerate living, from maverick renewable fuel entrepreneur Kris Moller to Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio—a Loomstate-wearing band that has gotten very far by staying true to themselves—to all sorts of fun and frightening facts about nature, to how you can use worms to compost your garbage even if you live in a Manhattan studio. It’s full of things that should open your eyes—and inspire you to act natural.

Loomstate co-founder Scott Mackinlay Hahn

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