WE ARE BECOMING — CÉLINE SEMAAN

You may have noticed the word "REGEN" popping up in the names of some of your OZMA favorites lately. Alongside trusted partners, we have been working to integrate regeneratively produced silk into our OZMA collections. Currently, our Classic Silk Noil & Silk Bandanas are sourced from farms following these practices and in the fall we'll be transitioning our beloved Raw Silk Tees Collection to Regen Silk as well (never fear: fit and feel will still be exactly the same).


In theory, this shift towards prioritizing regenerative agriculture practices is in keeping with our OZMA code of conduct: We work mindfully to bring beauty into the world with the most net-positive impact possible, continually integrating new ways to repurpose recycled materials and to create from a place of respect for nature’s finite resources.


In practice, Regen Silk production means starting at the fiber level, choosing textile partners that focus on creating circular, self-replenishing systems within the whole farm ecosystem, cultivating conditions where long-term, self-sustaining soil health is prioritized into the future. This can (and does) mean anything from 90% wastewater recirculation and reuse to introducing hungry birds onto planted terraces for simultaneous pest control and fertilization...and beyond. The result is: the same gorgeous silk we all love, but better for everyone/thing/where.


You may have also noticed the word "regenerative" popping up...literally everywhere else. For us, in the context of our production choices, it's pretty clear what it means, but it can mean many different things to many different people, each relevant to its own context. To demystify and expand on the power and possibility of regenerative tools for building better paths forward, we thought we'd ask one of our favorite thinkers, makers, and doers, Céline Semaan. 


Founder of The Slow Factory (and its sister learning-space, the newly launched Slow Factory Institute), Céline is a designer, writer, parent, advocate, and general white-hot-burning-light of knowledge and power. Their work brings them to a fulcrum point of intersecting crises and opportunities: climate justice + social inequity, decolonization + rewriting of tradition, sustainable growth + self realization. And the medicine Céline gives us is this: a communal portal with access to the tools for learning and unlearning how to work towards addressing them, one choice at a time, for all.

 

Céline wears the Sophie Crop and Utility Pant

  

  

  





We love your language around climate equity. What exactly does it mean to you to "lead" with a regenerative mindset & methodology?

It means radical generosity and reciprocity—both are values that are very common in my culture, in most cultures in the Global South and across Indigenous communities as well. The idea of taking only what we need and giving back twice as much.

 

Like you, we see fashion as a fertile arena for social and environmental change (you call it "fashion activism") but there are still tensions with these pervasive "myth of the individual" narratives, both as producers and consumers. How do you think we can shift further into realizing a more collective power?

Know your neighbors. Connect with your community. A lot of it has to do with reading the room and showing up with a good energy—I hear a lot of people talking about community engagement or building community. I don’t see these strategies as sustainable, I think cooking for your community, hiking with your community, repairing with your community or planting with your community fosters meaningful and stronger relationships.

 

When we zoom out on "climate justice" and "social inequity" the crises feel SO massive, manifold, layered and entrenched— and the intractability of some of the obstacles seems purposeful, which itself is a kind of violence. What gives you direction through this sort of inertia AND entropy?

See, when I zoom out and look at the big picture, I see us as Nature, we are not part of Nature or "On this Planet" we are this planet. Whatever we feed her, we eat. I feel despair when I witness colonialism and oppressive narratives try to separate us from Nature and delay our awareness and collective resilience. I find guidance in community, in open education and peer to peer knowledge, but most importantly I find direction within myself. There are a lot of distractions, and we are socialized to separate everything, even ourselves from our own spirit; I find the most guidance when connecting within.

How do you want to feel in your clothes?

I want to feel ease and grace—both comfortable and confident. Effortless.

  

  

 

Céline wears the Bias Slip Dress and 1930's Bandana.





 

 

Céline wears the Audrey Shirt in Organic Manta Cotton

  

  

 

  





How does your personal style speak to that?

I struggled a lot with the idea of personal style because it puts a lot of emphasis on thought and styling—where I feel, in my case at least, removes the notion of serendipity and spontaneity. My style is hyper connected to Earth; I choose items that have a specific relationship to my values and that bring out my spirit.



What do mothers bring to the table?

Every single thing, but we take them for granted, we justify taking everything and not acknowledging it. The culture we live in is both oppressive and extractive and that begins with how we treat Mothers, especially in the United States. We even take ourselves for granted. But mothers are holding the world.

 

 

How can we all do better?

Are you doing the best you can today? 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow Céline on Instagram here and Slow Factory here. Photos by Emmysu.

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

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