What’s happening to the world?  Where are we headed? I had never felt so concerned in regards to the current state of the planet, specially when it comes to politics: I don’t understand how this became such a complicated world all of a sudden. Perhaps it has always been this way, but I’m older and more understanding of the consequences ahead of us. 

A couple of weekends ago, I had this one day where I was totally depressed, but for the first time it had nothing to do with my micro-universe (my eternally complicated mind, the people I love, work or family), it was because of how sad I am for the way we are hurting our planet.

It actually reminds me of one of those toxic relationships we all had when we started trying to understand love; those where everyone gets hurt and no one understands where the pain began, or why you can’t let go. The difference is that, in this particular relationship, we HAVE to make it work, even when what we carry is an inheritance of consumer-driven behaviors that are embedded in our culture, and will take a lot of time and work to change.

journey of a braid celia d luna miami florida journey of a braid

I moderated a panel with a very special group of people, who are united by their concern for the planet and are turning that concern into action: Patrick Duffy, from World Fashion Exchange, Elizabeth Weaton, Director of Environment and Sustainability of the City of Miami Beach, Sophie Zembra from Antidote, Daniele D’Orazi from Instituto Marangoni and Veronica Pesantes from The Onikas.

The two articles that guided me the most when framing the questions for the panel were:

1.”Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change” by the New York Times,

2. “Great Barrier Reef headed for ‘massive death’ from CNN.

Ok, I know: I’m not painting a glamorous canvas here, but we can’t pretend that this is not happening. Our curated feeds, often filled with fashion, and a never ending world of opportunities is not reality. It’s a great escape, but the more we click on those things, the more hidden the bigger picture will be for us.

The thing is, even the smallest changes can have a huge impact. We have the power to regulate the market. Here are three actionable things you can do now, without having to change your life much:

  1. Don’t use new denim: it takes way too much water to produce.  Instead, buy vintage, used or upcycled. I swear I haven’t bough one pair of jeans ever since I realized that it takes 1800 gallons of water to produce one pair of jeans.
  2. Don’t eat too much meat: I’m not asking you to turn vegan, but the amount of demand we have for meat, has translated into deforestation, huge water pollution and increase in green house gases. Do you remember how we consumed a lot less meat when we were young? The reason is that it used to be very expensive. It suddenly dropped prices, we got used to eating it all the time, and turned into a big problem. If this doesn’t convince you, google the effects too much meat has in your body. You’ll be surprised.
  3. Pay attention to your consumption patters over-all. Turn it into a conscious effort: when you picnic, or do a get-together, don’t just buy plastic utensils: choose paper or biodegradable materials. It doesn’t change your experience at all, and it makes a huge difference to the planet. Stay away from plastic bags. It’s not that hard to carry a normal reusable bag in your car.

We can’t just be driven by survival, or define ourselves by the place we are from, our religion, our looks, our family or the work we do. 

We can’t just be in denial. Things are changing; shifting.

When it happens in enough of us, then we will have a tipping point, and the culture begins to shift. It’s time to live with intention. 

It’s never to late or too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want.

Be brave enough to care. The future is now.

The production of this video was possible thanks to MINI USA, main sponsor of THE FUTURE by Funkshion. Pictures by Celia D. Luna.

I contain so many versions of myself… You’d be surprised. The version that the outside world gets of me depends on a mix of external triggers –the right energy, the right attitude, the car that let me, or din’t let me pass on the highway, the mood in which my children are, the moon, if I’m hungry — mixed with my internal status.

It’s probably the same for everyone, but I can only recall living inside this one body, so I’ll do the speaking based on that.

Fashion has the power of transformation, which is the reason why we are all so enchanted by it. I love staring at people when they stare at beautiful window-displays. They fall in love with the vision of all the things they could be if only…

I’ve been wearing the braid for almost three years now, and it has been a revelation to realize the two different sides of me, being set apart by a simple hair-do. Creating an alter-ego was never an intention, yet looking back, I realize the braid has become my shield.

Danie, the girl with the long hair, is a woman who has been challenged way too many times to reinvent herself. She carries her culture in between those strands of long hair, often as a burden for the rules she should be following and the person she was supposed to become. She’s vulnerable as can be, and doesn’t allow many people into her life. She’s a mother, conflicted by how to raise those two boys the best possible way, without losing herself in the middle.

Floridian Frida, is very different: she’s ready to take over the world at every opportunity; she’s self-assured, passionate and fearless. She carries her braid proudly as a representation of the best of her culture and her traditions. She has so many friends and can be at five different places at the same time. She does what she can as a mother, and doesn’t doubt herself for one second.

We all have multiple alter-egos, triggered by different external situations, yet the moment that you approach this other self consciously, you can become the vision that you have in your mind of the best version of yourself.

Craft it properly.

Add a couple of characteristics that remind you of the role you are playing, and never forget that life is just a dream, and you have a say on the script that’s being written everyday.

Obviously, I am both persons, and so are you, regardless of your journey. But I’m grateful I found a way to switch between the two of them.

Pictures by Celia D. Luna