YOU & L'ENVERS
Alyson Morgan - USA
1. Tell us about you…
I’m a mother, herbalist, writer, small business owner, ecofeminist, woman of color, living and tending to the land in the rural Midwest. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to the Midwest after I met my husband at the University of California, Davis, where I studied International Relations with an emphasis on Climate Change, Global Health and Natural Resource use. My greatest drive in life is learning how to be a better steward of the earth, how to come in closer relationship with the earth and how to inspire others to do the same in their lives. We must protect and regenerate our living earth and our collective home, for our children and their children.
2. Who or what inspires you?
The earth and the plants inspire me. My ancestors and their strength, resilience and humanness, inspires me. My children inspire me to heal, to be a whole human and fight for my values.
I value the healing nature brings on so many levels: the color of a sprig of juniper, the lines of rolling hills, the smell of soil after the rain, the lines, shapes, textures and colors of the natural world inspire me. The diversity of species, the connections and reciprocity in nature. We have so much to learn from the natural rhythms + processes of the earth. My passion is to protect this heaven we humans are so lucky yet struggle to be a part of.
3. What is something you have loved for a long time?
I have loved the California redwoods for a long time. I miss them dearly. Standing underneath these giant trees it makes me feel at home and I better understand my place in the world. I get that feeling in other forests too, I wonder what these ancient beings have seen.
4. What is something you have recently rediscovered?
I’ve recently rediscovered yoga. Did a yoga teacher training before my daughter magnolia was born, and I loved doing yoga throughout high school and college, but this season of motherhood I’d forgotten, rather neglected the practice. I’ve recently rediscovered what wonders it does for my body and mind and am trying to be more diligent about moving my body, if only for a couple minutes each day to find my center again. I’ve also rediscovered laughing. A deep belly laugh is another amazing medicine I forget in these challenging times.
5. What is your favourite object and what makes it special?
I inherited a brass tray after my grandmother's passing that belonged to her and my grandfather. I believe they got it in Korea, or a neighboring country, when he was there in the army. I miss him dearly, he gave the best hugs and would send me home with apple pie and a spoon from his kitchen drawer. I was a collector of spoons from his house.
He was my first Virgo love, boisterous, warm hearted, who loved to sing (my husband is also a virgo, who is boisterous and loves to sing) and play the piano. His house was where all his children and grandchildren gathered for holidays and sporting events and it felt like home to us all.
He was one of the first black captains in the military and flew helicopters and was a translator there, he traveled all over the world and came back and started his own business. After my grandmother’s passing, when my uncle was packing up their things, I took this tray, a brass candlestick and some pictures of them in their youth. I have always been drawn to old things, old photos, furniture, items, and places from the past because I feel they hold stories.
Oh, if they could speak, what stories they would tell, sometimes I think I can hear them. Anyways, I love this tray. I have my morning coffee on it or pull a tarot card in the evening for guidance. I feel like a part of them is here with me in my own home. I wonder what this piece made them feel that they kept it all these years. I wonder whose hands made it and the journey it took to be in my home.
6. What is something you are looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to the day this pandemic is over. When I can have a glass of wine with my girlfriends without worry, when my kids can hug their friends and play together on the playground without fear, and when I can visit my family with ease without the anxiety of someone getting sick.
7. What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is a real buzz word these days. And for me, sustainability is a journey rather than a destination until we see widespread systemic changes, like renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.
Sustainability is the journey to make less of an impact on the planet. Making choices, that are sometimes less convenient and with a long term goal of the health of the planet in mind. It's shifting my values and expectations to think of the greater good. Instead of how can I get something fast, cheap, convenient to serve my needs now, what are alternative choices I can make at any given time. Seeing my consumer and lifestyle choices as part of a larger whole. It means my choices are investment in myself, the planet, the people and living beings around me. And sometimes, I’m not the most successful at it, but sustainability to me is not a one off choice. I’m going to make mistakes because I’m human but the end goal is to push for a system that values the greater good.
8. What is your relationship with fashion?
Oh this is a hard question and my journey with fashion is a winding one. I spent twelve years wearing a uniform in catholic school growing up, so when I was out of school, fast fashion, all of a sudden became a means of self expression.
As I’ve become older, the element of creative, artistic expression is there, but I’ve gone back to the uniform aspect of clothing. Having a tried and true capsule wardrobe, with classic yet fun pieces from natural fibers or thrifted to express myself but are also good for the environment.
In my youth, I was unaware of the detriments of fast fashion on the workers and the environment. It was over time as I learned more and more about the effects capitalism has on the environment and people and how the system of capitalism thrives off of our need for self expression and our self doubt did I begin to use fashion in a different way. Now I look for timeless, quality pieces that will last and take me through the seasons of my life.
9. Why did you choose this piece of L’Envers?
Charlotte - I love the way a classic cardigan transitions through the seasons. Cozy enough to wear in winter, but with buttons can be thrown over a dress in the liminal seasons of spring and fall, when there is still a chill in the air. I love layering pieces and I find a cardigan with wooden buttons is just that extra special touch.