For years we have been talking about environmental sustainability. Also put a lot of thought into social and economical sustainability. There is one more aspect we would like to introduce to you. It is cultural sustainability.
Cultural sustainability refers to tolerant systems that recognise and cultivate diversity. This includes diversity in the fashion and sustainability discourse to reflect a range of communities, locations and belief systems. It includes the use of various strategies to preserve cultural heritage, beliefs, practices and histories. It seeks to safeguard the existence of these communities in ways that honour their integrity. (Fashion Seeds 2020)
Estonian cultural history is intertwined with all of our neighbours’. Our new line of shirts is inspired by early revolutionary Russian art. As well as being one of our founder, Reet’s favourite artistic movements, Russian avant-garde is an essential part of her cultural background. It follows naturally, therefore, that this would become reflected in her work.
Russian avant-garde reached its creative peak between 1917 and 1932, during turbulent times following the Russian Revolution, where the ideas of the avant-garde clashed with the direction of the newly created state-supported socialist realism. While socialist realism represented idealised reality, avant-garde shifts the boundaries of what is real and not, forming a resistance against dogma.
During moments of crisis it is important not to only focus on the economical and social wellbeing of a nation, but also see how its inhabitants can help to sustain that which is substantial, through culture. What can be learned from our past and how can that be reflected into our future, beyond national identity and various disparate agendas? How can we think of our cultural past as something that has shaped our social, economic and environmental reality? In this case Russian avant-garde represents a moment of change, the possibility of multiple different roads forward.