THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
THE BALANCE OF FACTS
The Dreamtime, or the Dreaming, portrays the Aboriginal beliefs in spiritual existence. According to the tribes that first settled down in the continent, the Dreaming's roots date all the way back to the very begging of the creation of the world. The meaning and ideology of the term is generally not so well-understood by non-indigenous people as it is referred to as part of the culture of one of the early nations, which differs from modern perceptions.
The Spirits were the creators of everything. They made the land and the seas, the rocks and the plants, the sky and the earth. They were the higher power and the Australian Aborigines spent their lifetimes honoring this power, which guided their path and shaped their way of thinking. Not only creators of everything, which could be seen as well as felt, the Spirits also gave the Aborigines the Dreaming.
The time when everything started existing according to the initial Australians, was called the Dreaming. This is the foundation of the continent's culture. The origin of the Dreaming goes way back - 65 000 years back in time to be exact. The Ancestors of the nation shaped the land, forming some parts of it as sacred. The Aborigines were very careful and overprotective of those places, strongly believing in their significance.
The Australian Aborigines are known to have believed that the world didn't have any shape and was therefore empty. Darkness dominated, and life was simply asleep, but this changed when the creation began happening. After the Dreaming and the influence of the Spirits, objects began taking shapes and came to be. They created the four elements: water, earth, air and fire, as well as all the planets, the Sun and the Moon. The Dreaming therefore is a continuous process, which never ended. It is a small cosmos on its own, unifying the past, present and the future into one.
The Australian Aborigines' home riches so many vivid areas of the continent, including Fraser Island, Tasmania, Palm Island, Groote Eylandt and Mornington Island. The Aborigines had very strong believes in relation to the powers of the land, claiming that they never owned it - it rather owned them. The only reason they were able to call it their home is because they were looking after it and the land was taking care of the people in return.
Equally important to the Dreaming was the tribes' understandings of the disappearance of the Spirits. There came a time, when the creators of everything vanished from sight. Some of them were thought to have started living in sacred places, which is why the Aborigines perceived their homeland to be so sacred. The ancestors of today's Australians used to believe that the creators started living in rocks, in water holes and some went up to the sky to guide the people from above and keep them safe. Others transformed completely, taking the forms of the rain, the lightnings and the thunderstorms so they could be part of peoples' life.
Among the hundred's different Aboriginal languages, there isn't a word to describe 'time', because to them this simply doesn't exist. Dreaming and Dreamtime are used to replace it and summarize the ideologies of the Aborigines about everything they knew, everything they could see, feel and experience. This is why the Dreaming has such a vivid, and overwhelming meaning and has survived the obstacles of time. For the past couple thousand years, the Dreaming has built a rich cultural heritage that can identify a whole nation.
Read more about the Land, its connection to people and the way it has been perceived from different generations in the very first print issue of ORIGIN. The Land Issue covers varied topics, most of which remain related to cultural aspects of the land and its importance.
A lot of people travel to explore places and learn about them which is the message that ORIGIN wants to spread. With traveling, however, comes certain responsibilities that we should all be aware of. Elephants riding has become a popular way to explore locations by land. People have been doing this as part of their trips, mostly to places such as Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia and other parts of Asia. It is a common thing to see in certain places in Africa as well. We investigated the activity to explain why it is wrong and riding elephants should be banned everywhere.
Our first print issue studies culture and traveling represented through the land. We explored various location around the globe and learned what makes the land so valuable, which nations cherish it and how it helps us establish an identity. Traveling is important to us but traveling responsibly and making an impact is what we feel proud to stand behind. This is why riding elephants as a way of amusement should be reconsidered.
Let’s talk about the details. Elephants are very caring and extremely intelligent animals. It is a well-known fact that they never forget anything. When kept in captivity instead of spending their life in the wild, elephants die younger. Unlike in other species, this is common for the gentle giants and is often a result for stress.
Many African cultures respect elephants, believing they symbolize strength, loyalty and power. However, power can be a very tender concept. Elephant used as a tourism tool suffer from great pain daily. Elephants can be hurt very severely from the weight of carrying people and a trainer on their backs. The reason for this is the design of their spines. They have sharp protrusions, extending upwards from their spine instead of having round spinal disks. The protrusions and the tissue that serves to protect them can be harmed easily from weight pressure. Once a damage to their spine has been made, there is no going back and sometimes the harm can be irreversible. While this can’t be physically seen, the harm that the chairs can do to the elephants’ skin is. It is often the case that the chairs and the weight on their back can damage the animal’s skin and cause pain to their body. The chair, called Howdah, that gets attached to their backs, rubs on their skin and can cause blisters, which can sometimes get infected.
The training that elephants are required to go through when in captivity sometimes adopts a traditional Thai ‘phajaan’ or ‘crush’ technique. Explaining the technique would compare it to the animals’ spirits constantly and continuously being broken by the means of torture and social isolation. This is done in order to tame them. Elephants are wild animals, this is their nature as they are born in such conditions. Making them safe and obedient around people requires them to go through such training. As horrible as it sounds, in some places young elephants are taken away from their mothers to be abused with nails, bull hooks and bamboo sticks to make them obey rules, given by people. The animals often lack sleep and are starved to become submissive.
Actions from such nature are cruel and harmful as the technique is used to crash the animals’ spirit. Once wild and free, elephants become a source of tourism and entertainment. Nobody, who cared about sustainable tourism should ever ride an elephant.
In a sense, elephants have a human soul. They socialise and feel everything – pain, happiness, grief, sadness etc. They spend their life building families and finding friends. The largest land animals are a gift from nature and it is our responsibility to take special care of them and make sure they live according to their nature. Many animals, who are kept in captivity, are forced to live in isolation and carry heavy loads all day long, which is a wrong way to treat them. Their strength and power shouldn’t be abused but treated gently and celebrated by people. Elephants require minimal care to stay happy and healthy, which comes from giving them freedom to behave naturally and socialise. It is our responsibility to be culturally aware while traveling and make sure to spread awareness about the problem.
You can read the rest of the article as published in the LAND issue.
THE TIMELESS SUSTAINABLE SWIMWEAR BRAND FOR THE ECO-CONCIOUS SUMMER LOVER
Earthy tones and contemporary designs made by sustainably sourced materials - the pieces by Matia Beachwear are making big waves in the future of slow fashion and we are here to tell you that summer wear has never looked so good
Words: Emily Georgieva and Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Matia Beachwear
25 May 2023
Elegant, timeless and authentic the garments by Matia Beachwear are created for the modern-day traveller, who is often on the go and likes to pack light. The Germany-based label works with manufacturers in Italy and tailors in Portugal to create seamless pieces that embody the idea of a carefree summer. Although simplicity is a focus of the brand, the designs combine elements of effortless chic that is also a nod to comfortability. Pack the swims for a last-minute sunkissed getaway, a long-weekend Asian remote work/beach vacation or a summer-long stay along the azure coasts of breathtaking European beaches. Wherever you are headed, the pieces by Matia Beachwear are our favourite swimsuit essentials this summer season.
The brand's dedication to sustainability goes beyond dry statistics. Each collection is created of recycled fabrics which are quality checked to ensure that the fabrics and their colours will stand the test of time. The garment materials are sourced from Italy to shorten the supply chain so that the business can stay true to its promise of transparency. The team's close connection with the manufacturers is a priority as they make no compromise when it comes to ensuring an ethical manufacturing process.
Matia Beachwear is created with the environment in mind. The team works with recycled and compostable packaging to ensure that the brand leaves as little carbon footprint as possible. This was a priority for the founder and CEO, Tina Degenhardt, who established the company in 2016. The independent label is making big waves by constantly working on improving their ways and doing their best to put slow fashion forward. Tina cares deeply about the environment and believes in the importance of building a world of fashion where honesty and doing right by nature and the people involved in the production process is the only way forward.
By creating timeless pieces that last longer than just one season, Matia Beachwear has established itself as one of the most prolific swimwear brands out there. Nature plays an important role as an inspiration for the collections as the colours are centered around earthy tones with an accent of the designs' flattering shapes. The style of the brand is minimalistic, yet contemporary, making it easy to pair pieces from different sets together to mix and match for multiple final look options.
We caught up with Tina to talk about her go-to summer getaway destinations, the pieces by Matia Beachwear she always packs and the challenges she faces as a female sustainability-focused business owner.
Ella II x Henry - Black
Gigi x Henry - Black
Heidi - Tan
‘‘It is the most satisfying feeling to see someone you don't know wearing and enjoying what you've created.’’
Tina Degenhardt, founder of MATIA Beachwear for NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are your top three favourite summer holiday destinations and why?
Tina: Good question, but I love to travel to all things Mediterranean and what I call home.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Which Matia Beachwear pieces do you always pack for a sunny getaway?
Tina: Currently, it is the Luca & Henry bottoms and Heidi & Bella tops. Loving the comfort of these bottoms as I wear the Luca as my underwear, too. The Heidi offers a perfect support for all sport activities and the Bella for everyday life.
NOMADSofORIGIN: You are a German-based label that is manufactured in Italy and Portugal. How does that diversity impact the designs of the brand?
Tina: Well, we are a German-based company. All of our materials come from Italy, as it's the best option you can get when seeking sustainable materials that don't suffer in quality. And our main production of each piece happens in the north of Portugal.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Sustainability is a priority when it comes to manufacturing the garments. What are some of the obstacles you face to ensure that all the materials are ethically sourced?
Tina: Material sourcing wasn't easy in the beginning. It was kind of new to me, and I just knew what I wanted and what not. The most important for me was to have a sustainable and recycled material that won't suffer in quality and lasts for a long time. I'm always sourcing what is new and how to improve, and luckily the market has changed a lot since starting MATIA and there are more and more options out there. I am thrilled with my supplier, and they are very open and transparent about their material.
NOMADSofORIGIN: From the packaging to the materials and the supply chain, you have carefully thought through every detail along the production line to favour the quality of your products and the future of our planet. What do you do to ensure that you are working towards reducing your carbon footprint?
Tina: We are constantly striving and researching how to improve to minimize our footprint. But with fashion, this sure is difficult if not even impossible, as producing fashion will always leave a footprint. Therefore, we strive to reduce everywhere we can. Material, packaging; everything we touch and use must be compostable, reusable or recycled. We offer a great customer service, so we don't have many returns and thus less transport. Being sustainable is not always easy. It takes a lot of research and time, and you always have to double-check because there is much greenwashing out there, too. But it is the only way, in my opinion, and we are constantly learning and improving.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Elegant, stunning and modern - each collection released by MATIA Beachwear embodies the chic carefree style of the brand. Where do you find inspiration for the designs?
Tina: I am a vintage girl and I get many of my ideas from vintage fashion, lingerie and swimwear. This is a hard part for me as I am not a trained designer and sometimes have ideas that are hard to fulfil. But I'm grateful and happy for the support of my factory. They're always trying to bring my ideas to life, and they are always doing a fantastic job. I love classic and vintage fashion; fashion that is made to last and easy to combine for an outstanding but aesthetic look. I was never a trend hunter. I love everything female, the classy and timeless treasures.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Your business is small and female-found with a focus on fashion-consciousness and the pursuit of creating better togetherness. What are the challenges you face in the era of fast fashion?
Tina: I love what I do, but it is a hard and long road to go. I must admit, I was a bit too blue-eyed when I launched MATIA. However, when I am struck with an idea or a vision, I begin to pursue it. My unique position as an entrepreneur without significant financial backing or backing from outside sources makes the task of establishing a successful business significantly more challenging. Convincing customers to buy your product, and trying to survive the big competitors out there, are some of the things you need to do. However, I love what I do and there is no up when there is no down. It is the most satisfying feeling to see someone you don't know wearing and enjoying what you've created.
Ella II x Samm - Grape
Heidi x Samm - Black
Henry - Black
NOMADSofORIGIN: More and more small labels seem to have joined the movement of slow and ethical fashion. Do you think that might be the future of the industry and what part does the consumer play in that aspect?
Tina: Being sustainable is not an option for me, it is an absolute must. And not just in the fashion industry, everywhere. As I mentioned, being sustainable is not cheap, and it is certainly harder for smaller brands to get on that train. But there is always a way, and I think it is important to choose this way, even if it will take a lot of effort. It's important to raise the awareness of sustainable fashion, especially for the customers. People should understand why it is important to support sustainable and small labels, and why they are spending more on one piece of fashion than with any fast-fashion company. Sustainable means so much more than just a recycled material. It means you are supporting modern slavery, it means you are supporting companies that simply don't care. And thus can't care because everything that is made in mass can't be sustainable. There are many issues with greenwashing in every industry, and people should be more aware of where their goods come from and who made them. I don't want to be a player and I know there is still much we can improve, but it is easy to start.
NOMADSofORIGIN: We love seeing women pursuing their passion and starting up sustainable businesses! What is your advice to all the creative dreamers out there who are gathering the courage of following the same path as you?
Tina: Just do it; there is nothing loose, just to learn. I love what I do and I would do it over and over again.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Where are you heading to on your next travels?
Tina: Don’t know yet.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What travel essentials do you bring on your holiday adventures?
Tina: Comfy sneakers, my favorite cashmere sweatshirt, a couple of bikinis, leggings and some of my favorite everyday clothes. I love to travel light.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are your top tips for travelling sustainably?
Tina: Explore where you live. You don't have to travel to the end of the world to have a wonderful time and see something new.
Follow @matiabeachwear on social media.
NOMADSofORIGIN x Matia Beachwear
This interview appears in NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine print #06 The Trailblazers Issue