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.
WILL&BEAR -THE SUSTAINABLE HAT BRAND THAT HELPS PLANT TREES
In our exclusive interview with the founders of Will & Bear we talk about fashion beyond sustainability. This is how they continue to inspire a community of nomads who are educated about positive human-nature co-existence whilst giving back to their community
Words: Emily Georgieva
20 March 2020
On-the-road lifestyle, incredible places and the lust of travellers was the inspiration for creating Will&Bear. The high-quality brand exists because of the love of travel. The founders believe in giving back to their community. Not only sustainably made, the hats that the brand creates are also entirely influenced by the beauty of nature. Will&Bear continue to grow four years after it was founded to include wanderlust nomads, conscious shoppers and adventurists into their wonderful community!
Made in China, Mongolia and Sri Lanka, the hats are tailored from 100% natural materials and recycled fibers. Not only stylish looking, they are also fair-trade, REACH and SGS approved (global certifications for process, standards and trade). We simply fell in love with the brand at first sight! The cool designs are remarkable and the style of the hats is uniquely crafted for the explorers of the great wide world. If this isn’t enough to get you scrolling through their online shop, the fact that Will&Bear team up with trees.org just might!
This is fashion beyond the industry. The brand has a forward-thinking approach. Their ongoing partnership with the environmentally friendly organisation helps grow forests and mirrors the way the founders spread awareness about the human impact on nature.
Designed in Australia. Homemade for the world.
Will&Bear create products that keep giving back. Their community of likely-minded travellers and adventurists has started a movement. Every hat contributes to the Forest Project – each purchased hat equals 10 planted trees. There have been over 116.9 hectares of trees planted so far. This reassures the continuity of native species in the areas and strengthens the soil. The forests of trees provide income for many families who make a living from agriculture. Through their collaboration with the Forest Project, the brand gives each customer a platform to become part of this incredible chain of giving back to nature whilst working towards climate stability.
From caps to bucket hats, beanies to wide brim hats – take your pick! Choosing between the designs is a challenge as they are all uniquely beautiful, practical and aesthetically pleasing. The founders, Lauren and Alex continue to be inspired by nature. Their love of travelling was the reason they created their first hats, but it was also why they went that extra mile to make sure their community keeps roaming without limitations. You can shop their accessories, such as the Carry Clips, which allow you to carry your hat comfortably with you wherever your feet take you and know that it is safe and sound.
‘‘If sustainability is important to you, be proud to stand up for what you believe in!’’
Lauren Williams, co-founder of Will&Bear for NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine
Lauren Williams, co-founder of Will&Bear
Photography: Aura House
Photography: Aura House
We talked to Lauren (WILL) and Alex (BEAR) about their journey, the reason they founded the business and why seeking adventure is so important to them. Here's what Lauren shared with us:
NOMADSofORIGIN: Can you remember the moment you decided to start the company? Did you ever expect it to become so influential?
Will&Bear: We had just started a road trip around Tasmania and were on the hunt for a good hat for the trip. After searching a few stores we were left feeling a little disheartened, sure we found hats but none from a brand that resonated with us or filled us with a sense of adventure. When we would stop in a town for supplies, we would inevitably end up rummaging through the local op-shop for hidden gems. We found incredible vintage yet timeless hat styles every time and this started the conversation of creating our own hat brand. One that connects you to and gives back to nature. We never imagined the impact we'd be able to have!
NOMADSofORIGIN: What is the best place you’ve been to that would be a perfect stop for a stylish nomad inspired by the outdoors?
Will&Bear: To many to count! A few of our favourites are Bay of fires, Tasmania. Flinders Ranges, South Australia. South Island, NZ.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What are your travel rituals whenever you decide to hit the road?
Will&Bear Alex (Bear) Ritual is surfing & Loz (Will) is yoga/meditation daily. To keep our sanity and fitness in check while on the road.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Seeking adventure is clearly important for you both. The love of being on the road was the inspiration for Will&Bear. Do you think it is crucial that we all seek and follow our wanderlust in a sustainable way that leaves a positive impact on nature?
Will&Bear: For us, Vanlife has allowed us to grow immensely through being outside of your comfort zone and constantly feeling like you’re on a never-ending adventure is addictive. As individuals we wanted to make a difference to the environment, create a business we would be proud to work for and create a community around those ideas. We designed a vehicle for change that you see today as Will & Bear. We wanted to build something we would be proud to promote and allowed our personal and business goals to align.
Needless to say, the Vanlife isn't for everyone. With that being said, we think the days are over for new brands to think of starting without first thinking of the environment. This is a message we want to spread and hope this campaign helps.
NOMADSofORIGIN: You have traveled to many places and roamed the lands of different countries. Which culture you encountered left the most lasting impression on you?
Will&Bear: Senegal, Africa. We were lucky enough to be able to visit and stay in some very remote communities while visiting the tree planting project we work with. The family culture in senegal was amazing, so much love and care for a community.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Is there a brand or sustainably thinking designer we should be watching closely?
Will&Bear: Gosh there are so many! We’ve seen a massive trend in this direction of late, and it’s something that makes us super proud to be a part of. To name a few: Opia, The Social Outfit, Outland Denim, Salt Gypsea.
NOMADSofORIGIN: What is your favourite hat from the collections right now?
Will&Bear: William Brown, hands down. This was the very first hat we ever designed and has been our best seller in the range since we launched a few years ago. This product represents what we stand for, simple design.
NOMADSofORIGIN: Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Will&Bear: If sustainability is important to you, be proud to stand up for what you believe in! Find your community and get involved, the people around us are such a massive part of the success of our Will & Bear. From being inspired by their journeys, seeking advice or just having the support of people you care about is so important.
This interview appears in NOMADSofORIGIN Magazine print issue #02 THE CLIMATE CHANGE ISSUE.
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NOMADSofORIGIN x Will&Bear