My eyes were watering as I relayed everything I was carrying to my friend over Facetime.
I was newly engaged, we were in the middle of a pandemic, I was displaced, my family did not approve of our engagement, I was working 2 jobs, planning a wedding, trying to salvage my relationship with my family, hold my friendships tight while literally losing my hair from the stress of it all.
My friend and life coach receive everything with grace. Then she brought up Ephesians 4:14.The verse mentions being “tossed back and forth by the wind.” She pointed out that it seemed like I was letting the wind toss me around, rather than grounding my feet, holding onto Jesus, and letting the roots sink in.
I don't know about you, but I know I’m not the only one who’s felt tossed in such a way.
How easy is it to become caught up in the waves and wind, that we miss the mark. I had set course for a great year, joyfilled relationships, dreamed of large family gatherings and shared excitement, dedicated Bible study mornings, perfected workout routines, organic green juice, and glass-ceiling-shattering work. But I didn’t quite get there. Part of it was in my control, sure, but most of it was not.
Maybe the same feeling is out there for you.
We aimed for golden hour, but were too caught up in the circumstances that we arrived late.
We still arrived.
I have wanted to design apparel for a while now. But one thing on my heart in recent years is the damage of the fast fashion industry. From unethical work environments, unfair wages, and unruly contributions to slave labor, there’s a whole lot of not-so-good that comes from the fashion industry. A recent report of the fast fashion giant Shein revealed workers are getting paid roughly two cents per item, working 18 hour days with one day off per month.
Yeah, not quite worth it anymore, right?!
But the tricky dilemma of living in our time is that fast fashion is virtually unavoidable. For starters, companies aren’t always transparent about where they source items, what the conditions are like for workers, and if child labor is involved. Even if they are, that information is often inaccessible, or falls secondary to the low cost of the items when shoppers typically have a tight budget and financial goals of their own to consider. Fast fashion is also irritatingly accessible. Most every items sold at your local Target, Walmart and Kohl’s has a shady background. So a new pair of shoes or a classic tee can be a simple solution to your wardrobe, but tough to discern the implications of in the moment (hey no shame, we all have the impulse buy).
Trust me, it’s okay to not do this perfectly. No one can and no one will. But it is in my conviction to try to do this better. Not perfectly, just better.
That’s where Blue Hour comes in.
When I started designing this line, I knew from the start I would not release it unless I could be confident that it would do more good than harm. I wanted the pieces I was creating to not add to the mistreatment of garment workers in the industry. It took research and patience, and letting go of a few dreamier ideas to find printing, embroidery, and blank products that I knew I could trust. The items I selected in this collection have been built with care and are made in sweat-shop free environments. And I know that doesn't sound incredibly sexy, but to me, it’s one of the things I’m most proud about in this line.
Because the thing is, it’s all connected.
The words and phrases that came to inspire this line fall flat if the garments they’re embellished on counteract them.
In other words, it seems pretty silly to say “hey you, you’re made in the image of God, valued and loved and worthy of being seen” on a tee shirt, and know a young child got $.02 for stitching it together. They too are made in the image of God and while I can’t control every aspect of their life, a fair wage and ethical treatment is one that I hope to contribute to through these products.
The Blue Hour line was built on combining slow fashion, our truest identity, and acceptance of where we are for anyone seeking shalom (peace of Christ).
Okay okay now for the question I know you’re dying to ask: why the heck is it called Blue Hour?
In photography, peak lighting is during a time of day called “golden hour.” The sun is level to the earth, the sky is warm and rich, and it is the best moment to get the highest quality work.
But what happens if you miss it?
Right after golden hour comes blue hour.
The sun has traded places with the moon; it’s darker, the sky might have a dusky ocean sort of tone, and the air turns mystical and crisp. It’s not the ideal lighting, but it’s usable; it’s different, yet a whole lot of magic can still happen.
Blue Hour is a time stamp on missing the mark, and being okay with it. Not complacent, but present. Whole in our humanity, worthy in our rest, complete in the arms of Christ.
These are the concepts I hoped to bring to life in this collection. I hope they encourage you wherever you are.
You can shop the pop-up store now right here. (But head’s up! The shop closes 11/28 so get your items while you can)