Quince Cashmere Sweatpants & End-of-Year Thoughts
Happy end-of-2020. I think a lot of us were holding onto the hope that the end of 2020 would be the end of the nightmare that is a pandemic stacked on top America’s ongoing social ills. While there is hope – in the form of a vaccine and an incoming president and vice-president who will hopefully recalibrate if not “fix” some of the most unjust aspects of our current political and social situation – I find myself feeling just as exhausted as ever.
We’re still living in the in-between of uncertainty.
No amount of consumption will fix that, and I know I’m not alone in coming to terms with that in a more concentrated way throughout the course of this year. But that doesn’t mean that fashion industry ethics have ceased to matter. Thanks to initiatives like the Pay-Up campaign and the work of industry insiders like Elizabeth Cline, it has become more apparent that the exploitative side of the fashion industry benefits from our preoccupation with buying things in an attempt to change things instead of pursuing more direct action.
The fact remains that we will buy things, but we also must learn how to effect change in a holistic way: through civic engagement, policy change, and collaborative community efforts.
So Many Thoughts
Through my ongoing work as a theological student – and particularly through my internships at a hospital and a church – I have woken up to the idea that hyper-local, attentive, interdependent community can move people toward collaborative action in a way social media demands simply can’t. While the internet can be an incredible source of on-the-ground information and personal narrative, what we learn here is moot if we can’t learn how to transfer it to our embodied lives.
While we still can’t safely get together in person, I have been gratified by vulnerable, honest, and grace-filled conversations I’ve experienced this year through chaplaincy work, class time, and small groups. If we let them, our community spaces can be places of rapid transformation, reckoning, and humility. We can offer spaces in which people can ask the “dumb” question, say the “inappropriate” thing, and challenge authority, knowing that they will not be abandoned in their humanity. Rather, it is precisely through this radical vulnerability that we build communities that counter the stubborn isolationism of the Colonial-Capitalist structure we dwell within. We must be allowed to fumble and repent in spaces that buoy us toward abundance or else the entire ship will sink.
2020 is the year in which I realized that the supremacist systems I have been formed by make me shrink, abandon, re-entrench, twist, and deny at precisely the moment I could discover joy in community. I suspect that many of us have work to do in this arena, choosing a doubling-down of our own “brands” and identities without realizing that we’re stuck in the power game that renders us mere objects in a system not intended to save us. Rather than pursue “empowerment” that can so easily become authoritarian, I am seeking mutuality.
Quince Cashmere Pants Review
I swear this started as a cashmere pants review and then I just couldn’t stop writing down other thoughts. I received the sweater and sweatpants as part of a sponsored collaboration with Quince.
As I mentioned in my $50 Cashmere Sweater review, Quince uses a manufacturer-to-consumer model that reduces the risk over over-production and requires better communication and accountability between corporate and the factories with which they contract.
I brought the sweater with me to hunker down with family (truly, I only leave the house for outdoor walks) and have been wearing it during Florida cold snaps. There has been some pilling in higher-friction areas (like under my arms), but it’s very easy to remove with just a gentle hand. The sweatpants arrived in the mail a few days ago, just in time for the coldest day yet (i.e. highs in the 50s). They’re soft, flattering, and hold their shape better than expected (since it’s a sweater knit).
I ordered a Large in the sweatpants, which feels like the right size. They’re a little large at my waist but a perfectly comfortable fit at my hips. For reference, I have about a 31″ waist and 42.5″ hips. The sweatpants are $89.90, which is a great price for cashmere. They’re also opaque, so you can chill on your porch or walk the cat in them if you want to.
Shop Sweatpants (they also offer fleece if cashmere isn’t your thing)
See my previous Quince review.
Leah Wise is the founder of StyleWise Blog. She has been writing, speaking, and consulting on sustainable fashion, the fair trade and secondhand supply chain, and digital marketing for over ten years. An Episcopal priest, Leah holds a B.A. in Religion from Florida State University and an M.Div. from Yale Divinity School. When not working, you can find her looking for treasures at the thrift store.