Clothes to balance the spirit and the physical body
If humans don’t live side by side with nature, Our human being won’t be able to survive. When I wondered what I could do, I arrived to this clothing idea.
The base of our life is “clothing, food and housing”. When we go back to the clothing roots, fabric has roles not only protecting us from heat and coldness, but protecting us from evil energies and was woven “prayer” into it to heal our souls.
Also in earlier times, because people knew medical effects in plants, they used roots and barks as dyes to fabric. They must have worn fabric with plant dye as a medicine and let it absorb through the skin in order to heal diseases.
However, now “if it’s cheap, never mind the quality” became a trend, and manufacturing took over; synthetic fibers, artificial dyes have been used on a daily basis. These fabrics don’t absorb sweat easily and block the skin respiration.
This has gradually caused physical and mental imbalances. The reason why it happened is the essential function of clothing went too far from the original purpose. More people in civilized countries are influenced by this condition of the current society. And most of people don’t recognize that they are removed from nature. This is a serious problem.
23 years ago, after an incident, I began thinking that the material-centered and economy-centered world doesn’t serve us well and if we don’t live side by side with nature, Earth can’t survive. I had been an haute couture designer and my clients were European high society. But I became not interested in those fashions.
After this, I searched for four years to understand that what the true nature of clothing was, I concluded that our mental and physical balance must come from the outfits which give us the awareness that “we are a part of nature”.
I traveled all over the world to look for high energy fabrics that is good for our health. Finally, I was able to encounter it in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I call the clothes made with those fabrics “Clothe with Spirit.”
I focus on cotton, silk and hemp. These materials breathe well, feel cool in summer and warm in winter, and are kind to the skin. In Japan, it is said that hemp is a protection against evil energies, therefore hemp clothing is worn for ceremonies in Shinto shrines and the Imperial court. All processes of making fabric; growing cotton and silk worms, spinning threads, dyeing, weaving and sawing are hand worked by villagers in Thailand.
It’s important for me to respect each person’s working pace. The priority should be that they can work comfortably rather than productively, so I am relaxed about deadlines, weaving and dyeing. Instead, I give them time for appreciating nature, such as observing the night sky or rice paddies and so on… that would cause to nurture their creativity and enhance their perspective. The fabrics that went through this process vary in size, texture and color. And all of them are precious to me.
Because I didn’t want to cut the finished fabrics, I think as if I'm making Origami. So I sometimes make some pants shaped like a flying squirrel. The priority of clothing's design nowadays is style, and they sometimes block mobility and constrict the internal organs. As my intention is the opposite, I aim to design shapes which can wrap the body tenderly and not tight against the body. Such designs don’t have to follow trends, so the styles of our products won’t get old-fashioned, so we don’t have unsold stock. There is no stress in any parts of the process. And we have more than 80 coordinators who love USAATO clothe, organizing exhibitions, selling them with the designer’s intention and the workers’ hearts. This movement has been expanding to different parts of the world.
Hand-to mouth life is over. The weaving production changed the villages.
Currently, we have five spinning persons for one weaver. I assume that we have approximately 500 or more weavers. Altogether, there are more than 2,500 people in 16 villages working for USAATO Clothe. This project is approaching the 18th anniversary this year. The villages that have been involved in it have transformed significantly. They used to be happy if they were able to live peacefully, and they didn’t have any idea how to save money. But now, they have stable incomes and are able to plan 5 years to 10 years ahead. Some spend it for their education and others build houses.
My business partner taught them collective structures, and they set up collective savings. These savings help people lay out their next goal easily. The young generation is inspired by watching their parents being happy to create unique and artistic weavings, and advancing economically. I am hoping that this continues generation to generation and evolves little by little. However we sometimes
misunderstand each other because of cultural difference, I trust that the Universe would support us, if our activity is necessary to the world. I will continue to work with villagers to make “Clothe with Spirit.”
Many people who wear USAATO Clothe say that they feel as if their entire bodies are wrapped tenderly. Not only the fabric, but our buttons are also from natural materials including dyes. We don’t use chemical starches at all which is common for manufacturing clothing. Because we choose materials that are biodegradable, you might feel that you are wrapped in Earth's energy.
One of the common effects from wearing USAATO Clothe is to improve the conditions of atopic dermatitis patients. Atopic dermatitis patients can tell whether it has chemical or not, even it labeled as natural fabric. Their bodies tell them what does work and what doesn’t. Many of them choose to wear only USAATO Clothe.
Also, some say USAATO Clothe improve their health or breathing. Synthetic fabrics or chemical dyes make our body function and skin sensory weakened and the perspiration loses its function. When it’s cold, a pore contracts, when it’s hot, a pore opens up for sweating. But with synthetics and chemicals, such homeostatic functions do not happen easily. It is not a big surprise that our bodies become insensitive when we are removed from nature. From people’s feedbacks and with my instinct, I would say “Clothe with Spirit” would support our natural physical functions.
As mentioned at the beginning, clothing can heal our soul, too. In fact, I think many people are living with just their physical bodies. If all of us on this planet have balanced bodies, minds and spirits, and live harmoniously, Earth wouldn’t have environmental pollutions, with cheating and greedy people who care only their own gains. Of course, clothing is not the only problem; floor, wall, furniture, curtain, carpet, pesticides, chemical properties are surround us daily. The impacts from those things to our body and mind are immeasurable.
If you become aware of it, you will shine from inside and care people around you. USAATO exhibitions are interesting because customers are recommending products to each other! And when you see someone wears USAATO Clothe, you feel close and become friends easily. Like-minded people begin making a
community. And this is one of USAATO Clothe’s characteristics.
I don’t mean to say “Please wear this!” Motivation doesn’t matter. If we are aware that we are a part of nature and willing to live side by side with it, we can climb up the same mountain together to see Earth as our very precious dwelling planet. Pick a tool you can relate to; a living environment, food, so on… When we realize we are a part of nature, we can awaken with true love and live who we are. Our hearts get close together, become entwined as one long yarn to connect each other.
Usaburo Sato's interview in 2015 on "Healthy Living Recommended by Doctors" http://ishibon.com/people/
All natural materials and natural plant dyed clothes [USAATO Exhibition] is coming on
March 8 Fri @ Oh! Mammy Motoki's house 68 Evergreen Ave, Cresskill NJ 07626 10am - 5pm Oh! Mammy Café open . Curry & rice
March 9 Sat @ Der Pioneer Cafe restaurant 737 Church Ave, Brooklyn , NY 11218 4pm - 9pm Café open Live music & drinks Homemade jam , Kimuchi will sale by Tama's Kichen
March 10 Sun @CRS (Center for Remembering and Sharing) 123 4th Ave, Manhattan 11:30 - 12:30 Mr. Usaburo's talk 2 Floor 12:00pm - 5pm Exibition Whiteroom 3 Floor