Behind the scenes news from the Holstee Studio.

As we near the celebration of Earth Day this upcoming Sunday, I had to share my favorite monolog from the ever-brilliant Dr. Carl Sagan: his well-known reflection The Pale Blue Dot. It was recorded after he requested Voyager 1 to snap this famous photo of the Earth in 1990, while on the edge of the solar system (approximately 3,762,136,324 miles away). I do not think that there is anything that captures with such profound articulation the reality of this “very small stage in a vast cosmic arena.” There is so much wisdom in Dr. Sagan’s wonderful perspective and I love returning back to this as often as I can. While we mark Earth Day, let us celebrate the Earth with the awe, humility, and responsibility to protect that is due. 

Here is the written text:
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

We are fervent admirers of Patagonia and their consistent role as an industry pillar for the environment, mindful consumerism, and corporate responsibility. Their latest Common Threads Initiative, and this video put together to promote it, just blew our minds. As a brand that seeks to design with a conscience and produce with a positive impact, this initiative articulates everything that Holstee seeks to be and the lifestyle we seek to contribute towards.

The Common Threads Initative recognizes the need for a dramatic shift in the way in which we consume, realizing the responsibility to protect the world around us through the decisions that we make:

Our Common Threads Initiative aims to close the loop on the product life cycle - to make old clothes into new and keep them from ever reaching a landfill or incinerator. Reduce what you buy. Repair what you can. Reuse what you no longer need. Recycle what’s worn out. Reimagine a sustainable world. -Patagonia

Adapting this way of thinking and living is not only better for the world around us, it is better for us. Dr. Andrew Weil recently wrote an article that was featured in Newsweek entitled “Spontaneous Happiness: Our Nature Defecit Disorder." In the article he notes the finding that the more stuff we have, the less likely we are to be happy. Instead, happiness is found in what cannot be bought—relationships and nature—and all of the benefits to be found as a result of cultivating the place of each within our lives.

At Holstee, we want the products that we offer in our shop to not be things that you buy on impulse. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. We do not want to exist to add more stuff to the world. We want the products that we design to contribute to the values we want to incorporate into our lives. This means first and foremost that everything we make is produced in such a way as to respect the environment and create a positive impact. It also means that we want each purchase to be made as mindfully as the product was produced. Together we can make this world a better place, reduce our footprint, and live fuller lives based on more than the “stuff” we acquire.