A Prayer into the World appeared from a deepening understanding that we, each one of us, make ourselves, and the collective interplay of us all makes this world. This making is in everything we do, from how we treat ourselves, to how we treat each other and other life, to how we treat the planet for the next generations to come.
Our scarves are coded with now and tomorrow’s messages. A Prayer into the World is not affiliated with any religion or political persuasion. We use the word prayer in the way of making an offering into the world, from the ache that many of us feel, that a new and better way is what tomorrow calls for.
TRANSLATED IN ENGLISH
Fashion with a powerful signal
By: Sander Funneman
Through a meeting with designer Marianne Lundhus, Sander Funneman gets a different view about clothes. The scarves from Lundhus' make him realise that fashion can contribute to inner value.
During a conference in Germany, I had the inspiring pleasure of having lunch with Danish designer Marianne Lundhus. She uses environmentally friendly processes and sustainable materials such as silk and organic cotton in her work. But the project goes much further than that.
I talked to her about 'A Prayer into the World', a design project of scarves. The starting point of each design is not so much the shapes, colours or materials, but the essence of the message. Marianne Lundhus and Malene Maxon designed and produced the scarves from their studio just outside Copenhagen. They cherished the desire to create something beautiful and useful, where the inner value that you can build with it is paramount.
Over lunch, I was struck by Lundhus' vision. She is an engaging storyteller with an infectious passion for finding new ways of thinking about fashion and design. She has the ability to relate the development of the human inner world to the outer world of expression and design. The designers work with texts printed on fabric. Together with the chosen shapes, images and colours, the words tell a story. The careful attention to every detail is part of that story. The messages are universal. The vision is that everyone who chooses to wear a scarf does so from their own conviction. The scarves are therefore first and foremost messages to yourself, and from there to anyone who crosses your path. As Lundhus put it: 'This project is not primarily about scarves. The world does not need more scarves. The world does need people who find ways to be or become what their lives are essentially about.’
Water as messenger
We talked about the realisation that clothing is the body's first point of contact with the world. It is a medium that stands between us and the world. We also talked about the research of Emoto, Pollack and other scientists who discovered that our thoughts and intentions can change the structure of water. And because our bodies are made up of about 99 per cent water molecules, what we think and feel affects our whole body. Not only what we think affects the molecular structure of our bodies, but also, for example, the intentions we have about what we wear. Therefore, an attribute of clothing with a message can send a powerful signal to the whole of ourselves. Fashion becomes a way to communicate with ourselves. The idea is: if you can reach yourself, you can reach the world. After all, two-thirds of the earth's surface consists of water. And there is also water in the air. Thus, the intentions that have caused changes in the water of our body can be transferred to the air. In this way, our body becomes energetically connected to the planetary atmosphere. Every human being is therein a transmitter and receiver of messages: messages of hope, freedom, friendship, love, vision.
On the way back from Germany to the Netherlands, the things we had talked about kept running through my head. This gave rise to the idea of inviting her and her co-designer for an interview for The Optimist. When I stopped to refuel, questions started to bubble up in my mind. Later that week, we saw each other via Zoom.
I spoke with someone who said that she uses your scarves as a point of personal calibration. What would you say about it?
Lundhus: ‘In our way of thinking, clothing and clothing-attributes are the end-results of an internal process. In a strange way, wearing something doesn’t begin with wearing it. It starts with what you think and how you feel about what you are wearing. And if what you wear fits well physically as well as emotionally and mentally, then wearing something can become a strength, a support, a reminder, an intactness, a steering current etc. In this philosophy of thinking, what you wear becomes an external demonstration of an internal process that involves choices, decisions and principles. If your inner stance harmonizes with what you have decided to wear on the outside, then we believe that it produces a glow, which in a small way begins to make a difference in a much bigger context.’
Could you speak about the design process?
Maxon: ‘The process begins with something we value and uphold, like respect for the planet, qualities that go with being human, such as care, understanding and gender equality and then the creative process starts. Always, the challenge is to design scarves that can act as a tuning fork to the quality or value we are trying to give expression to. So, it’s not fashion for the sake of fashion, but fashion for the sake of meaning, fashion for the sake of creating a better possibility for the future. The messages printed on the scarves mean something and stand for something, like the scarf ‘EARTH’ is a scarf we hope encourages a deeper questioning and dialogue about this magnificent earth and the responsibility we have as humans. It’s an open invitation. If you just like the scarves and want to wear them because they look great, we’re delighted.’
What is the vision of ‘love of all kinds’?
Lundhus: ‘It is about that every single life on this planet is here for a reason and a purpose. There is a moth in Madagascar that lives specifically from the tears of a particular bird. That is just one little illustration as to how everything in nature has a function and is interconnected with everything else. Life on Earth is magnificent weaves of delicate partnerships. That’s an example of that it takes all kinds great and small to make this Earth that for a time is your home and my home” and this scarf is made as a respect to that.’ When I look at it, the imagery also has something protective Maxon: ‘Last week I visited a zoo for work. I don’t like animals in captivity, but I certainly do love animals. So, I went to visit some of the animals, the pandas, the wombat, the elephants. I stood there just watching how one of the elephants was eating, feeling an awe about that huge life, just a few meters away from where I stood. I was wondering about what made it, what designed it. Wondering about how exact it is designed. The elephant had a young calf, and I could feel how the mother was protective of its young and I realized how this protectiveness had exactly the same sense as the protectiveness that I could feel in for example my dog about her puppies. That’s also love of kind. It is everywhere.’
Can you explain that?
Lundhus: ‘Often dogs and cats are considered in terms of what they can they do for us? But the love of kind that forms symbioses in nature are much more a love for the sake of what is causing those symbioses to exist. It talks of a love for other forms of life and what they are in their own rights. This love is a natural process in every person alive unless something in that life has caused a removal from that. But then, still it is there, waiting. Ready to be returned to. All these sentiments are what this scarf reminds us of when we wear it, it says: “remember, you share this place with all other life on this planet.”’ Unconditional love, beyond the boundaries of family and one’s own species.
Maxon: ‘On a walk with my dog yesterday, there was a little boy who saw the dog. Like a magnet the boy came with his arms wide-open towards the dog and the dog pulled the line to get to the boy. It is a natural warmth and attraction that we are born with. It is a natural human response. That is Love of all kinds. In that same way, we work with every scarf we produce’.