When my mother wanted to get her point across she took me to the golf course where I would order a club sandwich and a chocolate milk shake. It was at that table looking over the 18th hole that she imparted her most important lessons and outlined her vision for my future.
When I started my outdoor clothing company Ocean SF four years ago I had no idea how difficult it would be to start a clothing line. I applied all of my hard earned skills from working in marketing and operations in the technology industry to making clothing. However, clothes are not like software, you can’t ship a beta over the Internet and then ship an update. They are physical things clothes, but my brand is about more than clothes. My goal is to provide a framework to live a good and worthy life. I want to redefine fashion to incorporate the greatness of a moral code of ethics using clothing as a catalyst for social change. I want my brand to provide hope and direction in the effort to eradicate our global excessive and unsustainable rate of consumption. I want a refocus on the ethical production of sustainable products that are made well and withstand the test of time. It’s been difficult because it’s a war, not just a business, to shift societal dependence on disposable everything.
I’ve always been a minimalist as far as clothing was concerned. I went to college with one dress, two Ralph Lauren button downs, two wool sweaters and my 501 jeans. When I go to Europe I take a carry on suitcase. I’m often asked, “Where are all your clothes?”
My idea from the beginning sitting on a sailboat shivering in the wind was to make technically advanced products from natural fibers. As my body shook and my hands began to turn numb I knew that if I had been wearing wool instead of polyester I would not be cold.
Can a clothing brand change the world? I think the answer is yes, because Ocean SF stands for integrity and conservation. A brand that produces products that stand the test of time, sewn by people that are treated fairly, made of fabric milled for it’s performance and not to cut costs. How can it not?
I buried my mother at the end of my twenties. I wonder what she would have thought about all of this and if my life looks anything like what she had envisioned. Sadly, we will never know, but I believe she would have encouraged me every step of the way.
Love and blessings to all.