June represents the commemoration of the LGBTQIA+ Pride Month, and at SENTIENT we want to honor this diverse and rich community that has rendered this month a fight to advance a more just and inclusive society. Inspired by the rainbow flag, we will dedicate SENTIENT’s first blog entry to a community that has provided us with the opportunity to grow into a more global and successful brand.
Our mission has been, since our birth, to create fashion as a means to forge the path to a more compassionate society - may this text be part of a deep-rooted collective thinking around mindfulness and diversity, and help transcend the meaning of the rainbow into our lives, 365 days a year.
Feeling exclusion is something that many of us feel or have felt during our lives. The idea that we limit who we are, and with that, our intellectual, physical and spiritual input into the world, is a high cost that industries, organizations and communities are taking on. To experience a lack of safety, comfort and openness to express our ideas and perspectives results in a kind of suffering that pressures us into becoming someone we are not, since we most likely will center on “feeling different”.
Institutions -public, private and social- are now more than ever adopting narratives and policies around diversity without necessarily looking for what is different due to long standing biases. We tend to not be mindful of those who feel different, who find themselves pertaining to a more powerless minority. Yet the world desperately needs to endorse the differences that characterize humanity - in all its dimensions, both the physically apparent differences and those we cannot see. At SENTIENT, we believe in a form of diversity that cannot always be measured and seen. Diversity must lead to tangible action that enables and provides the tools for people to feel comfortable and safe within a community or an industry, and that is why we need to be conscious of our biases.
We are all embedded in hierarchies creating inequalities, domination and injustice. And, at some point, we have all been both beneficiaries and targets of those hierarchies. As a result, to be mindful of others’ experience, to endorse our differences, humanity carries the unequivocal task to fulfill our potential to become a more compassionate species, not just in our personal lives but in the industries that we participate in and the cultures that emanate through them.
Although compassion is still frequently seen as a form of weakness, or an expression of a lack of sufficient skills to perform competitively in the business world, for example, it provides a path to lead with hope in times where struggle seems too abundant. Although Pride Month is a symbol of a continuous fight for social justice, it is also a benchmark to become realists with optimism in the face of the complexities that diversity has yet to face in the transformation of our institutions and cultures. Learning from this community, encompassing many social movements, provides a sense that we can contribute to change the world.
May Pride Month be a perpetual reminder that we need to be mindful of what it feels like to experience being “different”, to be mindful of creating inclusive cultures and communities that provide safety and comfort for holistic self-expression, mindful of the layers and dimensions behind diversity (as is represented in the LGBTQIA+movement) and mindful when we issue messages and market our products so as not to remain in our comfort zone.
Together, mindfulness and diversity can be lessons that will allow us to find the right connections and messages to build bridges and common grounds for humanity in the future, as well as living through the wealth that lies behind our differences.