Nearly three years ago, I chose to rebuild my life. Changed career paths, gave up my much-loved apartment in Brooklyn, donated, swapped or sold most of my wardrobe. Made new friends and deliberately reconnected with some I’d fallen out of touch with. I joined professional groups, created more, wrote more (and deep-sixed more). Experimented on projects and with people from all backgrounds, joined only by our desire to make things that mattered. My eyes opened and my plate was full.
During this prolonged time of rearrangement, a side project I called material morphed into VICENZI. Informal, disjointed peer groups became the first generation Sustainable Fashion Circle community. I could not have gotten through this uncertain period without the support from across the web of warriors, showing up in myriad ways. Social impact was the goal, but sentience and fellowship were my rewards.
Over these same three years, horrific natural disasters and societal discourse began to strike me differently. You might agree social media enabled all of us to empathize more fiercely and immediately with those facing danger. With the fires spreading across California, I could not stop thinking how these people will have to rebuild. As individuals, as families, as communities. What would that feel like? Certainly not the exciting freedom I felt when I chose to rebuild. We are often told that change is necessary and for the better. But when change is thrust at you on a random Thursday in November, banal platitudes fall short. Rebuilding is not always a choice, and our friends across the coast need our support to get through.
I wanted to be a business owner since I was a tween. I knew I wanted to engage with people and communities on a more personal and direct level. I simply yearned to learn, create and share while using business for good, in a way that still made sustainable sense as a for-profit venture. And clothing was my chosen medium. This past year in particular drove me to question when VICENZI LLC would be strong enough to start giving back more deliberately. I’ve been dreaming of the someday I could make an actual, measurable difference through our product and platform.
Someday does not exist.
Every move matters. We must move to what moves us. We all need thoughts and prayers, and our friends across the coast also need action. VICENZI is in the business of consumer goods. It’s clear that the resources we can give to maximize impact today are not goods but money. So we will do that. Until our stock runs out, $100 USD from every Blazer Nº1 sale will go to community relief funds. All donations will be tracked and ensured and shared. Thanks for doing what you can. We cannot all give to every cause. Imagining the slow and painful rebuilding process and dreaming of ways to make it a little bit less painful, a little more communal helped move me to try this. Not in the future, in the now.
Allison M. Vicenzi