Phillip Lim On Being Re-Built by COVID-19

1 year ago by

Continuing with our essay series in reaction to COVID-19, today Phillip Lim shares with us how his company and himself have reacted to and will re-build after COVID-19 …
Here we are in the midst of a situational trauma handed to us, or perhaps I should say, ‘for us’ as a reminder of the delicate balance and impermanence of life. The COVID-19 pandemic has yielded a devastating set of circumstances felt by all communities and industries across the globe. With effects that are both immediate and stretching into the unforeseeable future, we are collectively faced with the arduous task of coping with this new reality. Dislocated from routine and purpose, we find ourselves having to reorient a new amount of unfamiliar “free” time. We must now force ourselves to find solutions to adjust to localized and personal difficulties as well as those of an unfathomably larger scale.
In this new uncomfortable space, what this momentous experience has given me is a deeper sense of gratitude; gratitude for the simple and available pleasures of life, and appreciation for the people we surround ourselves with. Whether it be colleagues we encounter daily, or family and friends we wish we could see more, the shift in interconnectedness despite the physical parameters of our current climate is nothing short of incredible. It’s an affordance of having time, a luxury we often either don’t have or take for granted when we do, that I won’t be leaving behind when we finally reach the threshold of life post-pandemic. With that being said, I’m not just thinking about what I want to bring into life on the other side of the crisis, but rather what I want to remove in exchange for values and behaviors more humane than before.
Whether COVID-19 is a physical embodiment of the environment’s response to mistreatment and overconsumption or not, what permeates the vast amount of loss in our communities is a growing understanding that we need to do better. Yes, we need to tend to and nurture the relationships we hold dear while continuing to support the wider populations of those in need whom we might have previously forgotten. We have to acknowledge that this starts with caring for the planet that houses us all. It’s no coincidence that the impact of COVID-19 is being felt among brands small and large, calling on a major reassessment of what we create, produce, buy, sell, and throw away. The process that feeds the cycle of supply and demand will undoubtedly have to change when businesses resume operation sans stay at home orders. Just as we have prioritized mental and physical health, supporting charitable initiatives by donating or simply vocalizing the need, we will need to highlight what is important for a hopeful and more sustainable future. I can say with certainty that for myself and my brand, that includes opting for longevity and value over excess and inevitable waste. Questioning and prioritizing our needs over our wants during a time when so many are doing without, is a mentality we can all adopt indefinitely.
As a result, my hope will be that we can coagulate the beauty of shared values in creativity and generation of new ideas with the concept of serving our basic, if slightly romanticized needs. For 3.1 Phillip Lim, this means smaller but more meaningful collections grounded in the functional, mindful wardrobe for our tribes’ journey. It means continuing to apply the notion of striking a sustainable balance equally amongst the environment, product, and the people that keep the wheels turning. It means carrying along the luxury turned privilege of selfcare and peace of mind. The hope has and will continue to be offering creativity alongside a set of values that people can use to live beautifully and once again freely.


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  • This is beautifully written. Thank you, Philip Lim for being a constant inspiration. This is very exciting and I hope it’s the beginning of a huge change in the fashion industry.

    Just a quick note to anyone interested in sustainability in fashion: (hint hint to the Doré team if you want to feature her ;-) Aja Barber (Instagram and Patreon) is an amazing source of education and I highly recommend reading her work but please respect her space.

  • Kali Sanders 17 mai 2020, 1:00 / Répondre

    That was so moving and eloquent.

  • COVID-19 has make me more aware of the importance of family and friends !

  • I agree with the others, beautifully said. We’re a young brand, launched only 5 months before this whole new crazy situation, but we also know it’s our chance as a world, to reset. Always find the good and make it better. Starting now!

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