What if, instead of fighting imperfection, you welcomed it in your life?
Believe it or not, this is the foundation of a very old way of thinking. The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi means "impermanent, imperfect and incomplete." It derives from the Buddhist way of looking at the world, which has a foundation in nonattachment, and takes its cues from the natural world and authenticity, from the handmade and the worn.
Popularized in 15th century Japan, it is a reaction to excess and lavishness. As a designer, I think of it as the anti-internet, and a similar aesthetic is undercurrent in all types of design today. Currently, it's a reaction to the sleek perfection of technology, of the cookie-cutter house or car, the bland design of corporate logos and mass-produced retail goods.
Wabi-sabi is the Japanese idea of embracing the imperfect, celebrating the worn, the used or the cracked, both as a decorative and spiritual concept. In essence, it's the acceptance of the toll that life takes on us all. If we can learn to love the things that already exist, for all their chips and cracks, their imperfections, their crooked lines or tactile evidence of being made by someone's hands instead of a machine, from being made of natural materials that vary rather than perfect plastic, we wouldn't need to make new stuff, reducing our consumption, its concurrent energy use and inevitable waste while cutting our budgets. We might also be less stressed, and more attentive to details, which are the keys to mindfulness.
At Faburiq, we design knowing our fabrics have an implied history and evidence of humanity. We have an appreciation of the stories old things have, rather than the blankness that new things shine out into the world. We pride ourselves in giving these traditional fabrics a new life by crafting them into accessories and apparel with yet, another story to tell.
Author: Aruña Quiroga