How we consume can change the world. Where you spend your money shows what you support. By buying directly from artisans and makers in your community, you support local people, local systems, and progressive ideologies. After 30 years of working as a designer, Amy Yeung of Orenda Tribe decided she only wanted to design products with consciousness. “I began my commitment to product that I could make with my own hands, from textiles and garments already existing.” Later this year Amy will relocate Orenda Tribe to New Mexico, where she will live with, work alongside, and create jobs for the Navajo Tribespeople. Read on to learn more about Amy.
Here at The Ecology Center, we are inspired by nature’s perfect design- where there is no waste, and everything is regenerative. As we set out to model what our ideal looks like, we’ve identified the importance of making a statement as a founding principle of Handmade and one solution for regenerative/sustainable production. Because how we consume can change the world, can you speak to this point as a fashion designer? You have recently reconnected with your Navajo Tribe and have an incredible vision to make positive change and create an opportunity for your tribespeople. Can you tell us a bit about this without giving too much away?
Amy Yeung of Orenda Tribe: I was a designer for over 30 years producing clothing, and I came to a place where I could no longer design product without consciousness. I began my commitment to product that I could make with my own hands, from textiles and garments already existing.
Orenda Tribe was founded based on this love of vintage, and we have been experimenting with the upcycling process – constantly rethinking and evolving how to repurpose these treasures. We believe it’s important to produce soulful product, things you will cherish and keep, or pass on at the end of their life cycle. We believe in small batch, one of kind, handcrafted products.
Our next chapter is a soul journey. A journey home for me. In 2019, I’ve decided to move our studio to the Navajo Nation. We will be making only reservation made product by next summer. To honor the traditional indigenous artistry, but also to shift the inequities of opportunity. The journey to discover my culture, history has given me the harsh truth of our countries colonization and environmental genocide still facing the indigenous today. We stand with the indigenous protectors of Mother Earth and will be working with various Navajo organizations the next year to bring to light the critical issues of water, air, and earth, due to the continued fracking and uranium mining facing the reservation as part of our message.
We found our way home. Orenda: Inside all of us, we have the power to create change
Visit http://www.orendatribe.com/ to shop Amy’s designs