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New Year Energy
Issue - 03

New Year Energy

With some Leo for good measure.

5 minute read

By Amy Tai | Photos by Marija Vainilaviciute

Amy is a writer and Dai brand editor who focuses on all things women, work & culture.

TL;DR

  • It’s a new year, and we’re glad to be here. So, which January are you? Health always tops the resolutions list. But is exercise really just about those fitness goals? Or is it in pursuit of something greater? We’re talking: spirituality in the corporal.

  • What about being fit, for a purpose? 50% of global consumers – hey, shoppers are people too – point to the pandemic as a catalyst for examining what they’re doing with their lives.

  • No ponder of the existential is complete without facing the massive elephant in the room: the climate crisis.

Enter 2022, and its pick-me-up lines. We’re talking that New. Years. Energy.

Clean slate-style resolutions have been around since time immemorial. And probably for just as long there have been detractors questioning: why even bother?

Questions around the point – or pointlessness – of it all ring especially true in the current climate of uncertainty. “New Year’s resolution ennui has coincided with a more general backlash to productivity culture,” wrote Rebecca Jennings in Vox.

So, which January are you?

#LIFEGOALS

The New Year is inevitably associated with a fresh start. Health and fitness goals? They’re among the most popular.

Cue Drynuary.

While 50% of UK adults cave by the second week, there’s a less cold turkey approach that more people are exploring. It’s called: mindful drinking. “If you are going to drink, make it a conscious, deliberate choice,” wrote journalist Dani Blum.

You might be scoffing at the Goop-ness of it all, but 2021 saw a surge in heavy drinking – especially among women. There’s also been a rising interest in female sober spaces and subjects in the press and pop culture, with name checks by (the real) Chrissy Tiegen and (the fictional) Miranda Hobbes.

On the fitness front, Let’s Get Physical is a new book examining the history of women, exercise, and the outfits – from Jazzercise to the Jogbra. And its latest evolution? “Not slimming down but mood management, community, spirituality in the corporal,” noted Alexandra Jacobs in The New York Times.

Spirituality in the corporal, eh? Might just be our battle cry for this brave new world. “The internet is a weak substitute for physical presence,” said the brilliant writer Jia Tolentino.

As we enter the third calendar year of the pandemic, it’s not difficult to connect the dots around why women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with anxiety. Or why there’s been a massive jump in postpartum depression. Mental health and social connection. They’re inextricably linked.

So, when it comes to women finding community, we’re here for it… in all its forms. 

Rather than finding something that transforms our whole life, we experience many sources of purpose in our lives, and they shift over time.

FIT FOR PURPOSE

As for that age-old question of meaning? We’re still in hot pursuit.

Accenture reported that in a global study, 50% of consumers – hey, shoppers are people too – point to the pandemic as a catalyst for examining what they’re doing with their lives.

“People are evaluating every aspect of their lives and saying ‘does this make me happy’?” said Veronica Reaves-Parks, senior associate at VC firm Maveron. “We want to spend our money on more meaningful things.”

“We’ve got this mythology of purpose in popular culture that it’s a single thing that transforms your life, usually work,” said John Coleman, author of HBR Guide to Crafting Your Purpose. “Rather than finding something that transforms our whole life, we experience many sources of purpose in our lives, and they shift over time.” Can we get an Amen? 

GREEN IS GOOD

While lounging around in your goose-induced holiday stupor, you might have enjoyed that Leo and J. Law caper, Don’t Look Up.

Laughs aside, we were shook. “It’s funny and terrifying because it conveys a certain cold truth that climate scientists and others who understand the full depth of the climate emergency are living every day,” wrote scientist Peter Kalmus in The Guardian. 

We live in a productivity-driven, growth-obsessed culture. What if our goals become centred around slowing down, around downsizing? It’s one vision of the future, and it’s called degrowth.

“Climate change is not about emissions. It’s about a system that has been benefiting some at the expense of the vast majority of people on the planet and the planet itself,” said climate campaigner Muhannad Malas.

At Dai, that’s our purpose. And purpose is why we started. From production to packaging, every decision revolves around people and the planet. Though we may not be perfect, we strive.

You might think it’s all pretty rich coming from a fashion brand, but we’ll keep standing on our soapbox for as long as we’ve got something to say.

THE LAST WORD by Joanna Dai

Alas, here we are. Is it still Jan? Because this year already feels like a whirlwind for us at Dai HQ. 

For one, we have something very special we’re launching tomorrow, or if you’ve been with us for a while, you might have already received our early invite this week. Hint? See you at a (very cosy) space.

Two. I’m personally working on a big project. We couldn’t have ended 2021 with more momentum, and we couldn’t have done it without you. We’re excited for our future, your comfort, and our collective impact. Together.

And three, because good things come in threes, we have some seriously exciting new innovations, concepts, and planet-friendly new designs coming this year. Comfy? Always. 

Stay tuned. Stay well. The future is bright, and we’re here for it.

Joanna Dai, Founder

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