ANIMA began when I became afflicted by the beauty of giant kelp, so much that I wanted to wear it. I could easily spend the rest of my life trying to unravel its complex allure – the deep texture of its fronds, those sexy, curving scimitar blades, its towering canopy billowing with each swell, all of the other life it nourishes... Five years ago, a dream about humpback whales helped me find my way to the Big Sur coast of California – home. While I will never forget my first love -- Lake Michigan – and the beaches, dunes, forests, prairies, thunderstorms, and freshwater of Illinois that made me, I am immensely grateful for every day that I wake up on the edge of the Pacific. As I explore this coast, above and below saltwater, ANIMA is my way of sharing reverence for astounding diversity of wildlife that I continue to fall deeply in love with – from the kelp forests, tidepools, sage bluffs, Santa Lucia Mountain chaparral, and flyways above. A decade into practicing landscape architecture and ecological design, ANIMA is also an extension of my desire to inspire others to become a little more kindred with the life we share this coast with. It is also, last but not least, an ongoing tribute to my mother. Shonagh – in her orphan wisdom, learned to cultivate deep kinship, joy, strength and tranquility through her relationship to the natural world – the mother of us all. Her legacy of love continues through mine. ANIMA is my endeavor to bring the peace and power of the wild into the sacred fabric of your everyday life.
LOVING THE WILD, LIVING YOUR RHYTHM
The word anima translates from Latin as spirit, life force, breath, soul. The word animal itself derives from this root - describing that which lives and breathes. I invite you to explore and exult in the richness of life that has evolved over millions of years here on the wild Pacific coast, and to allow its ancient beauty to nourish your spirit. Each pattern has a unique rhythm - what syncs with YOU?
PROCESS + MATERIALS
ANIMA wants to reinvent and elevate the animal print – to be an expression of our intimate connection to place, and the life we share it with.
Each pattern is a unique work of art designed from original photographs taken through personal experiences with animals and plants.
Digital textile printing is an exciting new technology that enables exceptional photographic quality with very minimal water usage and environmentally friendly inks.
ANIMA works with natural materials, and strives to minimize carbon emissions by sourcing locally and regionally as much as possible. Most cotton products are 100% organic, certified by Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS), with fabric that is both knitted and printed in the USA. See our SIZING + CARE page for more information on our cotton, silk and cashmere materials.
Modelling these prints are people I am honored to know as friends, colleagues, and peers. Many of them are women in conservation.
There are environmental and social consequences to the choices we make about what we wear. ANIMA wishes to offer you a source of clothing that is mindful and respectful of people and our planet. My wish is that your ANIMA garment is truly a special part of your wardrobe, for a long time.
HONORING SPIRIT: LEGACY SILKS
"I pray to the birds because I believe they will carry the messages of my heart upward. I pray to them because I believe in their existence, the way their songs begin and end each day -- the invocations and benedictions of Earth. I pray to the birds because they remind me of what I love rather than what I fear. And at the end of my prayers, they teach me how to listen."
-Terry Tempest Williams
There is nothing I would love more than to make a custom legacy silk to honor your spirit, or that of a loved one.
ANIMA's rich archive of bird feather imagery allows for the creation of custom avian patterns on luxurious silks that can serve to acknowledge and celebrate the spirit and legacy of an individual or a group; to uplift through times of transition or illness; or even to carry peace through death. These can be worn, draped, or hung on the wall.
The idea of a legacy silk arose through my own experience of having suddenly found great meaning in a beautiful scarf that I had gifted my mother with a year before she died. When she ended up in intensive care for a week, I brought the scarf in for her to wear, bringing dignity beyond the hospital gown. When she finally breathed her last soft breath at home with her loved ones by her side, I draped the scarf over her breast through the remainder of the night. Later, I wore the scarf to her funeral and memorial, and now, it hangs on my wall. It is a beautiful object that continues to reflect her spirit, which honored her through her final transition, which brought comfort to me through grief, and that connects me back to those profound moments whenever I choose to look at it, feel it, or wear it.
In my experience, there is no more beautiful "living memorial" than the flight of birds. Perhaps a loved one held affection for hummingbirds, hawks, the morning song of a wren, the slow graceful flight of pelicans, or the owl's wisdom in the darkness. Maybe a bird that you love reminds you of part of their spirit or character. A custom feather pattern creates a bridge to the sky - where these sweet living reminders never cease.
GIVING BACK TO MISSION BLUE
With the utmost reverence for the ocean, 1% of the profit on your ANIMA purchase goes directly to Mission Blue – an initiative of the Sylvia Earle Alliance that is working to rapidly create a global network of marine protected areas, or "Hope Spots," to safeguard 20% of the ocean by 2020.
"Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean—Earth‘s blue heart. Some of these Hope Spots are already formally protected, while others still need defined protection. About 12% of the land around the world is now under some form of protection (as national parks, world heritage sites, monuments, etc.), while less than 4% of the ocean is protected in any way. Mission Blue is committed to changing this. Networks of marine protected areas maintain healthy biodiversity, provide a carbon sink, generate life-giving oxygen, preserve critical habitat and allow low-impact activities like ecotourism to thrive. They are good for the ocean, which means they are good for us. We are often asked, “How much protection is enough?” We can only answer with another question: How much of your heart is worth protecting?"
CUSTOMIZATION + COLLABORATION
ANIMA’s greatest joy would be to make a custom pattern or signature legacy silk for you. We also love to support conservation organizations, and would love to collaborate or adventure with you, and create something special to support your mission.
"THE WORLD OFFERS ITSELF TO YOUR IMAGINATION."
"TO BE NATIVE TO A PLACE, WE MUST LEARN TO SPEAK ITS LANGUAGE."
ROBIN WALL KIMMERER