Marion's Journey

In a few words, how would you describe yourself? Ex: interests, current role, passions, inspiration? 

I am a northern California native, who lives in Marin County with my husband and two high school kids.  I work for myself as a jewelry designer which gives me free time for outdoor activities such as hiking, surfing and tennis. I am into arts and crafts and always have projects going on.  I listen to music constantly and pay attention to pop culture but get much of my inspiration from the past.  I take pride in being unique and I try not to be a follower.   I am always drawn to things that are new or different.

Where do you live? What is it unique for?

I live in San Anselmo California, surrounded by grassy yellow mountains that are  currently covered in wildflowers.  There are amazing mountain biking and hiking trails walking distance from my house. I can get to the beach in 30 minutes for surfing and beach combing. It is an idyllic place to live for anyone into outdoor activities.  There are many free thinkers and people who are looking for new solutions to the issues of our time.  

Social media or LinkedIn

I use instagram and do not use linkedin.  I like instagram because it is just images.  I think of it as a scrapbook of ideas and images.  I don’t  do many hashtags because I am not trying to get followers and likes.  It  has become one of my main creative outlets.  I post all types of images and videos that I am inspired by. I actually think my instagram @marionmckee1 is really great.  I have a second account called for my jewelry called @marionmckeedesigns  where I post images of my work and style inspiration.  I get inspiration from random people that I follow around the world. I also keep up to date with some friends on IG, however most people I know don’t use it.  I find more people use facebook, but I don’t really care for it. 

Why did you invest your time, energy, resources in the Dhana Circular Memory Jacket? Please expand on what made you get involved in this product?

I like the ideas behind sustainable fashion and thought this was a unique product.  I was the creative director and co founder of a sustainable fashion brand called SUST in 2007-2008.  We were very passionate about the values and ideas of using sustainable fabric, local sewers and dyers for our simple cotton basics.  The company only lasted a few seasons because the fashion industry demanded new lines and new colors every season. It began to feel wasteful to keep making more and more clothes.  I decided about two years ago that I would only buy used or vintage clothes as much as possible.  I am always looking for new ways to support sustainable fashion.  I am into my style, but I see the need for new ways for the fashion world to work.

How did you choose the 10 memory items that went into the jacket? Please share 10 stories of each item where possible. 

I decided that I wanted to use old t shirts for the inside because of their soft fabric.  I looked through a big stack that I was willing to cut up and that I was not wearing anymore.  They were all t shirts that I wanted to keep for various reasons.  It seemed like a great way to put them back into use rather than have them sitting in a box at the back of my closet for sentimental reasons.  A good example is a t shirt I have from “the Petrolia country store market”  My family has visited this little town in Humboldt county every year for the past 15 years.  We always shop at this store, as it is the only store in the town.  The t-shirt I have was my sons and no longer fits him. The shirt itself has meaning and memory to me so I did not want to just give it away. By adding it to the circular memory jacket, it has a new life.  The items I chose for the jacket were not chosen because they look perfect together and they do not match in color or pattern.  I chose items more for their content.  I did however add a couple of simple tie dye shirts so that the inside would have some pattern and not just logos and pictures.

What has changed in your lifestyle and perspective of clothing as it relates to the fashion world through this process? 

I normally try to wear used or vintage clothes to be sustainable. Creating the memory jacket was a new way to contribute to reusing clothes.

What are you most excited about, designing and creating fashion with Dhana? 

I don't know what the other options there are at this point, but I am interested to see what ideas Dhana is coming up with.  Using items that already exist in my closet to create new ones is intriguing.  

Do you have any final thoughts - opportunities, ideas, etc.

When coming up with the fabric for my jacket I had a moment when I thought I would go out and buy some fabric and really create something that matched.  However, I really wanted this to be a reuse recycle garment so I felt it was important to make do with what I had at home.