Chapter 1 / Sharing Stories
We are Better Together
A letter on our recent capsule collection by Courtney and the OCIN team
Unity, togetherness, harmony, connection, solidarity, cohesion.
We acknowledge that the world has, and will continue to journey through strenuous, unexplainably heartbreaking, horrific, and demanding times. It is through these moments that we are reminded of the power of people and our planet – people who come together in unity to stand against injustices and stand for freedom, equality, equity, & human and environmental rights.
Together, we will continue to lean into conversations, lean on one another for love and support, and lean toward a brighter, more unified future. We aspire for a symbiosis between people and the planet that celebrates the belief that we need each other.
Because we are: better together.
We’ve been working on something special to celebrate the people, this planet, and the togetherness that we cultivate which ultimately helps our world go ‘round. For the second instalment of our Sweat Suit programme, we launched a limited-edition 3-piece collection on World Water Day.
The mini collection includes a pullover hoodie and long-sleeve tee in Natural. Both styles feature a custom print on the front and back; two “Better Together” illustrations that were designed in collaboration with our friend, earth-advocate, and artist Trevor Port from @KeepEarthAround.
Made in Canada out of 100% super soft cotton and screenprinted by hand in our home city ‘Vancouver’, the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples – Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, and Musqueam Nations.
We also designed a special microfiber towel; reversible, quick-dry and sand repellant, made out of recycled materials by our friends at Slowtide.
We hope this collection is a reminder of the strength that is found in togetherness. Partial proceeds of the Better Together collection will be donated to Obakki Foundation’s grassroots fundraiser for Ukraine. They have committed $20,000 a week directly working with and supporting over 4,500 citizens on the ground, needing medicine and food within the borders.
Our campaign features some friends and family from our OCIN collective who are sources of inspiration and joy, and in their own ways, push us to be better, together.
It was something truly special for me to be able to shoot them myself and in their own environments. I wanted to capture their most natural and candid moments – highlighting them through the lens of love and admiration, the way that I get to see them every day. I believe that it’s in these moments that we act in our truth and are allowed to just be. When we can surrender to this feeling – this symbiosis of energy between ourselves the people and nature around us – is when we have the power to impact the greatest; where we lean into gratitude. It’s here that we can acknowledge and appreciate that everything and everyone has its place in the greater landscape of the world. Doing what we can. For you, for me, for us, for all.
We asked them to share with us what “Better Together” embodies to them and what we can do to inspire collective support and growth.
Bella and Noah Da Costa Boquist - Brother and sister, inspiring creatives, and future changemakers.
What hope do you have for the world as we continue to relentlessly journey through difficult times together?
Noah Da Costa Boquist: For everyone to remember our shared humanity. I think we’re all having a very human experience going through these tough times, and that alone shows us that we’re not alone
What piece of advice would you impart to us that positively impacted the way you view people and have relationships with those around you?
Bella Da Costa Boquist: As cliché as it may sound, I think it comes down to treating others how you want to be treated. I hope that we can treat ourselves and others kinder.
Dayandra Elrod - Community connector, magnetic optimist, mom to pups Ronnie and Rupert.
To better connect with ourselves and our community, what is one thing we should all try to do?
Choose to shop local and to shop small wherever we can. Even making small changes like choosing to get your coffee from a local coffee shop can make such a big difference in your community.
Oliver and Elias Olson - Brothers aged 5 and 3, Courtney's nephews, and a constant source of inspiration and joy.
What do you think we need to do to make the world kinder and nicer?
Peace for the world!
To me, Better Together embodies the idea of a healthy ecosystem. All these individual pieces coming together, having both conscious and unconscious influences on each other. Highlighting the necessity of relationships with not only each other, but our environments as well.
Harry and Ellen Chew - Husband and Wife and parents / muses to OCIN Founder, Courtney.
What do you think is one thing we can do everyday to connect us to each other?
We can pay it forward. And remember, a smile a day goes a long way!
Jason and Summerly Wong - Father and daughter with the most positive energies, the epitome of goodness and love.
How has your time as a dad shifted the way you spend your time with the ones you care about and the world?
Being a dad has really transformed the way that I spend my time. When my daughter was first born, I found it really difficult to be present. Like any person, you’re constantly thinking about the future and worried about what’s going to happen. But, as my daughter got older and wanted more of my time to play and hang out, I realized I had to be present; I couldn’t just keep thinking about what’s happening next and worrying about things I have no control over. My kid always knows when I’m not present, so in order to become the father I wanted to be, I realized I have to be present – that’s been the biggest change since being a father and it’s made my time with her better.
Reanna Evoy - Creative Director, celestial being, calming soul.
What impact does nature + the planet have on how you live out the phrase “Better Together”?
Recognizing that nature is a community. [Nature] works together and communicates. This idea reframes “Better Together” to reflect more of an ecosystem. So, for me, learning more about community from nature is something I can apply to my life every day.
What does being Better Together mean to you? To better connect with ourselves and the community around us, what one action would you encourage a neighbour to commit to? What impact does nature and the planet have on how you live out the phrase “Better Together”? Share your thoughts and view full campaign on our Instagram @ocin
Check out the full Better Together collection here.