Jar Junkie. Shirtmaker. Yogi. Find your center with Daniel Bernardo at his Avondale apartment.
“Usually, it’s RPM: rise, pee, meditate.”
For Daniel Bernardo, the slim, well-groomed entrepreneur who founded Glass House Shirtmakers, the day begins with a simple acronym: RPM. “Rise, pee, meditate,” he says with a chuckle. He’s up just before 8 a.m., and after the aforementioned trip to the john, it’s straight into the living room of his two-bedroom Avondale apartment for a half hour of meditation. “It’s a start that grounds me,” he says. “It helps me know who I am before the rest of the day.”
Bernardo has been meditating regularly for the past three years, a discipline he first encountered through practicing yoga. “I realized I connected with the spiritual side before the physical,” he explains. “The yoga felt great, but it was the meditation I really clicked with.” He sits on his big, red couch, with eyes closed, legs crossed, and hands on knees. Sometimes he just sits in as much silence as the neighborhood allows. Other times, he speaks a mantra based on what he’s dealing with personally and professionally on that given day.
“Lately it’s humility, and realizing how powerful being humble is,” he says. “Or sometimes you can just say, ‘I am.’ And throughout the day I’ll take a breath and recall.” As for the yoga, he’s still at it, but he practices mostly on his own. “I don’t do the Western style: the ‘hot’ and the ‘power’ and all that shit,” he says. “I’m definitely a more traditional yogi.”
After he’s locked in a state of mindfulness, he makes his way to the kitchen, where he downs a glass of fresh water. (Bernardo drinks mostly out of jars: “Tostitos, Ball, pickle—it doesn’t matter.”) His lack of pickiness about his drinking vessels is a stark contrast to his feelings about food. “When it comes to food, you gotta go real,” he says. “For me, it’s essential to pay attention to where it comes from and how it’s prepared.”
He eats mostly plants—no dairy. He’s gradually reintroducing meat into his diet, after adhering to a vegan lifestyle for more than a decade. Bernardo’s breakfast on this sunny fall morning in Chicago is a bowl of piping hot oatmeal, featuring cinnamon (“good for digestion”), organic dates, and goji berries sprinkled liberally on top before mixing them into the hearty concoction.
“Meditation is a start that grounds me. It helps me know who I am before the rest of the day.”
He applies an even greater level of conscientiousness to his craft: tailored button-up shirting, made sustainably. “Glass House offers a bit of a granola foundation with a modern take and silhouette,” he says. “Essentially, it’s conscious clothing: where it’s made, how it’s made, and what it’s made of.” With that, he grabs his leather jacket and motorcycle helmet, hops on his Ducati and zooms into the morning sun toward the Glass House studio in West Town, where he’ll keep striving to clothe men ethically.