The Tracer

The Tracer

Like dropping a pebble into a pool, the actions you take every day to make the world a healthy place ripple out into your communities. Bloom’s logo is an illustration of the interconnectedness of our relationships with one another and our surroundings.

It’s also a wi-fi symbol on its side, signifying peer-to-peer relationships for sharing wisdom and resources together.

We don’t have an app yet, but eventually there will be a touchable Tracer icon, beckoning you to press the Bloom button to play a real-life story and watch it come to life around you. Everything about Bloom’s “brand” presence is designed to connect you with communities in real life who are making our towns and the planet more wonderful, nurturing places to be.

Stay tuned to read about our process of designing the logo!

Regenerative Fashion Wiki

The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on the planet. From shipping clothes, to chemical dyes getting into rivers and permanently destroying them. Not to mention labor conditions in many factories. There is a different way, older ways, that are healthier for not just people but the ecosystems we best thrive in. Here are some of the ways to participate in regenerative fashion, as well as more information about the regional benefits of regenerative fashion production.

Fibershed – a project for encouraging more people to make and buy clothing produced entirely within their own watershed. Fiber farmers live livelihoods that are more connected with nature and less glued to a screen inside of a box. Regenerative land management practices build healthy soils so that more nutritious crops can grow and healthy cycles of water retention are restored.

(incomplete): Section on fair labor. Tearfund is New Zealand’s report on ethical fashion.

Local clothing shops: Many cities have consignment stores that stock clothing made by local artisans. Google “local clothing” and your town, or ask your artist friends

Natural dyes: Did you know that you can dye fabrics with plants, fungi, and even lichen? Yes, shrooms can make rainbows happen in multiple ways ;). Different cotton varieties produce fibers that are naturally green, yellow, red, or brown. You can cultivate dye plants in your garden, or use existing foods such as onion, avocado pits, or walnut shells to dye fabric.

Book recommendation: Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess – a guide to gathering plants to dye with, in the wild or growing them. Specific to North America.

Natural fibers:

Sheep, llamas and alpacas, and goats all make wonderful natural fibers to make clothing with. And they’re fluffy friends to have around (baa-aa!).

Goats are also a fantastic permaculture animal – the way they graze helps with everything from fire prevention to fertilizing coffee plants to increase yield and more.

Vegan leather can be made from pineapple agriculture waste (the stems), and from mushrooms! Shroom leather, yes, it exists. A pineapple leather is called Piñatex.
Researches at MIT developed a way to make silk structures that don’t kill the silkworms. Normally, unless it’s Ahimsa silk, that luxurious material involves boiling many silk worms in their cocoons before they can become moths

The importance of culturally diverse leadership in fashion companies: Adimay‘s blog is a great resource for this. Amie Berghan writes about the underlying problem of colonization in the fashion industry.

Indigenous Textile Advocacy

IP issues facing indigenous textile artisans: Many companies are using traditional designs created by indigenous communities, with no compensation going to the original creators. This contributes to a whole complex problem of ecological and economic inequality and destruction. Mayan weavers in Guatemala are organizing to create IP laws that support their cultures.

Often traditional textile patterns carry complex information, such as regional maps, or symbols representing cosmologies or relationships with animals and plants. Craftsmanship is a deeper process of interrelationship and care for all life, than simply commerce or garments. For this reason, wildcrafting (harvesting wild plants) by settlers can also be problematic. Bloom encourages people to learn about the Indigenous people whose traditional lands they live on, and listen respectfully to requests and support their leadership.

Closing the Waste Loop

Biodegradable fabrics: California Cloth Foundry’s textiles are biodegradable. They are working on developing a biodegradable spandex. Wider adoption of biodegradable fabrics and natural dyes across all textile supply chains will be wise.

Polyester fabrics shed microfibers into the water supply every time you wash them. You end up drinking them. Fish end up drinking them. It’s not good for us. Cora Ball makes a ball you can put in your wash machine to catch the fibers and responsibly dispose of them. You might put them in a bottle-brick so they don’t end up in the landfill either 🙂

(incomplete): Mills that reclaim waste or used fabric exist. Links?

Reclaim waste clothing and fabric: here’s the story of the Intercept group in New Zealand. There are also waste fabric reclamation hubs in New York City (Fabscrap), San Francisco, LA, and perhaps near you!

Upcycled fashionSashiko is a Japanese approach to visible mending. Medium Reality is a re-manufacturer making clothing entirely from recycled materials. Adding applique to thrift store clothes is one way to make one-of-a-kind art pieces and avoid buying new garments that contribute to toxic industry. Old clothes can also be made into quilts for warmth.

Funsies! FabBRICK is making waste clothes into structural bricks.

Lastly, magical-ies: regeneratively produced clothing from all natural fibers and dyes feels, so, good. The author of this article has a cotton scarf dyed with St. John’s Wort, and…. if you’re a fan of that herb, it feels like having a hug from it, it’s so lovely, and such lovely shades of green. It was made by a women’s weaver collective in Guatemala who was teaching more Mayan women traditional natural dye techniques as part of recovering their cultures and relationships with plants.

The Decentralized Web for Regenerative Projects

The Decentralized Web for Regenerative Projects

presented by Bloom Network 2020-2021

All calls take place the first Monday of each month
@12pm Pacific time

Purpose of this educational series: 1) Increase the accessibility of P2P systems beyond early technical adopters to those working on the community frontlines. 2) Build relationships between software development communities and regenerative leaders on the ground.

There are four thematic groups throughout these interactive calls:

  • Decentralized protocols
  • Media and art
  • Governance
  • Currency and Finance


Session one, June 1
Decentralized web protocols – designed for privacy, distributed power and control of resources, and better connectivity in the developing world. Featuring Scuttlebutt, Blockstack, IPFS, Swarm. 

Session two, July 6
Training: How to use cryptocurrency for the first time – bitcoin and ethereum, introduction to wallets Samourai and Coinpayments.net, introduction to Metamask

Session three, August 3
How digital platforms enable decentralized governance

Session four, September 7
Introduction to Aragon

Session five, October 5
Training: How to use DAI stablecoin to store cryptocurrency at a stable exchange rate. Cryptocurrency value fluctuates wildly at this stage in its adoption. In order to issue payouts for projects without the risk of losing value, teams can use stablecoins that are pegged to the value of the US dollar.

Session six, November 2
Publishing and media distribution on the decentralized web

Session seven, December 7
Art and the blockchain: tools for artists to be compensated for digital sharing of their works

Session eight, January 11 (2nd Monday)
Training: How to use Kraken to withdraw cryptocurrency to state currency in your bank account. Not every country has access to Kraken, however most countries do have a cryptocurrency exchange that is trustworthy.

Session nine, February 1
Sovereign Identity Tools for data privacy – imagine if your social profile data was anchored primarily in your own account and not owned by a company like Facebook or Google. There are implications for a more economically equitable internet, protection from algorithmic manipulation of behavior (such as what you purchase and what you believe), and more. We’ll take a peek at the farthest along identity tools to date: Blockstack, U-Port, Jolocom, 3Box, and JLINC.

Session 10, March 1
Token Engineering – what is it, when not to use it, how communities can use it now – cutting through the noise

Session 11, April 5
Cooperatives on the Blockchain. How smart organizations enable federated coops, easy and cheaper international exchange, and the sophisticated governance methods people need to collaborate with equitable power dynamics.

Session 12, May 3
Introduction to deFi – What is decentralized finance, what tools exist to do it, and what are good use cases for it?

Session 13, June 7
Regen Network – a regenerative agriculture application of blockchain designed to incentivize carbon drawdown and ecosystem restoration

Glossary of Regenerative Culture Terms

Biochar is a charcoal-like substance that’s made by burning organic material from agricultural and forestry wastes (also called biomass) in a controlled process called pyrolysis. Although it looks a lot like common charcoal, biochar is produced using a specific process to reduce contamination and safely store carbon. (Regeneration International)

Biosolids are nutrient-rich organic materials resulting from the treatment of domestic sewage in a wastewater treatment facility (i.e., treated sewage sludge). Biosolids are a beneficial resource, containing essential plant nutrients and organic matter and are recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (PDF))

Citizen Science or Community-based Science is the involvement of the public in scientific research – whether community-driven research or global investigations. (Citizen Science.org)

Climate Justice is a term used for framing global warming as an ethical and political issue, rather than one that is purely environmental or physical in nature. (Climate Justice Alliance)

Divest Invest is a movement to divest from fossil fuels and invest in climate solutions. It’s also applied more broadly, for example to criminalization, and to cooperative community ownership of power generation. (Divest/Invest: From Criminalization)

Indigenous jurisprudence is the legal practices of Indigenous or Aboriginal law. They are often more anchored to specific land and interrelationship with it. Working with tribal lawmakers’ leadership can support environmental decisions and health of all beings. (Reference – The Land is the Source of The Law by C F Black)

Hydroseeding is a planting process that uses a slurry of seed and mulch. It is often used as an erosion control technique on construction sites, as an alternative to the traditional process of broadcasting or sowing dry seed. (Wikipedia)

Watershed – an area of land that feeds all the water running under it and drains off of it into a body of water. Everything that filters from land ends up in our watersheds, and caring for them is a huge leverage point for addressing social and environmental wellness. (US Geological Survey has a more thorough description.)

Climate Related Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation

Topic Description

This wiki article lists regenerative methods people are using to reduce the severity of climate-related disasters. It also links to specific projects that can be replicated or referenced in local actions.

These resources are compiled through Bloom’s recurring community call on the topic. To read a detailed recap of each call or watch the video recording, visit:

February 2020: (featuring Kyle Leach from Sierra Streams Institute in California, Sister Pat Bergen from the Mirabeau Water Garden in New Orleans, and participants from Burners Without Borders and Emerald Ecovillage)

Techniques

Traditional Ecological Knowledge – First Nations’ ecological practices include knowledge of how to manage wildfire cycles and craft abundant ecosystems for life and healthy water.

Lo—TEK: Design by Radical Indigenism by Julia Watson – “First ever compendium of indigenous technologies provides a powerful toolkit for climate-resilient design.”

RetroSuburbia: the downshifter’s guide to a resilient future by Australian permaculturalist David Holmgren

Flood Prevention and Adapation

Mirabeau Water Garden in New Orleans – a replicable urban wetland to absorb storm surges and prevent flooding.
Press Article
Project PDF

In New Zealand, it is compulsory for all new builds to have flood retention built into them. For the past 20 years, all infrastructure has been built to withstand climate change, upon scientific recommendation. For example, all new storm water pipes have also been built to withstand floods

Elemental Ecosystems – water retention landscapes
Podcast Episode on the Investing in Regenerative Agriculture podcast: “Climate change is a symptom of water cycle disturbance and we can fix it

Re-Alliance – regenerative design in humanitarian response and development
Video on regenerative approaches to first response and emergencies – dated January 22, 2020

Fire Prevention and Adapation

Global Cooling Earth – reforestation, hydrology, and soil health for micro and macroclimate cooling

Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe. This book reexamines colonial accounts of Aboriginal people in Australia, and cites evidence of pre-colonial agriculture, engineering and building construction by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

A message from David Holmgren following Australian bush fires:

A strategic focus on the urban/bushland interface and rural residential areas where bushfires create the greatest economic and social havoc demands a much broader suit of land management practices than increasing already problematic fuel reduction burning:

He recommends:

  • A return to indigenous cultural burning practices where canopy and soil organic matter are left intact
  • Greater use of grazing animals combined with farming systems that use native pasture species, fire-retardant shelterbelts and silvopasture systems to build soil water- and nutrient-holding capacity
  • Managing fuels with chippers, slashers and groomers as well as livestock trampling.
  • A greater focus on fuel reduction through decomposition; research is needed on the role of microbes in speeding decomposition, and the effects of lost soil calcium.
  • Rehydration of landscapes, using Natural Sequence Farming and Keyline techniques, especially along water courses receiving urban storm water.
  • Protecting and managing dense areas of fire-retardant ‘novel ecosystems’ near towns and urban fringes, including non-native species such as willow.
  • The ecologically sensitive thinning of forests utilising the resultant biomass can also reduce our fossil fuel dependence through:
    – Carbon neutral Combined Heat and Power systems to generate dispatchable power at multiple scales, especially local scale.
    – As biochar – a soil amendment providing long term carbon sequestration and improving soil water- and nutrient-holding capacity and microbial activity.

Most of these strategies are more labour-intensive than industrial-scale clearing or fuel-reduction burning so are less appealing to government decision makers but have potential to reform and reenergise community-based activity with government support.

Further Reading from David Holmgren

Bushfire Resilient Land and Climate Care (2020)
Bushfire Resilient Communities and Landscapes (2009)

Bigger Picture Climate Restoration Techniques

Soil carbon sequestration – industrial agriculture has released carbon into the atmosphere not just from fossil fuels, but from depleting topsoil and deep root systems. Healthy soil systems have the ability to draw down and capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and are a recommended way to reverse global warming.

  • Kiss the Ground – helping farmers transition to regenerative agriculture to build soil health to draw down carbon from the atmosphere and increase food nutrition quality
  • Local Carbon Network – home composting network using biochar from local waste wood processing
  • Fungi play a large role in soil carbon sequestration

Mangrove restoration – Mangroves are a type of tree. Their ecosystems help buffer coastal areas from storms, and they are an efficient carbon sink for pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. They also present sustainable economic opportunities for local communities who might otherwise adopt more extractive forms of agriculture and trade.