In New Zealand, in the small town of Whangarei (“Farn-ga-ray”) fabric rescuers are taking on the waste headed for landfill from second-hand stores.
The local Salvation Army Op-shop* receives roughly 3 wool bales of donated clothing a day. Even with a good crew of volunteers it’s impossible for them to process and sell everything, so the staff are selective with what will go to the shop floor.
Any item that needs to be ironed, washed or mended generally does not make the grade and is assigned to landfill. This means that good quality fabric is being dumped because it is too time consuming to work with. This store alone currently sends a skip to the landfill every few days – most of it textiles. This one store spends tens of thousands a year in dumping fees!
Intercept to the rescue! ‘Intercept’ volunteers literally intercept the skips heading to landfill and rescues fabric and clothing that is good quality, but needs attention.
With a small band of sorters, and seamstresses these items are reworked into spectacular garments or made into ‘t-shirt yarn’ for XL-crochet which will be sold within the Salvation Army store. Other clothing with life still in them are gifted out into the community, .
Cooperation between the store and Intercept is going well. The store has given a work room within the building and space and shelving on the dock for rescues and sorting to happen.
“Anything that I can do to help reduce our spending on landfill is good for everyone,” says store manager, Nick Garforth.
“We want your fingers!” says Jenny Hill, at the first official Intercept meeting. 17 volunteers are there. Jenny is a founder of Intercept and is referring to the ability of knowing quality fabric by touch. This is a skill I personally have, passed on through the mothers of my maternal line (my great-great-grandmother worked the cotton mills in the Manchester area at the end of the 18th Century). Until now, I didn’t appreciate this knowledge is not common. I’m proud to be a sorter for Intercept!
Watch: video sharing work of Intercept
In the weekend I joined a fellow Intercepter at the local “Children’s Day”. We set up a stall to give intercepted clothes away. We took 18 banana boxes and by pack up time, three hours later, all but one were empty. All of these clothes would have gone to landfill, but instead have been recirculated in the community.
We definitely encourage you to think about starting something similar in your town, to slow fast fashion and become more regenerative in our clothing choices. Also, it’s really smart to check in with charity shops what they accept (generally clothing that can go straight on to a hanger to sell), as sending them items which contribute to landfill costs is doing the opposite of helping people.
List in progress! Is there a movement you’d like to see listed here? Contact us here.
Our intention with Bloom Network is not to circumscribe people into one movement or into our “brand”, but to help people find regenerative spectrum activities and groups they can participate in and contribute to, and to boost the visibility of initiatives that are doing wonderful work for all of our well-being on this planet <3.
Voices of Amerikua – collaborative documentary and multimedia lab featuring Indigenous- Native American- First Nation communities of North, Central and South America and their efforts to protect their Culture, Land and Rights
Fibershed – how to produce clothing in a regenerative way
Restorative Justice – Instead of putting people in prison, a mediator guides all parties involved in and impacted by a crime into a process to decide together how to best restore community well being and safety. It always(?) has better outcomes and is way cheaper than putting people in jail or prison.
Anyka Barber is founder, director and curator of Betti Ono gallery in Oakland, California.
We reached out to Anyka in response to Betti Ono’s fundraiser to power arts, culture, and community resilience. Contribute at https://bettiono.com/donate/.
Betti Ono is an experimentally minded space for art + culture + community. They are 100% Black women led and operated, dedicated to amplifying the work and voices of under-represented artists. Their vision and creative practice embody the bold, curious and unapologetic spirit of the gallery’s name-sakes Betti Mabry Davis and Yoko Ono. At Betti Ono, making art is a function of activism, community transformation, and cultural resilience.
Born and raised in Oakland, California Anyka Barber is a mother, an artist/activist, curator and entrepreneur. In 2010 Anyka founded Betti Ono, a creative social enterprise and center for arts, culture, and community committed to the cultural, social, political and economic emancipation and development of low-income, immigrant, and LGBTQ communities of color. In her role as director and curator of Betti Ono, she has curated and produced more than 60 exhibitions and public programs, as well as designed and integrated art, enterprise and social impact strategy to leverage creative capital, cultural products, and networks for good. She was most recently Director of Engagement and the Center for Audience and Civic Engagement at the Oakland Museum leading the museum’s signature education and public programs teams. She was Program Officer and Fellow at The San Francisco Foundation working with the Anchoring Communities/Place team to activate more than $10M in investments to preserve the racial and cultural identity of the Bay Area, prevent the displacement of low-income and communities of color and bring greater racial and economic equity to the region.
Behind the scene, Anyka is committed to strengthening the Bay Area arts community as an arts advocate and advisor. In June 2015, Anyka initiated the formation and design of a grassroots arts action and advocacy body, the Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition, whose mission is to “#KeepOaklandCreative, affordable and vibrant!” Anyka was named Most Socially Engaged Curator in 2015 and Betti Ono was nominated and voted ‘Best of the East Bay’ for the past five consecutive years 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014 by East Bay Express.
Bio: William Padilla-Brown is a certified permaculture designer taking a multidisciplinary approach to designing models of living systems that can be utilized to replace the anti-biotic (against-life) systems that our societies have provided us. He educates locals, and travels teaching workshops on Mushrooms, Spirulina, Insects, Information Technology and Permaculture. He runs a micro/molecular biology lab out of his home, and experiments with applicable models for food, medicine, and energy production.
The title of this episode comes from a quote by him: “Homeostasis will only be achieved via Symbiosis with local Systems.”
William is a stellar creator and citizen scientist, changing people’s lives with the way he educates people to grow nutritious foods and create economic and arts sovereignty. Here we talk about cultivating mushrooms, music and art, neighborhood permaculture, and some fun stories about William’s journey with entheogens.
My favorite quote from this episode: “yeah I teach a class called microherding invertebrates.” One of the insects he has been working with eats styrofoam. I can’t stop thinking about larvae that eat styrofoam ever since listening to this!
And last but not least, William’s recent album Beautiful Chæos is absolutely incredible. If you don’t have enough psychedelic rap in your life, get this.
This interview is a super inspiring conversation with one of the artistic, community oriented, entrepreneurial people that seem to pop up through Bloom Network all over the world. I learned of William’s work through Mushroom City Art Festival, a yearly family festival about the mushroom kingdom produced by Bloom Baltimore leader Robin Gunkel.
Artists William mentioned in this episode include:
Wes Period – http://www.wesperiod.com @wesperiodsteven Steven Michael Hass – visuals @stephenmichaelhaas on Instagram and music as Flower Garden on Bandcamp Mushroom trading cards – @sporestash on Instagram – FYI the US states of California, Oregon, and Idaho have legal restrictions that prohibit the sale of some kinds of spores, so look that up first if you live there.
Mush love, happy growing and arting! Magenta, Bloom Podcast Host and Executive Creative Officer of Bloom Network
Music Credits for this episode:
Intro: Beyond the Bridge by Adam Elim Outro: Xylem by It’s Cosmic
Here are several podcasts where you can learn about regenerative culture practices. We are looking to add podcasts to this list that are in other languages and not centered in the U.S. Please get in touch if you have recommendations.
All My Relations: Hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation). “A podcast to discuss our relationships as Native peoples—to land, ancestors, and to each other.”
America Adapts with Doug Parsons. Particularly check out the episode called “Climate Change Podcasters Unite!”, which introduces several other climate change adapatation podcasts (practical solutions people are implementing as we face more storms and displacement, etc).
How to Survive the End of the World: Join Autumn Brown and adrienne maree brown, two sisters who share many identities, as writers, activists, facilitators, and inheritors of multiracial diasporic lineages, as well as a particular interest in the question of survival, as we embark on a podcast that delves into the practices we need as a community, to move through endings and to come out whole on the other side, whatever that might be.
The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann: A podcast dedicated to Permaculture education, sustainability, gardening, organic food, and resiliency.
Upstream: Unlearning everything you thought you knew about economics. Radical ideas and inspiring stories for a just transition to a more beautiful and equitable world
The Next System Project: an initiative of The Democracy Collaborative aimed at bold thinking and action to address the systemic challenges the United States faces now and in coming decades. Deep crises of economic inequality, racial injustice and climate change—to name but three—are upon us, and systemic problems require systemic solutions.
Forthcoming: Indigenous Regenerative Economy, co-hosted by David Karabelnikoff with support from the Healing and Reconciliation Institute.
Investing in Regenerative Agriculture features leaders in the regenerative food and agriculture space, to learn how to put our money to work to regenerate soil, people, local communities and ecosystems while making an appropriate and fair return.