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.

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.

Finance Innovation Relevant to the Regenerative Space

Finance Innovation Relevant to the Regenerative Space

cover image – grow by iconix user from the Noun Project

After ten years of volunteer research and development across the world in local grassroots community networks, Bloom Network is looking for start up capital for the first time, to set up a distributed cooperative. This will look basically like a media company that is rooted in localized actions and leadership.

Through the process of talking with finance professionals and adjacent network leaders, I’ve come across tools to share more widely. Many of the people I’m talking with do not know each other yet, yet are all asking similar questions and have symbiotic solutions. I’m thinking on how best to connect you with each other! In the meantime, here are some findings:

What problems have we found that require finance innovation?


Regenerative enterprises – whether they are for-profit, nonprofit, or grassroots non-monetized community projects – have some common challenges and unique ways of working that require novel financial structures. For example, these projects work best in collaboration, at a level that is more comprehensive than a normal transactional B2B relationship.

Staff sharing is one thing that will help this (administrative tools that support that are listed below). There is also clearly a “network weaver” role that is entirely being done by unpaid labor right now around the world, with thousands of people acting as bridges between different communities and networks to help people access the tools and resources they need, and to strengthen solidarity across movements who are working toward aligned goals. We’re also finding a need for novel IP agreements, international cooperative structures, and startup or capacity mentorship that is specific to regenerative development and regenerative entrepreneurs. They often are not the kind of people who would go get a traditional MBA, and even social impact entrepreneurship communities and accelerators are not quite the right fit for these projects. Finally, connecting regenerative projects that are operating primarily in a grassroots environment, with the major financial players who want to contribute to climate change solutions, is a cultural, communications, and structural barrier we’re working to address, in collaboration with leaders from the UN and large corporations.

Here are some of the movements, tools and processes we’ve encountered that can support regenerative enterprises. Some are working now, and some are at an early stage of development and ready for experimental use:

 Slow Money is an investment community of practice, building local food systems as a lever to address climate change, health, and community. Here are a couple of tools investors from Slow Money have built, to support local community investing:

  • Credibles – open a pre-paid tab with a local business to give them up front capital
  • Investibule – community based investing

Slow Money also practices a type of revenue sharing where the investor receives a 2-3x return and no equity. Ownership remains in the community, not in the hands of those with outsized financial power. Repayment is based on a percentage of revenue, so repayments grow along with the business’s growth.

DisCO – distributed cooperative organizations. Their manifesto is long but an engaging read! DisCO tracks labor contributions not just on paid contracts, but also on “care work” for the collective members’ well-being, and on pro-bono work they agree they should do. Collective members are then paid for all those kinds of labor from the paid contracts.

I’m convinced that distributed cooperatives are going to be a key underlying financial and legal infrastructure for the regenerative movement. They will allow us to pool services, federate member dues, and tap into large-scale funding sources such as government grants without each tiny project having to do a boatload of administrative overhead.

Analysis, Research & Reporting

On the topic of philanthropy, Global Green Grants Fund has a good approach to distributing funds in a decentralized way where decision making is in the hands of the communities. To get there, they have processes for building trust between the funders, program managers, and communities.

The need for living systems-oriented business models:

One thing we’ve found at Bloom Network is that regenerative projects are often necessarily more complex than a single service or product, and they often require more complex financial models. These projects are designed to address systemic dysfunction and care for the commons in ways that colonization and the evolution of the entire legal and finance structure of the U.S. and dominant world economy are designed to erode away. Leaders of these projects often have not gone through the industrialized education system, and they often do not have network connections to people or institutions who have capital. Communicators who can bridge that gap are needed in this space. Regenerosity by Buckminster Fuller Institute and Lush Cosmetics is at the forefront of this bridge.

Here is an example of a simple product business done in a way that supports local decentralized production and regenerative systems education:

Todd Anderson is a software developer and maker who has invented a new surf fin shape that gives surfers higher lift in the water (I don’t know enough about surfing to explain what effect that has or what kinds of surf it’s good for, but it’s exciting to people). He has also made his design into a file that can be 3D printed. He would like to share this file and teach “third world” surfing communities to use 3D printers, so that they can receive an income stream from people purchasing the fins they print, and so they can use the 3D printer to generate income streams from printing other products (localized manufacturing).

In order to make this economically viable for him, he would need to invent or find an IP solution where his digital design’s usage can be trackable, so that every time it’s printed and sold, he can receive a small portion of the sale price. I believe a solution to this exists already on Ethereum but I’ve just started asking around to find what teams are working on it. Todd wants to do his project through Bloom Network because he sees it as an opportunity to a) have more distribution reach than he would on his own, and b) facilitate communities to not only learn about 3D printing, but also about food sovereignty practices they can do, or any of the stuff you’d find on Bloom’s wiki.

On-site crowdfunding: One of the things we’ve been eyeing as we bring in financial capacity for Bloom Network to hire our current volunteer team, is tools that support crowdfunding and crowdequity raising directly on our website. So that members logged into Bloom Network can easily surf projects, find ones in their passion area or local community, and financially support. I’d love to see the internet shift toward having these tools as plug-ins rather than having to go to a site like Kickstarter, so that people can stay in a values-aligned webspace. With the decentralized web, I believe it’s possible to have peer-to-peer tools for this, where projects do not pay a 3-9% platform fee plus payment processing fees. Imagine: you visit Bloom Network’s website and see the “regenerative actions ticker” display a company in France who has converted an underground parking garage into a mushroom farm, and you have the option to support them with crowdequity investing so they can make more mushroom farms as car ownership declines with the uptick in remote work and the advent of self-driving shuttles. You make money, the world has more mushrooms, there are less steps and friction for you to do this.

(I only became a business person because mushrooms made me do it.)

Other finance innovation tools:

  • https://twitter.com/patio11/status/1230142988845629440?s=19 – A way for accredited investors to do small angel investments and reduce the amount of paperwork and legal expense involved for the entrepreneur and investor
  • Landscape regeneration teams are developing ways to work with bonds for funding large-scale regenerative projects.
  • A team at CrowdDoing is working on forest fire prevention derivatives to build financial incentives for risk reduction, in collaboration with insurance companies. Here are details on what they’re putting together.
  • Regenerative events ticketing model: Transparent costs and a pay-what-you-can structure. Our friends at Terran Collective in the Bay Area, California produced an event last year at the Mushroom Farm, a regenerative farm and events center, where they modeled a successful pay what you can event. They listed a recommended contribution amount, a minimum, and gave people links to their accounting spreadsheets. They came up short as the event started, but at the end told everyone that and requested more contributions from people who could. They met costs and beyond, and further allowed all attendees to allocate profits to a set of causes participants proposed that were in alignment with building regenerativity in the Bay Area. Terran Collective has a core group that practices pooled income so members have their needs met – they go deep with that, you can read more about it here.

Blockchain:

Aragon is a company that sponsored Bloom’s Governance Hackathon at Pollination 2019 (our regenerative futures conference). They have some incredible and futuristic tools. Aragon is the world’s first digital jurisdiction. Groups can start digital organizations in literally two minutes, and when disputes arise (like a contract dispute such as work not delivered), they can be settled through an online peer juror system. There is lots of software building going on in the space of digital organizations, to achieve more egalitarian financial participation, fast and cheap exchange across international borders, and highly sophisticated governance. RadicalxChange and DGov Foundation are two more good project hubs.

  • Aragon has a decentralized project management suite, for organizations to collaborate on projects across their different entities/teams. This will make the backend administrative process of regenerative business networks and cooperatives easier, among those that are ok with their finances moving through digital currencies. (Bloom Network will be hosting a year-long educational series on decentralized web and finance tools starting in June 2019.)
  • Aragon’s fundraising app (members of a community can propose a project, and people can contribute funds to a pool that issues a monthly payout to the working team on that project. People can withdraw their funds if the team is not delivering or has gone astray values-wise, etc.
  • That fundraising app uses something called a bonding curve which lots of blockchain people are excited about. Here’s an article that explains bonding curves. (Readability note: I am two years into lazily starting to learn about blockchain technologies and I only now read this as language that doesn’t just sound like it’s from another planet.) Thibauld Favre’s Continuous Organizations model also use bonding curves.
  • Aragon’s also developing liquid democracy and futarchy tools – much needed advances to the 17th century technology we’re using to run today’s global governments (facepalm). If you want to nerd on this, read up on what Taiwan is doing with digital democracy tools.
  • Bounties are another tool that helps distributed communities get work done together

Alternative Ways of Accounting for Labor and Value Contributed

  • 8 Forms of Capital, – I have a hunch that when we set up Bloom’s cooperative, it will be native to the blockchain on Aragon, and use some kind of digital token to track and reward contributions, payable in a more exchangeable cryptocurrency as money comes in to the network. We’ve been asking ourselves how we might allow people to buy into the cooperative with other forms of capital than financial. In addition to the 8 forms of capital we would add creative, and one other which we don’t yet have a name for! This seems bonkers complicated to me right now but I think there’s a there there. For now we’ll just gift memberships to people and orgs that really couldn’t even afford $5/mo so that we can keep the decision making and leadership power dynamics balanced.
  • Commons Stack is making a token engineering components library to align healthy incentives around using and developing public goods:

Financial Interventions Suggested by the Global Regeneration CoLab

  • Policy to require insurance companies to put X% of insurance premiums into regenerative risk reduction actions
  • Proper cost accounting of human and environmental costs that are externalized in extractive economy
  • Economies built on interconnection with watersheds
  • Quantitative easing
  • Regional regeneration bond market creation
  • Low to no interest loans
  • Measure success in regional gross regenerative product
  • ROI incorporating regeneration
  • Policy to shift government spend toward regenerative projects

Contributions to this article are welcome! Also, if you have a question about finance structure, or services or features you would find helpful to support your work, please reach out. Contact me here.

With love,

Magenta
ECO, Bloom Network


Peer-to-Peer Currency 101

An entry level overview of Bitcoin, the blockchain, and the various applications and potentials of peer-to-peer technologies.
Featuring John Light on the Bloom Podcast (Bloom was previously Evolver Network).



Rocket Stoves

Rocket Stoves

What Are They?

A rocket stove is an efficient, hot burning stove that uses an insulated vertical chimney and can run on small branches.

Why Make One?

They use less fuel and create less emissions. It’s possible to make one yourself, and they can be used for a variety of situations, from heating a home, as a hot water heater, or for cooking.

How to Make a Rocket Stove:

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