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DECUSSATE Issue No. 3

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Summer 2019

THE EARTH ISSUE Sanetra & Unravel Co. Nubia Natalie Heather Wylie m Kirsten Kampmeier decussate x SUMMER ‘19

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LETTER

TABLE OF CONTENTS Issue No. 3 Summer 2019

8. The Earth Issue ARTICLES

10. Seeds of Change 14. Great Pacific Garbage Patch Timeshare Opportunities 18. Don’t Need a Weather Man

FEATURES

22. Picking Blame 32. Hold & Sustain 42. Common Thread ETC.

22. Eco-Feminism Checklist


MASTHEAD X FOUNDER & CREATIVE DIRECTOR Monica Valenzuela

EDITOR Natalie Stevens

WRITERS

Kirsten Kampmeier Lillian Stone Monica Valenzuela

ILLUSTRATORS Cristin Cornal

PHOTOGRAPHERS Peter Longno Edgar Ramirez

CONTACT/SUBMISSIONS/ADS info@decussatemag.com

SPECIAL THANKS

Ciara Birley Torquil Dewar Shelley Lai October Custom Publishing

ON THE COVER:

Sanetra Longno, Founder of Unravel Co. Photographer: Husband, Peter Paul Ganzon Longno Photographer Website: www.peterl.tv Photographer IG: @Peterl.tv Sanetra’s Outfit: Top - Pieceology Vintage @Pieceologyvintage Pants- Miranda Bennett@mirandabennettstudio Bag - Unravel Co. available on the website soon Unravel Co Website: unravelco.com Unravel Co IG: @unravelco


ANY TIME. ANY PLACE.

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THE EARTH ISSUE S

ometime last year, I made the naive choice of joining the trolls of the Internet by bashing on a harmless group of people: The Zero-Wasters. I was even so bold to tweet, “zero waste people have replaced obnoxious vegans.” The tweet was mild, but the shade was obvious on both groups. At that point in my life, I thought that was hilarious, but like most of my tweets, it was in fact not funny. I consider myself lucky that I only have 50 followers and they all happen to be my friends. I didn’t receive any backlash for the tweet because I’m very unpopular and no one knows who I am. For reasons I’m still trying to process, I’m not quite sure why I tweeted that or why I even have a twitter at all. Maybe the reason for the tweet was because an acquaintance of mine had recently became a zero-waster. Her whole social media presence quickly turned from cute photos of day trips to shaming everyone who uses produce bags. She was upset, and I didn’t care. I hit unfollow, and moved on with my careless life. I don’t have a problem in admitting that at times I can be problematic. But I realized that my annoyance with zero-waste people was because I’ve never been a fan of people pushing their views on others. I was becoming defensive; “IF I WANT TO BUY STARBUCKS, SO WHAT. LET ME LIVE.” Watching their curated lives where their choices had an eco-conscious effect on the world made me feel like a garbage monster. Maybe another reason I was annoyed was because zero waste seemed almost impossible in a consumerist society. But if they can do it, could I? So I do what I always do when I’m ill-informed, I research.

Very early on in my immersion of the zero-waste lifestyle, I quickly realized that it’s pretty impossible to lead a completely zero-waste life in current times. I found out that it’s very possible to lower everyday waste significantly. But on a large scale, every part of our lives is tied to a consumerist economy. We can’t escape the fact that there is no ethical consumption under capitalism. But what we can escape is a repetitive cycle that is not only harmful to ourselves but to the environment. So, I decided to put down my ice cold styrofoam cup of dumb bitch juice, and took a big ol’ bite out of some ethically-sourced humble pie. Who am I to tweet about people who are trying to change the world? Me making a dumb joke in the grand scheme of things seems harmless. But in the time it took for me to tweet, I could’ve instead recycled all my trash correctly. I’ll never be the one to say my choices are better than anyone else’s, but what is the harm in some stranger telling me to re-think my choices? A bruised ego, maybe, but overall it could make my life better, and I’m okay with that. I’m no angel. I still go out and grab a cup of coffee during my work day. But I make sure to bring a reusable cup. I still shop, but I make sure to shop locally, ask questions and bring a reusable bag. I still eat meat and dairy but only once or twice a week. I know that I can’t cure climate change, but the choices I make can have an affect on the world. There is no harm in being aware. So, I adopted a pretty easy mantra: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. And a new one I just created: Think. Before. Tweeting.

Monica Valenzuela Founder

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Monica Valenzuela, Natalie Stevens and Ciara Birley attending the Hopeless Lingerie release party at Laced with Romance in Austin, TX. Photo by Jackson Montgomery Schwartz decussate x SUMMER ‘19

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Seeds of Change By: Kirsten Kampmeier • Photos by: Edgar Ramirez

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A

t 8 o’clock each morning, I walk the same half-mile trail that I walked the day before. After sweeping the pathways and scanning for trash, I try to leave myself enough time to experience the ever-changing landscape before my workday starts. On this particular morning, I note the flowering Mealy Blue Sage, whose stems have just started to droop under the weight of their new blooms, and the explosion of lime-green aliens emerging from the tips of the Prickly Pear cacti. For a moment, I let myself get lost within the abundance of growth that unfolds each spring at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a research facility that hosts over 900 native Texas plant species. I want to know each individual flower in the golden clusters of Damianita, I want to brush against the feathery green stalks of the towering Standing Cypress, I want to cusp the perfect little orb of white flowers that makes up a blossoming Antelope Horns Milkweed. But as I come back to reality, I try to remember that the gorgeous blooms and new growth are not the whole story. Amidst the fields of stunning color, some of the plants are fading as we head closer to summer. Most notably, the bluebonnets (our state flower here in Texas) are looking rather pale in the leaves, and the purplish petals are dropping to the ground. Though the plant is declining in appearance, the glorious floral display allowed the plant to be fertilized and produce a ladder of bumpy seed pods that seem to crawl up the stem in replacement of the indigo flowers. The seed pods are not much to look at, but the little seeds inside represent all the bluebonnets that could come in seasons to follow. While a field of blue blooms is a breathtaking sight, recently I find

Flowers in bloom at Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

myself more awestruck by the vast number of seeds that are produced after the burst of flowers. Seed collection is not a practice that many individuals engage with. It can be time consuming, each plant has specific harvesting and storage techniques, and the benefits can take years to observe. But as human-induced climate change and industrial development threaten our beloved spaces and species, it is clear there are no simple fixes to the damage we are causing. If we are going to become a society that embraces rather than abuses our planet, we must embrace the complexity and continuity of the systems at work within the natural world. Through seed collection, storage and dispersal, we can follow the life cycle of a plant beyond its bloom and into the following season. A flowering plant becomes valuable for more than just its singular beauty, it becomes valuable for its potential and its interaction with the environment. Collecting seeds may feel small in terms of becoming a more sustainable people, but it provides an opportunity to intimately connect with nature, and I believe these intimate connections are the only path to lasting, positive change. Native plants hold a particular fascination for me because of their innate adaptations to regional climate and soil condi-

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“While you may not see this benefit immediately, each generation of a plant that has come from the previous year’s stock will be better adapted to your garden’s specific environmental conditions.”

Seed collecting

tions, but not everyone has access to native plants for harvesting seeds. A great way to start engaging with seed collection is in your veggie garden. For example, instead of harvesting your lettuce when it forms a perfect head, allow one of the healthy plants to bolt (shoot up a central stalk and begin to flower). The transformation that lettuce goes through as it sets seed is truly fun to watch; the plant becomes almost unrecognizable as one of your household vegetables. It can vary how long your lettuce will take to set seed depending on weather conditions, but once the flowers have begun to dry and you see dandelion-esque puffballs in place of the blooms, it is time to collect the seeds. All you need is a paper bag, a towel, and an envelope! • Pinch off the flower heads (the dried out flower with the dandelion-esque puffs) • Place the seed heads in a paper bag and bring the bag inside • Gently break the flower heads apart with your fingers and

the lettuce seeds will separate from the head and the fluff (the seeds can vary in color, ranging from white to brown) • Discard the flower heads and extra plant material (if little bits remain, this will not negatively affect your seed storage) • Place the small seeds on a plate or towel in a cool/shaded spot so they can fully dry out overnight • Store your seeds in an envelope in a cool, dry, shaded space until you are ready to plant (this could be later in the same season or next year)! By collecting, storing, and dispersing your own seed, your connection with your plants and garden can become more complete. Purchasing seeds from a supplier is rarely an expensive endeavour. A thousand organic lettuce seeds will only put you out ten dollars. But after helping a plant through its entire life cycle, ordering seeds rather than collecting your own may leave you feeling a bit disenchanted. As crazy as it sounds, you may miss watching your lettuce reach to the sky, feeling the weight of a handful of smooth seeds, and having a weird assortment of dusty envelopes hiding in your pantry. By fragmenting our interactions with food, plants, and the environment at large, we not only damage nature’s continuous cycles, but we also take away experiences that can make us feel whole. decussate x SUMMER ‘19

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Great Pacific Garbage Patch Timeshare Opportunities By: Lillian Stone • Illustration by: Monica Valenzuela

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Hayley recording in her studio apartment. Photo taken by Phillip Odom.

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Mottled Coral Vacation Villas Here at Trash Isle Vacation Rentals, we’ve perfected the formula for your ideal summer getaway: relaxing, adventurous, and entirely filled with trash. Our newest property, Mottled Coral Vacation Villas, is the perfect destination for the busy couple looking for an unforgettable week of sun and surf. Also, piles of dead and dying marine life. Sound romantic? It’s true: Mottled Coral Vacation Villas is for lovers. Each villa includes a relaxing lanai, giving guests an unparalleled view of the sun as it sets over the slick feathers of bloated bird corpses.

Pirouetting Plastic Bag Peninsula As demand grows, many hot vacation destinations are becoming oversaturated with high-rise condos and spring breakers. Lucky for us, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch just keeps growing—it’s currently more than twice the size of the state of Texas—which means total privacy for you and your family. Forgot your sunscreen? Simply cover your bare skin with one of the thousands of plastic shopping bags littering this peninsula!

Discarded Cigarette del Mar Resort & Spa This luxurious resort is adjacent to a cutting-edge self-service spa facility. Just comb your way through the treacherous pile of Gold Peak Sweet Tea six-pack rings, scoop some wilted sand dollars out of the rubbish, and allow their slimy, lifeless bodies to restore your youthful complexion. Need a little extra self-care? Slip into the community Jacuzzi, which is filled with a swirling, churning pile of microplastics.

Cadaverous Crustacean Cove Dockside fun, anyone? All Cadaverous Crustacean Cove rentals are located directly on a private dock constructed with old, partially shattered Legos. Rent a boat from Salty, our haggard resident docksman, or linger on the dock for a picnic surrounded by the putrid stench of garbage. Don’t forget to check out the mini golf course!

Captain Consumerist’s Family-Friendly Beach Club Ready to make some memories? Our all-inclusive beach club is perfectly poised to become your home away from home—childcare included. Send the kids to the shore to comb their way through hundreds of scrapped floppy discs while you and your sweetie enjoy some alone time. With 80,000 metric tons of garbage to sort through, they’ll be occupied for a while. We guarantee that the kiddos will want to return year after year—at least, until mankind is obliterated in a firestorm of waste and wailing.

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Don’t Need a Weather Man to Know Which Way The Wind Blows By: Monica Valenzuela • Photos courtesy of: Heather Wylie

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n December of 2007, the recession hit in the United States and would continue for 19 months, one of the most difficult economic times in the country since The Great Depression. Young adults graduating during this time were met with little to no hope on receiving jobs that would help pay their student loans, or even their basic needs. That worry was prevalent in Heather Wylie’s mind. Graduating from Florida Institute of Technology in May of 2009 with a degree in Meteorology, Heather was scared that she wouldn’t be able to land a job in her field even though Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology majors usually have long standing careers directly out of college. Heather’s worry quickly shifted to joy when only a few months after graduating she received a position with one of the the biggest names in the world, NASA. In April of 2010, Heather started working for a company that was contracted by the U.S Air Force and NASA doing launch support. She was put on a team that would send test balloons checking the weather conditions before each launch. Every day, Heather would spend her time amongst amazing minds in an environment known to have made history here on Earth and in space. Unfortunately, just as quickly as this opportunity came into Heathers life,it also left. In November of 2010, Heather and the nation received news that NASA would be defunded drastically. This news was a huge step back for science and it was a devastating loss for Heather knowing she would no longer be employed at her dream job.

Even though a layoff felt like the end of the world, it was actually a new beginning. Heather decided it was time for a change. She packed up her life in Florida and moved to Texas. She knew Austin would be a good place to start. Working odd jobs here and there, it was in Austin that she found a love for roller derby and a group of people who, just like her, were trying to figure it all out. Just last year, Heather decided she was ready to get back into her field. She accepted a job at a company where she would be testing the air quality for certain regions in the United States. Air quality forecasts help predict factors that can have an effect on public health, such as allergies and the effects of wildfires. The job description was a bit of a new challenge for Heather, and she was ready to take it head on. Some parts of her job must remain confidential due to the political nature of climate change. Respecting her views and place of work, I wanted to leave out her employer’s name or any specific details about her job. I did want to hear about how she sees climate change from the perspective of air quality. Dealing with it day to day, Heather has an in-depth perspective of how it affects the public directly. Even though climate change is viewed as a long-term issue, we can point to specific evidence of it happening now. I sat down with Heather to talk about her professional and personal views on this subject.

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Your job title and past work expereinces are so impressive and engaging, even though I don’t know much about meteorology or air quality. What is the best way to describe what you do on a daily or weekly basis? In summary, I measure the particulates in the atmosphere. That can include the type of allergies that are prevelant, or manmade pollution. I check for high or low ozone days, which is usually related to pollution. It’s a pretty interesting job if you really look into the details of it. Air quality is a branch in meteorology that is still in its infancy. There are times where I’m learning new things, and, collectively, other poeple in my field are too. The technology is still catching up, but it seems to be beneficial, especially since now we are seeing the ozone action days are increasing.

I bet it can be alarming to know first-handhow the Earth’s ozone reacts to our behavior, knowing how bad it can get and how little we are doing to stop it. From your perspective and your science background, what is your stance on climate change? The science is there. There is so much proof that climate change is real, and I personally beleive it is only going to get worse unless we do something now. That’s the most frustrasting part about having a background in science and wanting to talk about this. If I publicly state my opinions on this issue, they are still deemed radical in certain settings, especially in a more conservative state like Texas. Even though I work in science, and a lot of people agree that this is no longer a partisan issue to be debated over, it is still something that can spark controversy. It‘s silly to me that people think this is a political issue and not a reality.

It can be difficult to change minds on a larger scale. How do you think people can make a change on a smaller scale? I try to be more cognitive of my life. I consume less. I have realized how easy it is to be more aware of my waste and making sure I leave less of it behind. I think starting there can help. The smallest thing can affect our future. If we educate others and ourselves of the impact each person can make, I think that will open our eyes to the idea that we can’t go back. This is the only Earth we have. Everything we know and love is here, we have to try our best to save our planet, becaue we can’t make a new one. Heather Wylie can be seen skating around Austin, TX, and hopes to head to the Pacific Northwest soon for another change of scenenery. You can follow Heather on her social media @hxwx09

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PICKING BLAME Climate change is no longer a risk but a reality. Future generations are left to pick up the mess past generations will leave behind. A recycled and re-usable impromptu photo shoot lead to an introspective discussion on facts and realities of the imprint we leave in our everyday life. We can no longer place blame but instead enforce a change.

Photography by: Edgar Ramirez

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SINGLE USE DISPOSABLES In 2016, world plastics production totaled around 335 million metric tons. Roughly half of annual plastic production is destined for a single-use product. Humans buy about one million plastic bottles per minute and only about 23% of plastic bottles are recycled within the U.S. It is estimated that 4 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide annually. 500 billion disposable cups are consumed every year. Americans alone throw away 25 billion styrofoam coffee cups every year. Most of the Styrofoam disposed of today will still be present in landfills 500 years from now. [1] [1] www.earth.org/ fact-sheet-single-use-plastics/


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F O O D WA S T E Americans throw away $165 billion in food every year, averaging about 20 punds per person in a single month. 40% of the food produced in the United States never gets eaten and is seen in landfills [1]. Americans throw away enough food to fill 730 football stadiums completely [2]. According to a study from November 25, 2009 the United States per capita food waste has progressively increased by ~50% since 1974 [3]. Food waste in landfills will aggregate and decompose without air to circulate it properly, and those anerobic conditions will create methane gas 20 times more potent than CO2 at trapping heat [4]. [1] The Natural Resources Defense Council [2] U.S Department of Agriculture [3] PLOS ONE Peer Reviewed Science Journals: The Progressive Increase of Food Waste in America and Its Environmental Impact [4] “Just Eat It”, PEG LEG FILMS, (2015)

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FA S T FA S H I O N “It is easy to be seduced by fashion imagery and throwaway fast fashion. It’s not your fault! But acknowledging your reaction every time you feel the seduction of fashion advertising is the first step to your liberation. This will liberate not only ourselves but also the people who toil to make what we wear, and the environment.“

Safia Minney Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics

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The universe is not required to be in perfect harmony with human ambition. – Carl Sagan

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Consume less; share better. – Hervé Kempf

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Hold &

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Sustain

Built from the understanding of hard work and the love of meaningful fashion, Unravel Co. Founder Sanetra Longno shares her journey on creating an ethical fashion brand that breathes more purpose into the world. By: Monica Valenzuela • Photography by: Peter Longno

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BABA BASKET(NATURAL) multi - purpose bag - you can store toys, yarn/art supplies, linens, books, plants, use as a beach bag, farmers market shopping basket etc ~ made with Kinkahe straw ~ handwoven by artisans in Bolgatanga, Ghana ~ it takes 8-10 days to make ~ measures approx. 22 x 10 in (sizes will vary as a result of handmade products) ~ this purchase creates employment opportunities, supports the educational system within the community

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S

anetra stands outside of Halcyon waiting for me to arrive. She is on time and I’m three minutes late. I find a place to park and ungracefully throw money into a parking meter. I walk-run to our meet up place, hoping she doesn’t notice the beads of sweat on my upper lip. The Texas Summer is slowly creeping in, and luckily a small breeze greets me near the entrance. I can see she is texting me to let me know that she is outside of the coffee shop. As I walk up, I briefly contemplate my perception of time, and pray I remembered to bring a pen. We introduce ourselves and go over the correct pronunciation of our names, an attention to detail that I foundly appreciate. She gives me a light hug, and I’m immediately in awe of her beauty, her style and her overwhelmingly comfortable energy. I grab us some drinks and we settle down on the patio. The conversation begins very organically, and I already feel like we’ve met before. She mentions how she recently got back from Dallas from a photo shoot with the clothing brand Tribe Alive. “This is actually my third time working with Tribe Alive, and I enjoy the type of relationship I’ve built with the founder. Carly is so welcoming and kind. I stayed at her place, and she opened up her home to me and I felt relaxed. Plus, the clothing I modeled was beautiful, and the entire experience was memorable. The photographer was great and so was everyone else: the kind of working environment that I look forward to when modeling. ” No stranger to being in front of a camera, Sanetra’s mother entered Sanetra in pageants at a young age. Pageants were just a step in the direction for her to find an agency to work with. In their hometown of Corpus Christi, not many big agencies existed for the types of modeling Sanetra wanted to do. It wasn’t until after high school that she decided to explore different opportunities. Having lived and gone to school in Austin, she had seen all the changes that the overpopulated city had gone through. Austin was a hub for creatives and creators who were seeking people just like her. “After high school I got into modeling, also being around a lot of people at The Art Institute who needed models for their projects. That allowed me to get back into it and really put myself out there.” My feeling of having met Sanetra before started to seem less like a feeling and more like a reality- I find out we went to the same college and graduated a year apart. Though our majors were different, we can’t help but imagine that our paths crossed a few times. “Working with people in school really gave me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone a bit. During that time I started a Model Mayhem account which back then was pretty interesting, but now is kinda weird. It was like a Facebook-style social platform for models, photographers, and makeup artists. I don’t really use it now, but in college it allowed me to find events and helped me network properly, and honestly it really took off from there. I was getting booked a lot. And just recently, I got signed to a new agency, Mirror Management which has been wonderful. I like that they allow me to be a part of the conversation. I don’t like to work with just anybody who throws a number at me, I like to work with people whose brand’s purpose aligns with serving others in a meaningful way.” Choosing to work with a brand whose mission is clear and intentional was one of the main reasons Sanetra wanted to start her own company, Unravel Co. After graduating from The Art Institute of Austin with a Bachelors in Fashion and Retail Management, her ideal vision was to find a place that wasn’t going to contribute to the toxic cycles of fashion. She founnd herself working with local Austin retail companies like Noonday Collection and Raven + Lilly, and they showed her that leading with intention in fashion was a possibility. “I wanted to have a business that was not just going to benefit me and put money in my bank. I wanted to do more for others. When I finished school and received my degree, I was wondering, what am I going to do? I had just learned about the negative impact that the fashion industry was having on people and the environment, which is really sad, because it took us so long to learn about all of it. I was disappointed and disgusted and wanted nothing to do with fashion. But I really didn’t

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TOP LEFT PHOTO: Planter/multi-purpose basket. TOP RIGHT PHOTO: Baba basket (eggplant). BOTTOM LEFT PHOTO: Woven lampshade (coming soon).

want to give up. I began researching and slowly started discovering small brands that were having a positive impact. Raven + Lilly really inspired me to start Unravel Co. Seeing this brand and how transparent and honest they were with the whole process gave me hope.” The start of Unravel Co. was simple: serve others. It seemed like an obvious concept that most businesses should keep in mind when targeting to consumers. But having seen the damage that fast fashion has on the market as a whole, Sanetra knew that the people who create the product are just as important as the people who purchase the product. “Being a business owner, I’m constantly learning and asking myself Why am I doing this? What is the purpose?, really making the right choices and helping the ones who help me. Unravel Co. is a sustainable brand of artisan handbags made in Ghana. The artists who make the handbags are like family to me. I see their hard work whenever I see a new shipment. When I create a new design I always consider them first. I never price out the handbags; Since they make them, they name the price. I started this company in the beginning of 2017, and though I’ve run into a lot of things that are difficult to

deal with as a business owner, the one thing I make sure to keep consistent is my relationship with them. I want it to be strong.” At one point during our conversation, I notice how easily she gets lost in her world, not as if I’m not there, but I can see her be fully in It. I can feel her genuineness, her ability to talk about what she loves so much applies no effort. I ask her to describe what it was like visiting Ghana and meeting her new family for the first time, and she lightst up. The relationship she has built is not only about the handbags, but an opportunity for the community to grow. Under her mission statement for Unravel Co. serving others meant serving the people of Sherigu. “In Ghana, the government won’t fund certain places like schools or medical facilities unless there is a proper building or facility to allow that program to function. I didn’t know that, so when we went to visit, that was the first thing I thought about. Their water source is miles away, so I knew I wanted to create an extra water well closer to them. Building two new classrooms and now we are currently breaking ground on a new medical center. ” Sanetra is beyond passionate about the relationship

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she has fostered with these talented artists. After visiting Ghana and coming back to the States, she realized she could do more. She saw how sustainable their practice was for creating each item and knew she was on the right path. The straw used for the bags is durable, long-lasting, and crafted with care. On a recent trip to the Philippines, Sanetra realized that she could expand her designs to include different types of materials that were still sustainable and handcrafted, and now Unravel Co. is in the process of working to build a relationship in the Philippines to create more products that allow a wider range of styles. After awhile I noticed I had strayed away from the questions I had written down. We somehow ended up talking about documentaries we’ve watched, and we began accepting recommendations for new ones. The condensation from my iced tea had left a small pool of water on the table and bled onto my notebook, disturbing the ink. A self-timer went off in my head and, I decided to close out our meeting. Getting to know Sanetra better turned out to be informative and enlightening. I could see her journey to understanding the fashion industry’s negative impacts, and not allowing it to dishearten her but instead fuel a fire so she could switch up the narrative. Disrupting the machine is a slow process, but Sanetra is ready for the long haul. She’s holding true to her beliefs and sustaining a business model that will thrive in a future where people want to see a change. If there was one thing that I took from our time together, it was the sincerity she showed me, from our initial hello’s to her casual energy to her purpose in fashion. It came as no surprise that I almost fell in love with her. I wanted to leave on a high note, so I asked her what she thought about moving towards slow fashion and what was her advice she might give to consumers who wanted to make a more conscious effort in the things they wear. “Communities are so important. That’s where is all starts. In Austin, I think we are lucky to have so many options when it comes to fashion. Even if you don’t know much about fashion, maybe try shopping at thrift stores. Re-using is a great way to begin, but I think the best way to start helping is by supporting small independent businesses. Investing in them is what it’s really all about. Research and ask questions. I see that when we invest in others, we end up growing. Being a part of someone else’s growth is why I do what I do.” Visit Unravel Co. at unravelco.com You can follow them on IG @unravelco and You can keep up with Sanetra by following her personal IG @sanetrastew

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TOP PHOTO: Group shot of the women weavers with Sanetra and her husband Peter Longno during their first visit last September 2018. BOTTOM LEFT PHOTO: During recess, all of the students ran under a group of trees and began dancing and singing in a circle.

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Circular Bag w/stripes The Founder, Sanetra Longno, holding a new design called the Mini Fuseini in yellow.


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Common Thread

A look into the future of fashion that is conscious and kind.

By: Monica Valenzuela • Photography by: Gabrielle K. Aguilar • Model: Emily Cannis

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Emily is wearing the Lupita Sport Bra in Mystic- $58.00 and the Susana Legging Pant in mystic - $88.00

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Emily is wearing the Susana Legging Pant in the pattern Spiritual Mirror - $88.00

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atalie Arribeno is a Los Angeles native whose culture and compassion is vividly woven into her new clothing line, Nubia Natalie. Her pieces illustrate the art and lives of the Huichol people from Mexico’s Sierra Madre mountains. Natalie’s goal for eco-friendly activewear stems from her appreciation for indigenous communities and an opportunity to educate consumers. “I think it is possible to integrate culture and consumerism in a healthy way.” Natalie says, “That’s why I created this brand. Having a background in fashion, from my perspective, I realized how important it is to re-inforce eco-friendly fashion, because fashion is the second largest polluter in the world. I didn’t want to contribute to that so I made sure that the clothes I made were going to add value to the consumer, and not take away from the planet.” Each item available on Nubia Natalie’s website is made from 100% recycled material (REPREVE fiber made from 86% recycled bottles and recycled polyester 14%). Natalie’s awareness towards the environment sheds light on the affect that it could have on indigenous communities as well. “The relationship I have with The Huichol Center is so important to me. Keeping their culture alive and protected is one of Nubia Natalie’s main goals. Indigenous communities are often shut out of society because they can longer keep up with technology or they are unable to adapt to it. I know everything is connected and connecting with this community creates a harmony that I want to actively preserve and uphold. Working with The Huichol Center has given me the opportunity to champion these women artists while also supporting them.” Looking at the pieces of clothing, you can see the intricacies of the patterns. The long heritage of the Huichol women are present in every stitch and tell the stories of the past and present. Natalie describes why keeping their culture alive is vital. “Traditionally, The Huichol would tell stories through their art. The patterns they have created are all significant. Every line and every dot. When starting off with the designs, I knew I wanted each piece to have a story along with it. That’s why I named each piece after someone who was really special to me. The sports bra is named after my Mother, Lupita: she was supportive,

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“I’m a spiritual person, I believe what you put out in the world you receive back. I make sure to do everything with intention.”

caring, and even though she is no longer with us, I knew I would always want to have her close to my heart.” The biggest thing we carry in our culture, specifically in Mexican and Latino cultures, are the stories passed down from generation to generation. Keeping them close to us; keeps us close to our roots. Very early on, Natalie knew her purpose was to create a brand that would challenge the fashion industry. The wave of the socially conscious has newer generations asking brands, Where does this come from? Who made this? What’s it made out of? But the biggest question for people who are active is, Will this last? “I want to build the client’s closet,” Natalie mentions when referring to the current items she has available. “Right now we are working on what I like to call the 2.0 version. We are working on new things that will go along with what we already have. We are not following a natural fashion cadence. Brands usually do Spring/ Summer and Fall/Winter. Releasing new items every fashion season would be overwhelming. I always look from the clients’ perspective. I want to add to what they already have by giving them the opportunity to make a choice based on their budget and lifestyle.” When it comes to purchasing clothes, fit is always the deciding factor. Leggings are a staple in any closet. They can be worn in a yoga class or worn around the house. Comfort and durability are the key component in any active wear brand. “The function of each garment was inspired by yoga. I’ve been practicing yoga for years and I knew the troubles that went along with active wear. My leggings and shorts are high waisted on purpose. So my fellow curvacious Latinas can feel comfortable when bending over. They can feel supported in any direction.” Overall, looking at all the moving parts of Nubia Natalie, it’s hard to think that there should be any other way to make clothes. From an in-depth perspective, it seems Nubia Natalie has it all. Asking Natalie where she sees the brand a few years from now, her response is realistic. “Since we launched in September of 2018, I’ve received positive feedback and a steady order intake. But in a social media world where entrepreneurship can be romanticized, there can be times where I tend to get lost in where the brand should be. But no matter what, I remind myself that my hustle is worth it. I know if I keep working hard I will get to where I need to be. I’m a spiritual person, I believe what you put out in the world you receive back. I make sure to do everything with intention.” Nubia Natalie will be heading back to the Huichol Center this summer to provide book bags and supplies for the children of the community. For more information about the Huichol center visit www.thehuicholcenter.org and to look at Nubia Natalies active wear line, visit their website at www.nubianatalie.co

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USE CODE DECUSSATE FOR 10% OFF VISIT NUBIANATALIE.CO

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You can use Re-usable bamboo straws too Finding locally sourced fruits and vegetables for snacks For comfort and breath-ability wear the Luptia sports bra and Valeria yoga shorts by Nubia Natalie Use organic cotton towels Choosing to bike or walk to the pool river/ beach instead of using a car

Eco-feminism Summer Checklist It’s a hot girl summer and there is no stopping us from living it to our fullest. Use this checklist before you head out on all your hot girl summer activities.

Wear sunscreen that is reef, ocean & ecofriendly Use the sustainable multi -purpose Baba basket by Unravel Co. Put drinks re-usable cups or bottles

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Bring re-usable bags and gloves to pick up litter or unattended waste. Do your part! Reduse. Reuse. Recycle Play Megan Thee Stallion on repeat Read all issues of Decussate Mag online or on our downloadable PDF


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DECUSSATE Issue No. 3

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Summer 2019

Profile for DECUSSATE

DECUSSATE ISSUE THREE  

The Earth Issue. Summer 2019.

DECUSSATE ISSUE THREE  

The Earth Issue. Summer 2019.

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