ANTI GREEN SHEEN
MANIFESTO What is Green Sheen/Greenwashing? Greenwashing is the use of ‘green’-friendly language by companies/organizations to conceal destructive policies for the sake of marketing. What is the AGS Zine? The Anti-Green-Sheen Zine names and combats the rising trend of ‘greenwashing’ in various industries by modeling sustainability as an actionable daily practice. We cannot blindly accept claims of sustainability from corporations looking to capitalize on the appearance of being ‘eco-friendly’. We, as individuals, need to make a personal, informed choice to produce and consume as few of Earth’s resources as possible. By applying a bottoms-up approach we intend to make conscious decisions to challenge and reprioritize our lifestyles to ensure the health of the natural world for present and future generations. + & Friends
Antonia Estela Perez & Rochelle Jamila
Brooklyn Mobile Thrift
HECHA / ĺ š
who: Aeirrinn Ricks is not yet a brand, not quite a label. It’s a series of explorations via the creative canal between performance, clothing upcycling and the modification of that as a time capsule. what: Found, discarded, thrifted, and gifted materials are used to restore and create new innovations around personal style, a flourishing personality, and a exercise in ones own identity. why: To me, the question really is “why not?” We really only have one life on this planet and with this we should consider how we would like to express ourselves as well as how do we take care of it collectively. In an industry that produces so much waste, I’d like to show that there are ways to reconsider how we can use the materials we already own.
“Chainmaille Harness back Tee” Re-purposing a shirt My goal here is to show you an easy, low effort way to re-do your old t-shirts. Not only is it eco-friendly, it’s very accessible, and breathes a resurgence of life to an old item that may be difficult to let go. Also, it gives one a chance to play around with their own personal style. Here I’m going to show you this “Chainmaille” harness back t-shirt. So without further ado lets get to it!
Things You’ll Need: • • • •
Old T-Shirt Safety Pins Key Chain Rings Scissors
Step 1: Flip your shirt over to the back and flatten it out. Take your scissors and cut out the entire back of the shirt but leaving the neckline and sleeve intact. Leave about a half inch to an inch of fabric from the side seam.
Step 2: Get your key rings and assemble them in rows. To create our harness effect we will need 5 rows: 2 for shoulders, 1 for waist line, 2 for hem line. The amount of key rings you’ll use in each row will depend how you’d like it to fit: Less = Fitted More = Slouchy Keep in mind that you’ll want it to fit without disruption and falling off. In mine I used a row of 15 for each shoulder, 23 at the waist, and 15 on each end of the hem. It becomes imperative that at the shoulder and waist line that you have the best fit as this will be the skeleton of the back of the shirt.
Step 3: Attach a safety pin at one end of 4 of the rows you’ve created. On the 5th key chain line you’ll attach a safety pin to each side, this will be used for the one around your waistline. Put them in place and pin them into your shirt. 66
Step 4: Define the middle of your waistline keychain and attach the open ended sides of the remaining 4 chains there. This will create a harness effect and join all of your stress points to allow the shirt to become connected.
Step 5: Youâ€™re Done! Try it on!
After I tried the shirt on initially, I decided I’d like more action in the front. So I made an inward angled cut from the shoulder towards the chest about 5 inches down and extended the key rings towards it.
As for the portion that you’ve cut off I’d recommend saving your scraps and using them for another project. This could be great scrap fabric to use on another article of clothing or to make something entirely new. I made mine into another version of the Chainmaille shirt equipped with armholes.
You can choose to wear your shirt however you want. But I’d like to recommend that this and many other styles of cut and slashed t-shirts are great for layering. So feel free to add your own personal styling touch to layer them in unexpected ways. Lastly, with this project you have a bunch of options to make it more permanent such as: substituting the safety pins and using eyelets on the shirt, play around with the design of the key chain links, cut out other areas, etc I’m keeping mine in safety pins as I may change it each time I wear it.
Here are a few other shirts I’ve customized to give you an idea of the possibilities:
who: Annika (she/they) is a designer and poet that uses her medium to explore intersections of Blackness, queerness, pleasure and communal care. They currently head creative at Ethelâ€™s Club, a social and wellness club designed to celebrate people of color. what: My work often explores communal care. In that theme, I designed a skill trade sheet that can be used to share resources, encourage communal learning, celebrate collaboration, and to find new people to build and create with. why: We need to imagine and implement structures outside of the violent methods offered by capitalism. We need to hold up and support one another in order to pull the futures we dream of into the present. Skill trading offers trust, vulnerability, compassion, and connection, traits I believe are essential to moving us towards radical societal changes.
THE SKILL TRADE SHEET The chaos and uncertainty of our world has me thinking a lot about love. About how I show up with love in communal spaces. About how connection, and caring for each other is necessary for liberation. How we need to explore methods of learning and care outside of the ones our capitalist nation has forced us to carry.
As an artist, I’m moved by the worlds that are created when I build, create, and learn with my homies. In navigating creative spaces, I’ve experienced first-hand how Black queer femme voices are moved to the shadows, blocked from resources, and forced into insolation. I believe that when we care for each other, and learn from one another, we can create sustainable systems that push forward change. I designed this Skill Trade sheet to be used to share offerings, learn skills, & create with your community members. This particular version is meant for Instagram stories. At my handle @annika.izora, you can tap the “Skill Trade” highlight to screenshot and use the Skill Trade. There are three different color versions available for use. You can also adapt the Skill Trade sheet to any medium that suits you best, it’s meant to provide a flexible framework for exchange. Where finances, structural violence, etc. keep us from access, exchanging offerings can be an accessible way to learn, create, & build. In creating with one another, we build the futures that we dream to pull into the present. 11
ANTONIA ESTELA PĂ‰REZ
who: Antonia is a clinical herbalist, gardener and artist, born and raised in NYC. They have apprenticed with several herbalists around the Northeast, Central and South America, and Thailand. They graduated from Bard College where they studied environmental and urban studies in 2015 and Arborvitae School of Traditional Herbal Medicine in 2019. what: They are a community organizer, gardener, food and environmental justice educator. They are also the co-founder of two collectives: Brujas and Herban Cura. why: They are passionate to share their knowledge with other folks especially in urban centers, in order to interrupt notions of individualism and separatism from nature and grow towards collaborative and symbiotic communities.
who: Rochelle Jamila is a movement artist, doula, and herbalist based in Brooklyn, NYC. She began her path as a healing artist as a child growing up in Memphis, TN, where she learned early on the spiritual nature of dance, song, and nourishment. Rochelle graduated from Columbia University in 2017 with a B.A. in Dance and Womenâ€™s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies. what: Rochelle is an herbal apprentice at Flower Power Roots and Herbs and has studied with herbalists in New York City and the South.
why: She is most passionate about supporting bleeding and birthing people to feel empowered in their bodies and reclaiming traditional healing knowledge. Her arts and healing practices are rooted in a legacy of Black artists, activists, mothers, healers, and the Mississippi Delta. It is Rochelleâ€™s heartfelt belief that spiritual alignment and wellness are all of our birthrights. 15
Climate crisis is real and upon us but hereâ€™s the good news: Our planet is naturally abundant and so are we. We have the memory of living harmoniously with the earth in our bones. We all have ancestors who were once intimately connected to the earth for their survival and resilience. Itâ€™s time to remember and reclaim that knowledge. To begin this reconnection, we must slow down and observe the patterns of the earth, wind, sun, and water, as we see the patterns outside of us, we can more intimately see how these patterns also exist within ourselves. We are earth. We contain all of the elements. However we have grown up in a capitalist system that has detached us from our intricate and undeniable dependence on the earth, making it more difficult for us to feel the magic that runs through us. Perhaps this COVID time will support us in collectively reflecting on how we have been living our lives, what is important and imagine alternative structures of resilient and regenerative economic models for all communities to thrive. Some questions we are asking ourselves are how do I access medicine, food, health when the current social and governmental structures are not designed in a way that provides these resources equitably to all.
While these times are pushing us to a greater dependency on technology to communicate with loved ones and to satiate our boredom, remember that our body is an incredible tool for accessing information. Tune into what your body is asking for, any pains that are arising, anxieties, ahah moments….as you listen, you will learn yourself and your needs. As movement and production has come to a halt, the waters and air are finally getting the chance to breathe. WE INVITE YOU to close your eyes and take a DEEP BREATH Below are some more practices to support you in nourishment: • Shift to a home-cooked, plant-based diet to minimize your carbon footprint. • Cooking at home emits a smaller quantity of greenhouse gases than eating out, and take-out uses a tremendous amount of “disposable” packaging. • Don’t dispose of packaging just because it’s “disposable.” • Plastic containers that you already have can be used for grocery shopping and transporting food. • Support local community agriculture initiatives and when possible buy fresh produce and herbs from local farmers and herbalists.
â€˘ Start gardening in your home (you can use egg cartons to germinate your seeds and plastic takeout containers for your plants) or neighborhood community garden. â€˘ Inventory what you have available and adapt it to your needs. â€˘ For soil, you can start an indoor compost or if you have a drop off site nearby, take your food scraps there. Work with herbal allies to support your vitality and as a part of preventative health care alongside getting good sleep and eating well. The pharmaceutical and illegal drug industries are major polluters and dump toxins into rivers and forests. Work with a local herbalist or naturopath to learn ways to heal with plants. Check in on and learn from the elders in your community. What plants do/ did your elders and ancestors have relationships with? What herbs do they cook and heal with? Many of our loved ones are keepers of plant wisdoms. A simple and fun way to start taking in plant medicine and integrating them into your daily life, is through teas. Some nourishing herbs to try as long steeping infusions are nettle, oatstraw, and burdock root. Aromatic plants like lemon balm, rose, and mint are wonderful as shorter steeped (10- 15 minutes) teas for soothing the nerves. Plants such as thyme, basil, sage and ginger support the immune system as well. There are many ways to work with plants, so feel free to get creative! You can make vinegars, take baths, and make oils with many of the plants listed above. Ask your loved ones and elders their favorite plants to work with. Have fun getting to know your plant allies in new and old ways. Plants are here to support our healing if we come to them with humility and respect!
How to Make an Herbal Infusion (Long Steeping Tea) Supplies: • Dried herbs • Mason jar / any glass jar with lid • Hot water kettle • Wooden spoon / chopstick for stirring • Metal strainer / cheesecloth Directions: 1. Boil water in a kettle or pot 2. Add one teaspoon of plant material to the jar for each cup of water 3. Boil water, allow to cool for 30 seconds 4. Pour water over herbs and stir 5. Cover with lid and let steep for 4-8 hours 6. Strain and enjoy. Stays good when refrigerated for 2-3 days Feel supported and nurtured with this Earth Meditation: We may need to maintain a social distance with our fellow human kin but we have many plant relatives all around us who are happy to receive hugs. Find a tree or plant near you. Greet the tree with a smile, a song, or a few blessed words. Place a hand on the tree. Take a deep breath in through your nose. Slowly exhale. Repeat this slow deep breath three times. Visualize roots growing out of your feet and deep into the Earth, just like the tree beside you. Take as many more deep breaths with this image as you like. Close your meditation by thanking the tree and offering a prayer for our collective healing.
BK MOBILE THRIFT
who: Brooklyn Mobile Thrift (BKMT) is a portable clothing thrift shop brought to creative event spaces, aiming to remove gendered and sizeist limitations from self expression, end fast fashion by nurturing knowledge of clothing construction, and serve as a platform for local designers to share their own creative clothing what: Pieces designed and made by Wendy Colosimo, curated fashions from local artists, and rare vintage finds why: I want people to dress up more - especially when going out. When we dress up creatively by staying true to ourselves as individuals, we become a part of the decor for others, to experience the world around us more authentically, together. This uplifting cycle of inspiration and creation, is artistic consideration for the spaces we collectively get to share - in nightlife and beyond. how: By empowering others to own their desires and individuality, we can together make sure that the future of fashion and creative event spaces will continue to be sources of artistic freedom with respect, through sustainablity and integrity.
Step 1: Gather your materials
Beautiful fabric you’d like to sew together Step 2: Thread your needle & create knot • Cut a long piece of thread (~length of your arm) • Carefully thread your needle • Double the thread so that both ends meet together at the same length • Grab both end pieces & wrap twice around your pointer finger • Roll the wrapped thread off completely, by using only your point finger and thumb (as if you were rolling off something sticky) • Pull the wrapped bundle tight at the end of the thread • You now have a knot & are ready to sew!
Step 3: Sew • Thread the needle through both sides of the fabric • Pull the thread all the way so that the knot is secured behind the underside of your fabric • Loop around the fabric and thread through again further down to create a second stitch • Repeat all the way down, until your stitches are done on your seamline • You’re almost done...
Step 4: Close the seams! • Close your seamline to secure all your work by looping through the last stitch • Repeat this process to really lock it in! • You can now sew and have the basics for creating your own clothing!
who: DisCakes is a multi-faceted platform, collective and rave series founded by Pauli Cakes and Marley Marl. DisCakes uses underground raves and nightlife as a tool for radical self expression, love, community building and harm reduction when envisioning safe(r) spaces for marginalized bodies to dance and unite. what: A collage of photographs taken at DisCakes raves by Rob Mazz along with a poem and think piece on the homogenization of pulling looks in nyc nightlife. why: There is little to no recognition, or credit for the angels in nightlife who pull looks. There is so much heart and soul that goes into this creative process, and then it is eternalized on the dance floor. Big fashion houses and companies often co-op these looks deriving from raves and other nightlife outings, market off of them and erase the origins of where they were birthed. how: Describing the experience and power behind pulling a look and the power behind underground spaces which serve as unifying activations for marginalized bodies to express and create.
HECHA / 做 who: HECHA / 做 is an empathy-driven collaborative founded by Luz Angélica Fernández and Ting Ding in 2016. what: Sustainable Gender Flexible Hand Painted* Garments + Activewear Base-Layers *fabric paintings by Luz Angélica Fernández why: Our intent is to blur categorical boundaries by experimenting across mediums and working transparently to create conversational platforms for human connection, collaboration, and communal support. how: HECHA / 做 recontextualizes artwork by transforming paintings and symbolic language into utilitarian objects: allowing the body to live within a work of art rather than around it.
If you MUST shop (now or in the future) keep these factors in mind... • Upcycling - Shop for an item that could eventually be transformed into something else • Disassembly - Shop for items who’s parts/materials could be separated easily for recycling • Mono-materiality - Look for items made of only one material/fabric for easier recycling • 30 Wears Test - Is this an item that you are confident you will wear or use at least 30 times? & always double check for... • • • •
The care label - The simpler the care instructions the better The fabric content - Look for mono-materiality Where it’s made - The more local the better Any certifications: ○ Fair Trade ○ Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) ○ Okeo-Tex Standard 100 ○ Forest Stewardship Council
MINDFUL CONSUMPTION GUIDE
Because most retail stores are closed at this time and we want to ease the burden that delivery/ mail workers are already facing right now, we strongly recommend avoiding shopping for any non-essential items and instead experimenting with ways to refresh, repurpose, and reuse items already in our homes!
CARE LABEL 101
The wash symbols on clothes can be confusing. Use this guide to learn what the washing symbols on garment labels mean! Washing:
Machine Wash Max Temp.
Do Not Wash 140F
Dry Clean Only
Do Not Dry Clean
Tumble Dry Tumble Dry Tumble Dry Normal Low Medium
Tumble Dry Gentle
Do Not Tumble Dry
Iron Low Temp
Iron Medium Temp
Do Not Bleach
Do Not Iron
Do Not Steam
White Vinegar / Lemon Juice / Hydrogen Peroxide Soak Dilute either of these with equal parts water for for spot treatments or soaking
Stain Remover Spray ½ cup of dish soap ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide 1 tbsp of baking soda Pour ingredients into a dark spray bottle & shake
Instructions: 1. Whenever possible, treat the stain ASAP 2. First rinse the stain with cool water (hot water can sometimes further set in stains) 3. Apply any of the DIY stain removers 4. Use a brush to gently scrub the stain 5. If the stain is persistent soak the garment overnight 6. Scrub and rinse with cool water 7. 1st treatment may not always be enough so repeat as many times as needed 8. If these DIY methods aren’t enough, OxiClean may help!
DIY STAIN REMOVERS
Baking Soda Paste Make a paste by mixing equal parts of baking soda with either water, white vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide
CLOTHING LIFETIME EXPECTANCY...
How long can you expect your clothes to last? The final number depends on how frequently you wear it, how you care for it, the quality of fabric/manufacturing etc. According to theÂ International Fair Claims Guide for Consumer Textile Products (International Fabricare Institute), you can expect to see some of the following textile lifespans: Cotton: Skirts Pants Denim Jeans & Skirts Shirts/Blouses Jackets
Synthetics: Dresses Sweaters Blouses Skirts Suits Swinwear
Wool & Silk: Suits Sweater/Cardigan - wool blends Jacket/Coat Pants Skirts Sweater/Cardigan
Leather & Suede: Leather Gloves Suede Pants & Skirts Suede Jacket Leather Jacket Leather Pants & Skirts
years 2 2 3 3 4
years 1 1 2 2 2 2
years 3 3 4 4 4 4
years 3 3 4 5 5
4. Wash with Cold Water - Hot water weakens fibers and washes out color 5. Turn Clothing Inside Out - Protects the outside from abrasion from the washer and dryer, also helps prevent fading 6. Wash Similar Items Together - Light colors vs dark colors, heavy fabric vs delicate 7. Reduce Detergent - Use Â˝ the prescribed amount of detergent & Â˝ cup of baking soda, acting as a natural detergent booster 8. Use Dye (see our guide on pg. 37) - Refresh faded or stained items by using dye
...& HOW TO EXTEND THEM
Before Washing Your Clothes... 1. Sniff Test! - If not visibly dirty, hang item outside for a few hours to allow it to air out. - Alternatively, place item in a ziplock and stick it overnight in the freezer to kill all bacteria & mildew 2. Read Care Label (see our guide on pg. 32!) - Make sure to read proper care instructions and avoid dry-clean only clothes to avoid extra cost & chemical footprint 3. Treat Stains ASAP (see our tips on pg. 33) - Treat stains immediately to avoid it setting in fabric During the Wash...
After the Wash... 9. Skip the Dryer - Hang dry or use the bacteria killing action of the sun to dry your clothes 10. Proper Storage - Avoid hanging - gravity can often stretch shirts! - Fold and store in cool, dark & dry space
HAND SEWING RESOURCES
Threading a Needle
Basic Mending Tips
Reattaching a Button
Mending Tears in Jeans
Fix Zipper Issues
Try these dyeing methods out without the use of mordant or dye fixative (usually necessary to fix color to fabric) Onion Skins For yellow and orange tones
Turmeric For deep yellow tones
Tea / Coffee For beige and brown tones
HOW TO DYE/BLEACH
Avocado Skin & Pits For pale red and pink tones
Beets For pink and magenta tones
Bleaching Techniques: • • • • •
General Tips Stencil Designs Tie Dye Dip Dye / Ombre Shirt Dip Dye / Ombre Jeans 37
OFFICIAL REBRAND who: Official Rebrand (OR?!) is an anti-waste gen der-free brand by non-binary artist MI Leggett
what: Upcycled garments and objects, transformed though paintings, drawings & other alterations, rejecting gendered expectations and wasteful design. why: The system is failing the planet and its residents. Abusive supply chains fuel competitive consumption. By breathing new life into what was once considered waste, OR?! draws attention to these failings through material transformation. how: OR?! embraces circularity and deconstructs binaries: between male and female, old and new, fashion and art. We celebrate fluidity, dissociating garments from their original context and reintroducing them without arbitrary social constraints.
THE EARTH IS HURTING RIGHT NOW, AND UNDOUBTEDLY SO IS OUR CIVILIZATION. It is easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of powerful profit-driven corporations and government systems that support the oil industry’s hegemony. But each of us together can make a difference. By shifting our lifestyles to be more sustainable, living a bit more slowly, honoring the spirit of nature, and demanding our government and our economy do the same, we can collectively create change. TAKING ACTION DOESN T HAVE TO BE OVERWHELMING. You can incorporate one of these concrete habits into your life each week: STOP BUYING NEW CLOTHES. The fashion industry is responsible for 20% of industrial pollution, and chemicals often used in garment manufacturing poison the people who make them and the lands and waterways in which they are produced. Buy upcycled, used, or vintage clothing. EMBRACE STYLE, NOT TRENDS. Nearly 60% of all clothing ends up in landfills or incinerators within one year of being produced, and on average, garments are worn only seven times before being thrown away. Love your clothes forever, not just for one trend cycle! And if you don’t love them anymore, you can host a clothing swap. To make your clothes
last longer, only wash them when they really need it, and use cold water to extend the life of the garment. You can even disinfect your clothes by putting them in the freezer. SHOP LOCAL AND USE THE LIBRARY instead of using Amazon and other exploitative corporations. COMPOST. If your building doesnâ€™t have a brown bin, go to grownyc.org to find a food scrap drop-off near you. MAKE YOUR OWN CLEANING SUPPLIES out of things like vinegar, lemon juice or other natural alternatives. Fill a jar with discarded citrus peels, cover with white vinegar, and let sit for a week. Drain and funnel into a spray bottle, and dilute 50/50 with water for an aromatic, all-purpose cleaner. GET INVOLVED WITH CLIMATE ACTION GROUPS WORKING IN THE CITY. Food and Water Watch, the NYCDSA EcoSocialists, Sunrise Movement, and the Sane Energy Project are a few organizations among many mobilizing people power to force corporations and our government to combat climate change. Right now, theyâ€™re fighting National Grid to stop construction of a fracked gas pipeline from East New York, through Bushwick, and all the way to Greenpoint (which they started without telling residents). 40
SHOP AT FARMER S MARKETS and buy food and household goods from bulk food/package-free stores such as Perelandra, Precycle, 4th street co-op, Park Slope co-op, Clinton Hill co-op, Kalustyan’s, Sahadi’s, Otherwild, Package Free. VOLUNTEER FOR POLITICAL CANDIDATES THAT PUT OUR CLIMATE FIRST. CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVES and ask them to commit to legislation that commits us to net-zero emissions by 2050 through a Green New Deal and Public Power: Senator Chuck Schumer: (212) 486-4430 Senator Kirsten Gillibrand: (212) 688-6262 CALL CUOMO MONDAYS. Text “CuomoMondays” to 69866, and Food and Water Watch will plug you into a campaign to flood Cuomo’s office every Monday with demands to ban fracked gas and to put New York on renewable public power. DO MORE WITH LESS. We cannot blindly accept claims of sustainability, and a truly Earth-friendly life will entail not just consuming sustainable goods, but consuming fewer goods overall.
CAREFULLY ANALYZE PRODUCTS MARKETED AS SUSTAINABLE. Corporations realize they can capitalize on the appearance of sustainability, and they are hawking false remedies: Only 9% of plastic put in recycling bins actually gets recycled, and compostable/biodegradable packaging can only be composted in a small percentage of facilities. The solution is a massive reduction in disposable packaging. Some clothes made from recycled synthetics like water bottles leak microplastics into the water supply when they are washed, which means that they are eaten by little fish and eventually by us. Be cautious of greenwashing. It takes 10,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 pound of essential oil. Consider infusing your own herbal oils or using essential oils very sparingly. This is far from a definitive list of actions to take and lies to break. What we hope to offer is concrete suggestions for beginning to rethink how we live our lives and how we interact with what the planet shares with us. And this brings us to something we were all told as young children: SHARING IS CARING!
A big part of why we’re in this climate crisis is the idea that individual freedom depends upon individual ownership. But it doesn’t have to be this way! Get involved in community gardens, use the library, share books, share clothes, share projectors and computers and cameras and art supplies. If you don’t have it, ask a friend! We don’t need to have our own individual everything. And when you want to give a gift, make something out of things you already own, reject planned obsolescence and give “old” objects new life! - MI Leggett in collaboration with Aliza Abarbanel & Rochelle Jamila
who: REMEDI FOOD is a permaculture focused plant-based catering service started by Mantra Marie Bedross. We’ve grown to be a community of activists, DJ’s, ravers and urban farmers celebrating non-monetary forms of abundance by focusing on work trade, skill sharing, and developing autonomy outside of a system that’s failed us. what: We provide New York’s nightlife community with affordable and sliding scale plant-based meals and alternatives to alcohol on and off the dance floor. Soon we’ll begin to offer free permaculture and cooking classes in Brooklyn, and expand our private sliding scale dinner club to the public again. why: New York’s underground dance music community is an ecosystem that fosters radical self expression and liberation from hopeless, isolating, soul crushing late capitalist nihilism. We believe the spirit of Earth’s resilience is communicated through us when marginalized people come together through dance. Rather than numbing ourselves
with mindless substance fueled debauchery, we instead can remain receptive to the revelations of resistance we may receive when we are present and grounded in our bodies in these spaces, by consuming nourishing food and plant medicine. The name REMEDI FOOD was inspired by Bio(Remedi)ation, the act of restoring polluted or corrupted soil with the introduction of helpful organisms. We don’t submit to the apathy-breeding notion that humans are a virus on the planet, and instead believe humans are an integral part of developing necessary technology to replenish Earth and the indiginous communities that have been desecrated and abused for profit. Our community is stacked full of “taste makers” and “content creators” who have enough clout to significantly influence our shifting global culture but often just resort to egoistic thirst trapping, performative activist twitter battles, and nabbing corporate sponsorships from ecocidal and exploitative fast fashion megacorps and neo nazi owned energy drinks. By setting an example of making environmentalism cool, delicious, sexy and appealing, we hope to help deliver these influencers from the ego-system to the ecosystem so they can utilize their platforms to shed light on how to combat the desecration of our planet.
WHEN THE MONOCULT KNOCKS, DON’T ANSWER BY MANTRA MARIE BEDROSS It’s April 2020 in New York. Covid-19 has and continues to wreak havoc on the city I’ve called home since I was 5 years old. There’s a sense of panic and distrust bouncing off bodies along with the virus everywhere you look, a palpable fear as dense as the clouds of ash that covered the sky when my sister picked me up from school on September 11th, 2001. Things will never be the same. Growing up, New York was a fructiferous amalgamation of immigrants, artists, writers, drag queens, doctors, jazz singers, street vendors, black panthers, urban farmers, pigeon whisperers, hare krishna hockers, veterans playing poker on milk crates, exotic animal breeding drug dealers, jesus freaks belting intercom sermons on street corners at 3am, crackheads selling new york times copies they jacked out the quarter machines under the metronorth train and Harlem hoteps selling conspiracy DVDs and shea butter on 125th. Apart from a couple instances, I only saw cops on the upper east side where they’d mostly be parked outside central park eating pretzels and ignoring their walkies. Giuliani had already “cleaned up” the streets by jailing most of the sex workers, addicts, homeless, undocumented, and mentally ill, so things weren’t quite like Taxi Driver, but outside of the upper east side, there still existed an intricate ecosystem of people of all walks of life living amongst each other. 9/11 gave Giuliani the green light to push further on his warpath towards cultural homogenization, multiplying the police force, enforcing “terrorist” check points anywhere there was foot traffic, raiding and shutting down venues and small immigrant owned store fronts to replace with Forever21, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, Target, H&M, Duane Reade, fast fashion mega stores and fast food franchises, and continuing to jail anybody who didn’t fit on a real estate mockup scene for the mirrored glass condominiums lining battery park and beyond. The upper east side was spreading like a virus.
I became an extremely jaded and bitter teenager with rage issues that were only socially acceptable as a line cook. One day in highschool after work in LES I met up with my friend Stefanie who I used to work with at a now defunct DJ school called Dubspot. I rolled a spliff outside Mars bar and asked a couple dudes to borrow a lighter. One of them was a skinny white dude in a dusty LL Bean zip up named Emil and one was a 7 foot tall black dude with busted teeth and freeform basquiat locks named Makh Aten. A conversation about gentrification was inevitably struck up as hordes of drunk NYU kids wobbled passed us. The conversation shifted to Occupy Wall Street which only just started to pop off, cryptocurrencies, communal land projects, you know… the usual shit stoners talk about when they link up. Next thing I know we’re in this dinky little nissan heading to their “underground lair”. We arrive to this doorway in soho I’d passed a million times and never noticed, we go downstairs and enter a room that looked like a low budget version of the control room in the Matrix Trilogy, complete with towering shelves stacked with humming computer servers, laptops, camcorders, keyboards, and cables spilling out of every corner. A kid my age was smoking a blunt and speedily typing code facing a few display monitors streaming images of protests and riots all over the world while a group of older dudes huddled around a usb mic talked about the revolution. A few of them looked familiar but I couldn’t place any faces other than Carlos Soulslinger, the founder of the prolific 90’s underground record label Liquid Sky. I rolled up again and passed it around as I sat and listened to these old heads talk about shit I’d only dreamed was real. Emil started going in about Permaculture, a regenerative agricultural movement designed with Mutual Aid and Earth restoration in mind. He described green futurist fantasies of urban garden plots feeding entire zip codes, guerilla grafted fruit trees lining city parks, reparations paid to Black and Indigenous Americans by taxing the rich, and restabilizing disenfranchised economies by creating interconnected ecosystems of neighbors providing for eachother what our corrupt government never would. Permaculture was and still is the only real solution-based environmentalist philosophy I’ve come across that destroys the common, played-out, apathy-breeding misconception that humans are a “virus” on the planet when in fact we can play an essential role in developing the necessary technology for restoring Earth that has been desecrated, deforested and abused for profit. That conversation resurrected me from the hopeless nightlife nihilism I’d succumbed to as a young city kid surrounded by white transplant DJs bumping black music, tompkins park trust fund punks begging for beer & a shot money, and hypebeast tribeca skaters posing as all-city graff heads… everyone around me was full of shit and so was I for partying with them.
In agriculture there’s a term called ‘Monoculture’ to describe the practice of planting only one single crop for miles and miles rather than what you’d find in nature which is a ‘Polyculture’, meaning an ecosystem or a diverse community of several organisms growing together, each carrying out separate but interdependent duties to aid in each other’s growth, enrich the soil, and produce more bountiful nutrient dense crops. Monocultures however create desertification in the land, requiring unnatural cultivation techniques like genetic engineering and pesticidal interference to be employed, desecrating the soil, making it barren and impossible for future generations to produce food just so Big Agra can line their pockets quickly with patented genetically engineered seeds designed to produce only one harvest. Meaning when you eat most of these frankenfoods you can’t even save the seeds like you can with unadulterated produce, to grow your own crops and attempt to establish autonomy outside of being dependent soley on their demented monopoly. Teach a guy to fish and he eats for life. Maybe he sets up shop selling it to provide more than fish for his family, but swap his fishing wire for cheap thread and he catches no fish. So he goes and buys bulk factory farmed fish to resell at his shop, where he now makes a significantly smaller profit. Then the guy who sold him the defunct fishing wire mysteriously sets up shop next to his with a bright gleaming sign that reads “WILD CAUGHT SALMON! FREE-RANGE, NON-GMO, USDA APPROVED ORGANIC!” for 5 times the price, so now the only people who can afford it are descendants of a white supremicst legacy of oppression or those of us who benefit from that legacy, making it nearly impossible for the disenfranchised to have access to high quality food. The difference between the two vendors is this; one of those vendors was only able to succeed by destabilizing the economy of the other vendor. You can buy mugwort at Catland, a white gentrifier owned “witch” shop in bushwick selling it for $6 an ounce, or you can buy it at any of the Mexican grocery stores or botanicas on knickerbocker for a quarter of the price… or really you could just forage it for free I mean it grows out of every fucking sidewalk in New York but that’s beside my point. When you support the gentrifiers’ business instead of the more affordable local business, you’re not only making it harder for the local business to survive, you’re influencing other consumers by erasing the source of the indigenous wisdom that keeps both businesses afloat in the first place, by setting an example for others to know that the only way we can afford wellness is paying out our asses for it, therefore perpetuating the insidious myth that wellness is not something for people caught in generational cycles of poverty to even attempt striving towards. Suddenly, naturopathic wisdom that’s nourished generations of
indigenous populations becomes “white girl shit”, when in actuality, paying 6 bucks an ounce of an invasive species of plants that grows for free out of every city sidewalk is just… dumb shit. I have a word for those who are complacent in supporting gentrification, colonization and the destabilization of indigenous economies by consuming identical goods or services being marketed with sneaky greenwashing language: The Monocult. When a local Latinx owned empanada & juice bar is replaced with a white owned “Elixir Bar” hocking wheatgrass for thrice the price? That’s the Monocult. When an affordable thrift shop is replaced with an expensive “vintage” shop? That’s the Monocult. When a suburban bedroom producer desperate for a shot to move here, play happy hour DJ sets and get shitfaced on mate vodkas every night agrees to pay $1300 for one single bedroom in a shared house full of other bozos who’s native neighbors are paying just a quarter of the price? That’s just sad… but it’s also the Monocult. In Bushwick today, the most culture you’re going to consume are the probiotics in your kombucha. Maybe it’s just the inflated ego of a native New Yorker speaking, but I like to think of this city as a microcosm of the rest of the world. I can’t help but equate the displacement of non-white communities and the suburbification and erasure of this city’s culture to the homogenization of the biodiversity in our entire Earthly biome. Globally, we’ve lost 94% of all edible plant species since 1983 due to the monopoly created by industrial agriculture and the destabilization and genocide of indigenous populations. Where there used to be 544 cabbage varieties, only 28 remain. There were 288 varieties of beets, 17 remain. 158 varieties of cauliflower, only 9 remain. The list goes on and on. The less biodiversity in our diets, the less access we have to naturally occurring nutrients that ward off illnesses, which we now need pharmaceutical drugs to keep at bay, creating more dependencies that fund old white dudes’ yacht trips and coke binges. Make no mistake, a homogenized diet is a colonized diet. Today in New York, Corona Virus has already nearly tripled the death toll of 9/11 and is disproportionally hitting Black and Brown communities. Chinatown was first to get hit with racist fear mongering that completely obliterated the economy of Asian New Yorkers and it didn’t stop there. Parts of the Bronx are being deforested and mass graves are being dug for the first time since the AIDS epidemic, makeshift hospital beds are set up in central park for the first time since the civil war, refrigerated trucks are parked outside woodhall and wyckoff hospital to store dead bodies, this is already devastatingly worse than 9/11. There is no going back to what once was.
Suddenly every idealistic Permaculturist rant against the Monocult I’ve ever spewed to crowds of off-the-clock ravers eating heirloom edible plants at my dinner club is a million miles away. The voices of my Permaculture mentors reduce to a whisper under the sound of constant mysterious sirens outside my window triggering a neurological sidechain of Cardi B yelling “corona virus!” and hundreds of hours of usually magniloquent NPR hosts now dry mouthed desperately describing dystopia. I take after my Syrian grandmother who never lets us take her out to eat even on her birthday because in her words “I don’t know what they do in those restaurant kitchens”. But I do, and she’s right. You see a lot of nasty shit go down behind those saloon doors no matter how many michelin stars twinkle on the window. After 12 years working in kitchens and a childhood spent feeding and being fed by my siblings while my mom worked day and night, I’m no stranger to cooking every meal I eat. But now, a month into quarantine, consuming heart crushing news and dark senseless memes in the scroll hole I’ve succumbed to, I find myself about to place an Archie’s order for a 14inch pie with sausage and peppers and bottle of upcharged red wine, something wayyyyy the fuck out of the ordinary for someone who runs a plant-based catering business and knows far too much about the animal agriculture industry to willingly partake in it, but right now I’ll take anything to mute the sound of suffering and send me straight into the deepest abyss by way of binging. I want Uncle Sam to fuck me to death and burry me wrapped in the American flag. I roll a spliff and rev up my roku. Even Curb Your Enthusiasm is too witty for me in this state, I need something that will completely turn my brain to pure dogshit. I pour myself the last of my ration of Goslings Rum and put on Real Housewives of New Jersey. An ad pops up for “Avocado Mattress”, an “organic mattress” company selling $1,400 beds. Uncle Sams foreplay. I recall years ago one of my Permaculture mentors, Andrew Faust warning us of falling for “eco-wankery,” his term for greenwashing. I remember leaving raves at 9am to go to his lectures at 10am where he’d spend hours debunking eco-consumerist myths to a crowd of horrified New Yorkers who thought they’d only signed up to learn how to grow basil on their balcony. I attempt to finish my seamless order. The total comes to $72 with tip .. with no work in sight and the unemployment claims phoneline & website crashing faster the cymbal in the Peaches’ Fuck The Pain Away, I reason that $72 is too steep of a price to pay just for me to bury my head in the sand.
Another ad pops up on my instagram and I fantasize about ordering some dumb bitch patent leather tactical gear titty top from Dollskill, a website that’s apparently converted underground rave culture into an amusement park for instagram thots and clueless consumers desperate to stand out and cosplay as creative, drawn in with pinkwashing blurbs like “OMG bb ur haterz are gonna GAG when they sees you snatching wigs in this cutie fruity crop top bound to make panties drop and thats the fucking TEA sis so go OFF & SLAY bitch!” I close the window fucking immediately and throw my phone across the room. My dog, Amanita starts licking my feet and my gaze shifts to an ankle tattoo that reads “BABY FLAME” that I got a decade ago when I was sipping Swami Sivananda’s kool aid by way of chai tea and free kitchari at the weekly satsang meditations in Chelsea. One night Swami G quoted the infamous sociopathic Swami Osho and said “Even a baby flame is enough, for a very very ancient darkness.” I get out of bed. I walk into my unintentionally doomsday prepped kitchen complete with 16 quarts of capers, 12 quarts of candied walnuts, 15 pounds of spaghetti and a billion other non perishables left from catering gigs. I stare into the void that is my refrigerator and sip from the Zabar’s mug of coffee I always leave on the top shelf of my fridge to drink while I think about what I’ll cook. I pull out an aromatic paste of massaman curry prep scraps left from Sustain-Release that I made & keep in the back of my fridge - fresh turmeric, ginger, garlic, galangal and lemongrass chopped up, simmered in coconut and sesame oil then stored in a quart labeled “Good shit 9/11”. Ironic. Next an old parsnip I got from a food co-op box, some string beans, sweet peppers, a lime, ginger, tamari, ponzu, coconut sugar, black nori ash left from DeForrest Brown, Jr.’s album release this past December and a brick of hand pressed chickpea tempeh from my freezer left from the VLT’s I made for Fourth World last July. I’m reminded of a meme that pokes fun at chefs posting recipes with ridiculously rare Dr. Seuss ass ingredients literally no one ever has. I’m that bitch. For once I don’t hate myself for never throwing anything away. I pull some scallions from my garden, the only edible plant that’s popped up so far this early in spring. When I return to the kitchen Sun Ra’s It’s After The End Of The World is playing off my shuffle, echoing throughout my home. Dinner comes together in 20 minutes, a quarter of the time it would probably take Archie’s to arrive. A gourmet meal made from back-of-the-fridge drifters that would cost probably $25 plus an annoying passive aggressive conversation with a lazy contempo art model waiter at Dimes. Jasmine rice cooked with coconut milk dusted with black nori ash, teriyaki chickpea tempeh, veggies sauteed in those bright aromatics I mentioned, pickled burdock, mango pickle, nori sheets and homemade sriracha aioli on the side. I
serve myself some tea I’ve brewed to protect my immune system; fresh thyme, fresh oregano, garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric, black pepper, lemon balm, lemon juice, and mullein I foraged outside of Sugarhill Disco one morning after an Unter rave. All ingredients I got from The Angel’s Fruit Market across from Maria Hernandez park when I was quarantine shopping. $20 spent would make enough for two months worth of tea time. I squeeze in a drop of a tincture Pauli Cakes made me for my quarantine birthday; reishi mushroom, echinacea, dandelion, nettles, mullein, ginger & tulsi. I turn on the giant black light that once graced the stage at Body Actualized Center, light a candle and take in the moment. I’m reminded of my strength and my autonomy and my power. I’m reminded of all the work the Earth did to grow this food to nourish me. I’m reminded of the endless hours countless migrant field workers spent working with Earth and my responsibility to stay sharp so I can fight for their rights. I’m reminded of my place in the ecosystem. Each bite is a sensory meditation that nourishes and revitalizes me and rekindles the fire I tried to stomp out before with the prospect of cheap cheese and factory farmed sausage. 30 minutes ago I was hopeless and detached, ready to recruit myself to the Monocult. Now I look around my kitchen decorated with herbs I’ve foraged and dried and stored, postcards from friends checking in on me during isolation and lifetimes of second hand treasures passed down from my elders as Moodymann’s I’m Doing Fine starts emanating from my bluetooth speaker. I finish dinner, go to my garden and start a fire in the pit I built of old buried bricks I dug up and put on Eris Drew & Octo Octa’s T4T LUV NRG Forest Throwdown. The fire grows taller than me and I stand up and I dance along with it. My neighbor yells “get it girl!” and another neighbor starts dancing on their fire escape. I turn the music up and we keep dancing. Uncle Sam can go fuck himself.
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