You’ve heard of a picnic in the park, but a picnic of the park?! Yup. Loomstate, the amazing label dedicated to creating truly sustainable organic cotton garments held the first of their Urban Field Guide Series this weekend in Prospect Park.
Led by Loomstate’s Sustainability Director, the tour identified edible plant right in NYC’s own Prospect Park, and yes, they actually taste great! I can’t wait to make pesto using garlic mustard (a terribly invasive plant found right in the park).
We ate Japanese Knot Weed–peel back the skin and you’ve got a refreshing blend of green apple and celery, great for jams. Dandelions–the beautiful yellow flowers, perfect for adding to salads, but have to be gotten fast because the flowers open only one day, and literally overnight turn into the wishful poof-balls we love to pick+blow. Field garlic–remember this as a kid? The stem tastes just like a chive and you can dig up the bulb and use it as garlic. Sassafras–wiggle out the root of a small tree and steep into a tea like Native American’s used to do every spring. Called it a blood tonic, it was used to cleanse the digestive system getting us ready for fresh spring food. *Of course, don’t just start picking and eating in a park near you. Go with a knowledgeable botanist the first few times around, you can never be too sure what’s what.
Loomstate is driven to create truly sustainable garments. As they pointed out there’s conventional cotton, and there is sustainable organic cotton. Organic cotton restores ecosystems by increasing diversity–no more monocropping here. Without the use of pesticides a rich diversity of insects can thrive, in turn increasing biodiversity and ecosystem function. What’s ecosystem functioning? Nature gives us everything we need, but she’s got to be in balance. Proper ecosystem functioning gives us uber things like clean water, happy pollinators and biodiversity. Where there are no pesticides, lots of lil bugs compete, keeping each other in check. In conventionally grown cotton the scales are off because we play the role of a controlling hand and manipulate the environment using petrochemicals. In this scenario, one insect thrives, stripping away the competition, and therefore the beauty of complexity.
Ok, say you want to forget all the scientific mumbo-jumbo. Have you ever felt an organic cotton garment? Holy sensory heaven–it’s like a babies bum + a comforting fire on a cold day. The difference is clean and clear (and under control?)–organic cotton pleases our skin + senses. When you understand community benefits, on an ecological and a social scale, the choice is simple.
Loomstate adores ecological biodiversity, and they are championing ways to work with farmers to let this industry grow. Literally. They’re even growing some organic cotton right in their office!
Check out the Loomstate Urban Field Guide Look I put together for Lillie Magazine last week.
Ace + Jig Jardin Top | Prairie Underground Denim Girdle| Blue for Loomstate by Maria Moyer Blue Porcelain Pendant Necklace| Una Yellow Hand-loomed Silk Scarf| Sigg Feathers White Water Bottle| Front Row Society Remist Rucksack by Emma Smyth| Nettie Kent Orion Leather Wrap| 4sight Sunglasses Classic| Butter Nail Polish Kerfuffle| Veja Shoes SPMA GREG ASNER
Stay tuned for more updates on Loomstate’s Urban Field Guide Series, they’ll be happening all summer!
image of urban field guide c/o Loomstate