Most North Americans have grown accustomed to shopping for their groceries at supermarkets stocked with overflowing shelves of meat, produce, and dry goods. The modern schedule is frequently presented as being so busy that you can even have your grocer deliver your groceries directly to your front door. While the industrialized farming that enables this may have saved many millions from starvation, the repercussions of this practice - which we could not have foreseen - are beginning to take effect.
Many thousands of acres of land across North America are becoming wholly infertile as a result of ecologically inconsiderate farming practices. The combination of harsh chemicals and the rigorous machine tilling of soil decreases a farm’s potential yield with each passing harvest. Not only this, but the aging farming population is becoming increasingly drawn to the lucrative allure of corn and soy monocrop farms.
We, as consumers, can aid in the reversal of these practices in several ways. Most importantly, support local farms. By visiting your local farmers market, wherever you may be, you are taking the steps needed to reverse the effects of industrialized food production. Buy from a local farm and they will be incentivized to grow a diverse crop to further increase the amount you buy from them. This in turn will result in higher quality soil and thus higher quality, more nutrient dense food. It is time that we reacquaint ourselves with where our food comes from and, in doing so, rebuild the communities that our society was founded upon.
In exiting the usual routine of the supermarket, you can transform your shopping from state of transition between work and leisure into a leisure experience. It does not need to be unenjoyable, it can be fun. The people you will see and meet at the market are there because it matters to them. Ask a question about product and it will be answered in great detail by the person who produced it. A trip to the farmer’s market can be just as educational as it is fruitful and you can rest assured that the dollars you spend go directly to the people doing the work; they do not fall into the corporate pockets of the wholesaling middlemen who birthed the supermarket.
Story MFG has been manufacturing its own denim in India with natural indigo (a plant that enriches the nitrogen content of soil and pulls carbon from the atmosphere) since its inception. The young brand employs exclusively naturally dyed fabrics in each collection with a concentration on making what they refer to as “positive products”. John Alexander Skelton employs only natural fibers in his line of heritage inspired menswear and sources his textiles almost entirely within his native UK. He sees the consumptive nature of fashion as something to be conquered and through many practices, like his domestic sourcing, and the use of vintage fabrics and natural dyes, is taking the first steps to do so.