The good thing about Agroforestry is that it helps to accomplish most of the challenges of climate change. Yet despite all of its advantages, agroforestry is still not mainstream. reNature has therefore taken the first initiative to achieve this objective by taking on numerous projects worldwide from places such as: Brazil, Indonesia and the Netherlands, in a variety of fields for example textile. Are you ready for Eco-Fashion?
Not only you can produce food through Agroforestry systems, there are more opportunities ahead. The innovative idea of fiber production with agroforestry was initiated by Farfarm – a leading company in the United States that supplies textile to designers. Farfarm has long been producing textile products using agroforestry systems known as ‘textile agroforestry’. reNature and Farfarm have combined their strengths and are currently working on a textile agroforestry project in Brazil to develop a perfect textile agroforestry system with a long-term procedure for the fashion industry.
Winning the AMAZON UP
One hour from Pará’s capital, Belém, Brazil at the rear end of a small town opens a small paradise of 32 hectares, owned by the local community. The farm’s location is precisely on the border of the Amazon Rainforest, a highly deforested area formed by monocultures of palm oil and soybean. The reason for selecting this area to develop a textile agroforestry is because, Farfarm has won a business acceleration from AMAZON UP in the current location which has connected them to Senhor DeMendes, CEO & Founder of Chocolate DeMendes.
A passion for clean fashion
Beto Bina, CEO & Founder of Farfarm found his passion in ‘cleaning up’ the fashion industry. His objective is to offset carbon emissions by agroforestry and sequestrate more carbon than produced. Farfarm wants to be a ‘B2B2C company’. The aim is to provide designers with performance, quality and sustainability, but they ultimately want to become a recognizable brand for consumers.
An Agroforestry Textile Model Farm in the making
reNature joined this project to develop a ‘model farm’ demonstrating agroforestry systems in the production of regenerative natural fibers. Of course the proof is in the eating. That is why reNature and Farfarm plans to test and experiment with different fibers in the same system to which combo’s florish.
Ultimately by combining the objectives of Farfarm and reNature the goal is to develop the region socially and environmentally by making the whole process holistic and transparent. The plan is to achieve this by connecting the local supply chain, educating local families on agroforestry systems and giving them the option and opportunities to sell their fiber production. Thus creating strong livelihoods, resilient and ready for the future.
To repair what was once broken will take up to 14 years.
Till recently, the Amazon forest was drastically exploited by continuous monoculture with palm trees and manioc, which degraded the land in most parts of the Amazon forest. reNature and Farfarm have therefore taken the initiative to regenerate a 10-hectare land with textile farming using agroforestry systems in order to improve the land and livelihood of local people.
The project has a time span of 7 – 14 years from 2018 to 2020/2030, experiment has begun in November 2018 with the initial planning and implementations of the designs, plantations and management continue until the end of 2019. Final scaling up will be completed before 2020/2030. First, reNature conducted a background study on the cultural, economic and biological aspects of the region in order to gain a better understanding of the local people and landscape conditions.
Felipe Villela, co-founder of reNature and Cecilia Saraiva, reNature photographer and filmmaker, met DeMendes, a representative of the local community, and Luciney, an agroforestry expert in Santa Barbara do Pará. They organized many meetings with the local communities to share the expertise and to better understanding of cultural context.
Improving ecosystems, livelihoods and economic value
The success of the project could not only improve the ecosystem, livelihood and economic value, but it will also demonstrate the importance of agroforestry for textile companies, which create more companies that follow the method of regenerative agroforestry systems. Also, by making the process more transparent it will raise awareness among the local communities and the consumers which can increase consumer demand on these products. By increase consumer demand on the regenerative fashion clothing, it forces more business industries to follow the organic method of textile production, ultimately benefiting the whole ecosystem.