We now sell t-shirts as well as hoodies. As with all our products, this one goes beyond just its use as practical clothing. It is a contribution to acquiring land that can be set aside for nature to exist undisturbed. This is a big deal. Climate change and loss of habitat are making it difficult for ecosystems to survive. Species are disappearing at rates hundreds of times faster than they would go extinct naturally. This mass extinction is caused by the way humans use land and water and because we are heating the planet. Many scientists agree that we need to set aside about 50% of the planet for nature so others species may have a chance to exist (it may sound like a lot until you consider that the other 50% is dedicated to just one species).
This is not only about the plants and animals. It’s about us. We need healthy ecosystems for a myriad of tasks, not the least of which is mitigating climate change by absorbing carbon. But we also need them to create top soil, to pollinate our plants, to dispose of decaying matter, to filter our water, to clean our air, to prevent erosion, to hold back the sea, to provide shade in an over-heated world, to inspire science and art, and to just be there for future generations to see and wonder at. We also need to recognize that other species have a right to exist - respecting the right of other life forms to exist and thrive will go a long way to helping humans understand interconnectedness and interdependence between all humans and between humans and non-humans.
One t-shirt might not seem like a big contribution to this mammoth task of preserving the natural world, but our customers are making a difference. Thanks to the sales of our hoodies, we are in the process of making our first land purchases and every piece of land set aside for nature is important. Migratory birds count on finding landing spots to feed and rest and these spots are now rare. Butterflies need wild flowers. About 96% of song birds feed insects to their young and insects depend on the native plants of the area where they evolved to exist. Native bees need native plants and domesticated bees do not pollinate nearly as efficiently as native bees. Every square foot of undisturbed wild space has the potential to provide the requirements for a few more native plants and animals. And because so many species are at such dangerously low numbers and because we are changing the environment they evolved in, anything we do to help a few more survive is a big deal. It could be the difference between your grandchild living in a world where he can only read about Monarchs or living in a world where he can see one.
And there are a couple more special features of our new t-shirts. First they are 100% cotton. Plastic is becoming a bigger concern now that we know it is not just littering our beaches and ditches; it is in the deepest trenches of the ocean, on the highest mountain peaks, in the air we breathe, in the rain, and in the food we eat. It is literally all around us and in us. We need to stop the onslaught and so we have switched to a 100% cotton product. And as with our hoodies, you can send it back after a year and we will give you 20% off your next purchase and pay the shipping. We want to encourage a circular economy where products are repurposed, not disposed of. The earth is not a bottomless source of material for us to use briefly and then discard. It is our home and the home of all future life.
So it’s not just a t-shirt - it’s a shirt that makes a difference.