About Holly Rose

My name is Holly Rose, I’m a writer, soil advocate, and environmentalist sharing tales of regeneration and rewilding through my multimedia projects HollyRose.eco and GatherGrounded.eco

Each piece I write is created with the intention of holistically marrying traditional ecological knowledge, sacred ecology, and scientific restoration. I try to write in a way which enhances my reader’s nature relatedness, encouraging relationships of reciprocity with all living things.

I believe that by amplifying education on regeneration, promoting provenance, and prioritizing on equality, we can restore our lands and communities with daily acts of regenerative reciprocity.

hello@hollyrose.eco

Extinction Rebellion's Election Rebellion, Does The Green Party UK Meet XR's Demands?

November 16, 2019
Over the past week, Extinction Rebellion, a grassroots movement I have participated in both here in the UK and France, has been sending out newsletters regarding their 'Election Rebellion', offering rebels the information to make informed decisions and demands. 

While I am a member of XR and support (for the most part) their actions and choice to remain apolitical, as an individual, I do not believe the climate crisis can be divorced from politics. As a result of these beliefs, I've chosen to invest my time in both grassroots actions and political reform in tandem, in hopes I can help bookend the problems. 

It’s not enough to be pissed about political policy after it’s been made, we have to stop giving power to people who don't have the interests of the living at heart. 

In addition to participating in XR, I have also recently become a member of The Green Party UK (in fact, as of Monday, November 18, I'll be working for them part-time to help them - hopefully - win seats in this election). I joined them for a multitude of reasons, first, because I feel they are the only party who can properly address the climate and social justice issues which require immediate and drastic systems change, and second, because I feel they meet XR's demands with honesty and integrity.

Extinction Rebellion, as part of this ecological election, asks each political party #whereisyourplan - so rather than a plan at face value, I used some of the money donated to me through Patreon, to attend The Green Party's Autumn Conference in Wales a month ago, so I could witness their policymaking process and read their 200 page 'Final Agenda'.

What I found, is that The Green Party meets XR's demands, bar one tiny detail:
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Does The Green Party Meet Extinction Rebellion's Demands?
the answer is 99.9 percent yes

XR Demand: Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
The Green Party UK: was the first party in the UK to have all of its members declare a climate emergency. In fact, they've been telling the truth about the climate emergency since they were officially founded 30 years ago. The party's origins date back to the 70s with the ‘PEOPLE Party’ and ‘The Ecological Party’ who worked to bring the issues of climate breakdown and global heating to the political realm before scientists had even come to a consensus on what was going down.

02 – ACT NOW
XR Demand: Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2025.
The Green Party: The Green New Deal (the one you know thanks to AOC and The Sunrise Movement breathing new life into it) was written by a group of environmentalists (many members of The Green Party) and Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, 11 years ago. In fact, net-zero has been written into every aspect of their policy since before XR became necessary. HOWEVER, at The Green Party conference I attended, I witnessed an hour-long debate over whether they should promise net-zero by 2025 or 2030. Interestingly, the only reason they have not promised 2025 is that they do not want to lie.  The reality is, that they have not uncovered a path backed by scientific evidence to achieve net neutrality by 2025 .. .so in order to continue to TELL THE TRUTH they are sticking to 2030, rather than lying for the sake of publicity. 

XR Demand: Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
The Green Party: Having witnessed the policymaking process at The Green Party conference, and witnessed ‘Citizen’s Assembly’ at XR, the only difference in function was that you have to be a Green Party Member to participate (it costs £3 to become a member). That said, if we put them in power, the functions of opening that process up to a public citizen’s assembly, which they wholly support, would be obvious. We’ve just got to vote for them and donate to them so they have the funding and voice to make the changes they’ve promised. 

Will Extinction Rebellion UK Go On A Hunger Strike Because Of The 5-year Net-Zero Gap?

I sincerely hope not. If XR is going to make demands, and if those demands are met by The Green Party apart from the 5-year gap which can't be currently met by science, this should be made clear to hunger-striking rebels. Many of the people rebelling with XR are often less educated on the issues and look to XR for advice and leadership. XR admits to having no proof that 2025 is possible, and because of this, I feel it should be made clear - that it is essentially science and honesty they'll be striking against when it comes to The Green Party.  

Yes, we need systems change, and yes, we need the government to change dramatically, but that is our responsibility as voters to put in place. Critical thinking, conversation, collaboration. These are the pillars of transformation in the creation of the regenerative culture. I truly believe we can do better, especially if we work together. I won't support intentional misinformation no matter loud the roar. 

** IF YOU FOUND THIS PIECE EDUCATIONAL, PLEASE CONSIDER A ONE-TIME OR MONTHLY DONATION TO MY PATREON ACCOUNT **
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Regenerative Textiles: Is Linen Environmentally Friendly?

November 14, 2019
For as long as humans have dressed beyond the bone, linen fabric has been the main material we've worn. As a bast fiber, linen is spun from seed to fabric from the inner stem of the flax plant, a plant so diverse its stems, leaves and seeds can be transformed into ingredients for multiple industries. 

Since flax grows in almost any season, and in almost any type of soil (including soil which can't be used for food production) it can be cultivated and manufactured as a regenerative regional fiber. As a perennial plant, flax mobilizes phosphorus in the soil, adding to organic matter both as it grows and as it decomposes. Flax also acts as a perfect winter cover crop, and thrives best in crop rotations, helping bring an end to monoculture farming while aiding in carbon drawdown and preventing soil depletion. When left undyed, or dyed with regeneratively grown plant-dyes, it is also beautifully biodegradable, encouraging sustainable fashion through carbon farming systems
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5 QUESTIONS TO ASK TO FIND OUT IF LINEN IS REGENERATIVE, SUSTAINABLE, OR GREENWASHED?

In 2017, a Pulse of the Fashion Industry report stated that bast fibres (linen, hemp, ect) are the second most sustainable out of all the natural fabrics (after wool, which when created following the principles of Fibershed's Climate Beneficial™ Wool , is regenerative); 

Unfortunately, like any popular fashion fiber, there are many brands using conventional linen (promoted as sustainable) to greenwash their collections. Though conventional linen is still more sustainable than conventional cotton, it is important to understand a few things to prevent greenwashing from happening. 

So, to educate myself (and anyone reading this), I put together 5 questions to ask brands so you can suss out how green their linen clothing, supplies or homeware are before you purchase 

1. Is The Linen Used Organic?
Not all linen is created equal, and unless it is grown organically, or even better, regeneratively, it is not sustainable. Though conventionally farmed flax is still more sustainable than cotton, conventional linen still poses harms as it relies on herbicides and pesticides, as well as synthetic nitrogen, which pose pollution pains to groundwater, rivers, and marine ecosystems. Linen cultivated in areas that have had a long history growing it are less likely to use these toxic-chemicals; however, organic linen guarantees they're free of harm. So, ideally, you want to ask the brand if the linen has been grown organically or (toxic)chemical-free.

2. Does The Farm Use Crop Rotation & Cover Crops?
Flax is traditionally reliant on crop rotation, so some European flax, for example, will have a cover crop like alfalfa which is used in rotation with flax before in order to feed the life below ground and protect the soil. Soil which is protected with plant life sequesters carbon, while soil left bare contributes to carbon's overpopulation in the atmosphere

3. Does The Farm Practice Dew Retting or Enzyme Retting?
After linen's 100-day growth period, the plant is harvested by pulling it from the root and laying it across the field. In regenerative agriculture, leaving roots in the ground is one of the principles, however, with linen, the whole plant must be harvested, so the rule slightly shifts as the process of extracting the linen feeds the microorganisms below the ground. 

The inner bark of the flax stem, which transports water into the living plant, is the part of the plant linen is spun from. To access that bark, the inner canal must be released from the 'glue' which holds it in place. To do this, the plant must be retted. Traditionally, this process is done through dew retting, where the pectins ('glue') is released through a combination of dew and sunshine over the course of a few weeks. 

Recently, enzyme retting, which is a similar process, has been developed. The idea with enzyme retting is to speed up the natural process and maintain higher consistency with the fibers. Enzyme retting is still sustainable, but dew retting is the most natural and traditional way, nature usually takes her time for a reason.

Finally, there's water retting, which is faster (about 5 days) but significantly less sustainable because the plant is removed from its natural habitat in the field (where it protects soil carbon and feeds microbes in the soil, reversing global warming) and is left to soak in the rivers or streams. This results in a high level of pollutants being released into the waterways, including agrochemicals if the flax has been grown non-organically, as well as excess plant matter which imbalances the eco-system. So try to avoid water-retted linen.

4. Is the linen its natural colour or dyed with plant-dyes?
During the retting process the fibre obtains its natural beige/ecru colour, just like wine, the amount of sun influences the colour so it can be more grey or more golden depending on the weather local to it during the retting process. If you're looking for linen in brighter colours, the best bet is to look for plant-dyed linen as conventional dyes, and even 'eco' dyes, wreak havoc on our ecosystems. You can learn more about the importance of plant-dyes HERE.

5. Has the linen been treated?
You want to avoid treated linen above allif it says 'wrinkle-free' or 'wrinkle-resistant' it's been treated with formaldehyde, if it is 'stain-resistant' it's been made so with a chemical called PFOA which is carcinogenic.
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ECO-FRIENDLY LINEN CLOTHING BRANDS

regenerative linen by fibershed USA
Handknit and spun from local fiber, Bo Rage creates linen and wool garments from regenerative regional threads.
WHERE TO BUY? Fibershed Marketplace

upcycled  zero waste oeko-tex certified linen UK
This collection of made-to-order Oeko-Tex 100 certified linen garments for men and women are created by skilled seamstresses in London. Each piece is made with 100% linen deadstock fabric which would have otherwise ended up in the landfill had it not been saved. The brand offers free repairs for life and is female-owned.
WHERE TO BUY? Buy Me Once

THE SUMMER HOUSE
sustainable affordable linen clothing for women INDIA
The Summer House effortlessly marries ethical production, sustainability and affordability into a touching trinity; eloquently embodying the artistry of fashion created slowly through conscious craftsmanship and pointed production that embraces a level of love and logic I’ve rarely seen. Most of their linen is organic and dew-retted, while some comes from local chemical-free farms in India which are not certified organic, but also not using chemicals ... so still organic ... if that makes sense. You can read more of my thoughts on them HERE.
WHERE TO BUY? thesummerhouse.in

sustainable organic linen clothing and underwear for men and women EU
Rawganics produces 100% organic linen underwear and clothing which are chemical-free, hypoallergenic, regenerative and ethically made in Europe. Their products are made in the USA, Canada and Europe, and are free of pesticides, GMO, dioxin, formaldehyde, PVC, toxic dyes and industrial chemicals.
WHERE TO BUY? USA Amazon.com EU Rawganique.com

ECO-FRIENDLY LINEN HOMEWARE BRANDS 

sustainable linen with a lifetime guarantee EU / UK
Finlayson has been creating high-quality luxury dew-retted organic linen bedding and textiles since the 1800s with an astounding 50-year warranty.
WHERE TO BUY? Buy Me Once UK / USA

sustainable linen homeware USA
Carrying various linen products, the best linen homeware brand Made Trade has on offer is by Area Home, who since 1990 has created high-quality homeware products made from OEKO tex certified organic linen which is grown and dew-retted in Lithuania.
WHERE TO BUY? madetrade.com

sustainable linen homeware USA
Coyuchi creates linen homeware with 100% organic GOTS certified linen grown in France through a farmer's co-operative before being woven in India. Their supplier, Terre de Lin, uses alfalfa as a cover crop in rotation with flax, and the plant is dew-retted traditionally.
They also carry Climate Beneficial™ Wool items created in partnership with Fibershed
WHERE TO BUY? Coyuchi.com

REGENERATIVE LINEN FABRIC AND SUPPLIES

regeneratively grown local linen UK
Fable & Base print on natural dew-retted linen produced through Kent Cloth's regional fiber system, before being printed with natural plant dyes approved by The Soil Association UK. 
WHERE TO BUY? fableandbase.co.uk

regeneratively grown regional linen yarn USA
Selling flax and wool blend yarn grown through regenerative agricultural production, Chico Flax produces regional fiber from flax grown in Northern California. Their dew-retted linen products are left undyed in their natural tones, and the seeds from the flax plant (which is not used in linen production), are passed onto local baker Dave Miller of Miller’s Bake House to complete the low waste process.
WHERE TO BUY? chicoflax.com/

** If you are you a regenerative or organic linen brand, producing with fiber that has been
dew-retted or enzyme retted, shoot me an email at hello at hollyrose.eco and I'll add you to this post **

** IF YOU FOUND THIS PIECE EDUCATIONAL, PLEASE CONSIDER A ONE-TIME OR MONTHLY DONATION TO MY PATREON ACCOUNT **
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The Environmental Impact Of Halloween: What The Jack-O'-Lantern Story Says About Food Waste In Our Society

October 31, 2019
As the doorways of most homes in 'Northern America’ and parts of Europe are lit up by candlelight tonight, flickering through ghoulish grins, let each light make your mind burn bright in remembering the root of meaning these festivities once held for our species.

The Halloween we know today is a Christian colonial (and now capitalist) spin-off of the pagan festival Samhain, created to honour the harvest and usher in the dark half of the year where food would be scarce and held sacred. 

HALLOWEEN FOOD WASTE
Today our celebrations offer the opposite sentiment, and instead of honouring the seed, water, energy, land, and labour spent in the 140 days it takes to grow a pumpkin (half the time it takes to gestate a human baby), 85 percent of the pumpkin harvest we harbour, will be hollowed out to carve in ghoulish grins, before being chicked in the bin to rot.
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In the UK alone (which barely celebrates Halloween) we grew enough pumpkins to feed the entire country - more than 8 million pumpkins – and we will put more than 18,000 tonnes of that edible vitamin-packed flesh to waste without a morsel of its meat tasted.

WHY FOOD WASTE IS A GLOBAL ISSUE
Food waste is a major contributor to global warming, responsible for roughly 8 percent of global emissions. A third of the food we raise or prepared does not make it from farm or factory to fork, squandering a whole host of resources which generate greenhouse gasses at every stage, including methane which is produced when organic matter lands in the landfill and has 20x the warming effect of carbon dioxide. 
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1. EAT your pumpkin and it’s innards - there are plenty of pumpkin recipes online, I’ve got my top 10 favourite pumpkin recipes in an old blog post HERE

2. DONATE My friend Jessica Scott suggests donating your Jack-O'-Lantern your local animal sanctuary.

3. COMPOST if you're too lazy to cook, and can't find an animal shelter to donate to, hunt out your local compost to ensure its corpse contributes to positives rather than negatives in its demise.

4. BREW Toast Ale, the UK social enterprise which makes zero waste beer from surplus bread, have created a Belgian-style pumpkin dubbel using surplus squashes collected by volunteers of the Gleaning Network from local farms. They'll be partnering with Brewdog Tower Hill Outpost to brew the beer on the 4 November, launching on draught at six Brewdog bars across London on November 28th. Proceeds will go to Hubbub (who started the #PumpkinRescue campaign) to help fix our borken food system. If you've got a brew kit at home, they've shared their DIY Pumpkin Beer Recipe HERE so you can some neighbourly beer.

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