Model and environmental activist Arizona Muse is vowing to “make soil sexy” with the launch of her new charity, Dirt, dedicated to promoting biodynamic farming all over the world.
Biodynamic farming is a holistic approach to managing the land which has ecological, social and economic stability at its heart, explains Muse in a statement. The farming practice focuses on boosting biodiversity, community wellbeing and replenishing soils, allowing them to store more water and draw down more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
While the practice is already popular among grape growers, it is less common in other agricultural sectors, whether for fibres, food, or fuel and Dirt is looking to help biodynamic farmers build new markets as consumers’ appetite for organic produce and improved soil health grows.
Muse, who throughout the pandemic has lived and worked on a farm, said in a statement: “From the food we eat to the clothes we wear, almost everything we rely on as human beings originates from the soil. Yet our disregard for this precious resource means we risk destroying one of our best solutions to the climate crisis. The food sector is catching on, but the apparel industry is fashionably late to the party. Dirt will help make soil sexy.”
The charity launched at the Sustainable Angle’s Future Fabrics Expo in London. It announced that it will support the scale-up of biodynamic farming by funding new scientific research, education programmes, demonstration and conversion projects, and new networks, as well as through the national biodynamic associations themselves.
Dirt will be funded by contributions from the fashion industry to start with, as well as environmentalists. Projects with other industries, including beauty and jewellery will begin in 2022.
A long-term comparison of farming methods in Switzerland by the Federal Institute of Biological Agriculture revealed that biodynamic methods are more effective in maintaining soil health than organic or mineral approaches. Unlike regenerative agriculture, biodynamic farming is certified which gives farmers, consumers and buyers confidence in reliability and impact.
Arizona added: “Dirt gives the opportunity for businesses that understand how they have damaged soils in the past to give back to the planet with certainty. It also offers a path to a better quality of life for the farmers who are too often overlooked despite their huge contribution to the economy and society.”