Dear All Together Now PA community,
In March of 2019, All Together Now PA embarked on a bold mission to address both the climate crisis and economic inequality by building a just, regenerative, and resilient locally based economy in Pennsylvania. We began with hemp, a versatile crop that had recently been legalized after a misguided 80-year ban. This re-emerging industry presented the opportunity to unite rural and urban communities to build a new, values-led economy that produced our basic needs locally. We are proud of all that we have accomplished during the last four and a half years in our four areas of focus: food, plant medicine, sustainable building materials and clothing & textiles.
Over time, we came to realize that we could not raise sufficient funds to support such an ambitious four-pronged statewide effort and have made the strategic decision to narrow our focus to the area where we can have the greatest impact - clothing & textiles. As a reflection of this refined vision, we have launched Pennsylvania Fibershed as our new brand, while keeping the name All Together Now PA as our legal entity and the holder of our four-year history.
Co-founded by ATNPA Interim Executive Director, Leslie Davidson and Clothing & Textile Coalition Leader, Rachel Higgins, Pennsylvania Fibershed envisions a Pennsylvania where the fashion and textile industries operate in harmony with nature, prioritize circular economy principles and support local communities. Click here to learn more about PA Fibershed's exciting mission and programs. Pleas note that if you are currently a paid member of ATNPA's Clothing & Textile Coalition, your membership will automatically transfer over to PA Fibershed.
During the remainder of this year, we will continue the work of the Plant Medicine Coalition with Pot Profits for Pennsylvanians (P3) Co Founder, Cherron Perry-Thomas and P3 Campaign Director, Tara Zrinski, to advocate state legislation that would legalize adult use cannabis in a way that benefits our communities. Our P3 campaign will hold several more events to educate our citizens about how our legislative platform would curtail the power of multi-state corporations and benefit our small farmers and local entrepreneurs, as well as the communities harmed by the failed war on drugs. These events will take place in Lancaster County, Monroe County, and Harrisburg. More on this soon.
In December, I will pass the torch to the next generation, as Leslie and Rachel take leadership of All Together Now PA, doing business as Pennsylvania Fibershed.
Personally, I am retiring from organizational work, other than to support Rachel and Leslie as a member of their new advisory board. I have had a long career of founding and running both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, but at age 76, I’m ready to take a back seat. As a wise person once said, “When I was a youth, I wanted to save the world. Now I just want to save the pond in my backyard.”
In this spirit, I am focusing my efforts on creating a solar-run, all-electric home in the northwest section of Philadelphia where we are turning a large back lawn into a life-supporting meadow for the birds and the bugs. I will continue to hold community building events, because that is my nature, and I cannot help myself! Our homestead, which I have purchased with my daughter, will be a frequent venue for community celebrations and educational programs in support of those working for a healthy natural environment and an inclusive local economy. Among these will be the continuation of educational programs in the original ATNPA focus areas, including plant medicine, local grain, hempcrete in collaboration with Cameron McIntosh, and Textile in collaboration with PA Fibershed.
As I sign off from All Together Now PA, I want to thank you all for supporting our events and programs over these past years, which have brought me great joy and meaning, as I hope for you. I also would like to thank the ATNPA staff, advisory board, and volunteers for your many generous contributions toward our shared mission.
I encourage you to support the launch of Pennsylvania Fibershed and continue building regional self-reliance by supporting our local farms and businesses that are producing our basic needs locally and sustainably. By working together, we can reduce carbons, restore nature and prepare for the climate crisis starting in our own communities, and even our own backyards.
With love to all,
Founder, All Together Now PA
P.S. Should you wish to contribute to the Pennsylvania Fibershed's launch, kindly CLICK HERE to make a donation. Additionally, you can follow them on Instagram to stay informed about their ongoing efforts. Your support is deeply appreciated.
We envision a prosperous network of just and resilient regional economies comprised of independent, locally-owned farms and businesses, which increase community wealth and equality, regenerate the environment, reduce carbons, decrease reliance on global supply chains and prepare our communities for climate change by producing basic needs locally and sustainably.
BECOME A MEMBER
Become a part of our values based regional fibershed and textile supply chain. Your membership directly contributes to our work of promoting and supporting our local textile community, through education, development and outreach.
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How We Work
All Together Now PA has organized the following coalitions:
Industrial Hemp Coalition
Plant Medicine Coalition
Clothing & Textile Coalition
Pennsylvania Grain Coalition.
Each coalition works to build local supply chains by connecting buyers and sellers and catalyzing social enterprises to fill gaps in the supply chains. As we increase supply, we also work to increase demand by educating the public and promoting Pennsylvania made products.