The day dawned weakly. A mist that lingered over the earth, generated after 500 days of nonstop rain, was preventing the sun’s rays from penetrating. The planet’s destruction that environmentalists had forewarned for decades finally happened. Due to unchecked human behavior, the globe had been warming steadily, resulting in 2016 being recorded as the warmest year on record, followed by 2019, and finally, 2020, which was the warmest year ever recorded. Consequently, the South Pole glaciers began to melt, the sea levels rose causing violent long storm surges, and then it started to rain.
When the apocalypse began, the massive Arks, a group of environmentalists, who spent decades building were ready to go. Each was designed for a specific function, and collectively the flotilla represented humanity’s future. Due to their work with the Global Seed vault, also known as the Doomsday Vault, Annie and LJ were assigned responsibility for the Ark of Seed Agriculture. Onboard were the 930,000 varieties of seeds representing the earth’s entire biodiversity.
They were on their way to meet the other Arks for the bi-annual meet-up. After using celestial navigation, the night before, LJ switched to a Reflecting Circle (an ancient navigational tool) that morning to steer a course to the meeting place.
“LJ, are we getting close?”
“Yes, we should be there in about thirty minutes. Are the seed packages and plants ready for distribution?”
“Everything is ready. I can’t wait to see everyone.”
As each Ark arrived, there were shouts of welcome. Ark life was tremendously busy, but there was also a great deal of loneliness. Only the most stalwart could endure this new existence and accept its enormous responsibilities. Annie waved and called, “Hi Connie, I’ve got your seeds and plants!”
“I’ve got your fabrics,” Connie shouted back. “We’re so happy to see you two. Come on over.”
Once onboard the Ark of Textiles, Annie and Connie hugged and picked up right where they had left off six months earlier.
“Here’s more plants and seeds to replace and expand your gardens, which look amazing.”
“Thanks, Annie, coming from you that’s quite a compliment. Come inside the sewing room. I want to show you what we have been working on.
Connie stopped at the door and wiped her feet on a rug. “I’ve got some of these for you and LJ, they’re made of Coconut fibers. We’ve had luck growing tropical plants and trees even in this climate, thanks to your heirloom seeds. When the coconut trees started producing, we began using a method developed by Nanollose to turn the husk’s fibers into a viable resource. We use it as mulch, and because it dries fast and is absorbent and we also make rugs and cleaning towels. We are working on weaving the yarn to make clothes as well.”
“We can really use these rugs, Connie. We are constantly working to keep our Ark dry to protect the seeds, thank you so much.”
“Of course. Come over here and look at what we are doing with Pineapple skins. Back before the rains started, 48% of pineapple was thrown away. A textile company developed a process they call Pinatex to turn pineapple leaves into a leather-like material. When it is blended with silk, a lightweight, yet rugged fabric is created. Also, the same pineapple leaves fibers can be converted to biogas to power the Arks.
A couple of years ago, I read an article about using Banana fiber to create textiles. We managed to bring the instructions with us, so this is where we are converting the outer layers of Banana stalks into a material that is good for weaving baskets. The inner layer is more delicate; therefore, we use it to make clothes, blankets, and pillows.
In this area, we make Orange Fiber textile. We collect pastazzo, the byproduct of Orange juice, to create a silk-like yarn. Touch it. Doesn’t it feel silky? In this new life, everything we make must be multifunctional, but it can be beautiful, too, right?”
Here is where we use an Italian company, Frumat’s method to produce Apple skin material that is durable enough to make upholstery, shoes, and storage containers. The thinner version can be used as packaging.”
“Connie, your work is inspiring and gives me hope for the future. These fruit fabrics are the perfect answer to cotton, which was known to be the most pesticide-intensive crop. The World Wildlife Fund said it took 20,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of cotton, equivalent to a pair of jeans and one t-shirt. No wonder earth was dying. Not to mention the soil erosion and degradation growing cotton caused. You and Ernie have created a whole new sustainable way of life for us by using parts of plants that were once considered to be waste. We will never go back to that life, and because of you, we don’t have to.”
Thank you, Annie, I am aware every day of the enormity of our responsibility. Ernie and I feel that if humans ever get a second chance to live on earth again, we must treat home with sacred respect. This means everything we eat, wear, and how we live must be earth-friendly.