This Summer, we've had the great privilege of working with RAFI to design and print up some limited edition tees to help get the word out about all the good work they do. RAFI (the Rural Advancement Foundation International) is a non-profit situated right here in our tiny town of Pittsboro, NC, that works to protect and assist farmers and farm workers across the country. All three tenets of sustainability are present in RAFI's work--social justice, environmental responsibility, and financial soundness--but its main focus is to help alleviate the human cost of food.
In a word: fully half of farmers in the US are either nearing or past the age of retirement, and we need to do a quick and intelligent shuffle to rearrange the deck.
RAFI helps small farmers get out of unfair contracts without losing their businesses; offers financial counseling; secures grants for farmers who need to redirect their focus to compete in our rapidly changing food system; lobbies for regulations and policies that will apply to small, family-owned operations in more equitable ways. The list goes on.
With such a broad scope and so much incredible work coming from this group of people, it was hard to decide which sort of imagery to use, but we decided to stick with the theme of a windmill (which RAFI already uses in its logo). Windmills are not only beautiful but also so symbolic of agrarian life and easily incorporated with that oh-so-precious resource, the land. A beautiful patchwork of farmed land provides the backdrop, and swirls through the sky are reminiscent of seeds blowing in the wind, or simply of movement and progress. We like the design best on a dark shirt with lighter inks, because it lends the feeling of nighttime, of sacred space, of resting.
Once again, I find myself completely in love with this excellent community and grateful that Flytrap can contribute in our own shirt-tastic way. Thank you, RAFI! And thank YOU, farmers!