Prototype 1 - animal fibre
Our first value chain is based on raw materials from herder communities in Mongolia and Argentina, each with a unique story of origin.
We are aiming to regenerate grasslands, wildlife habitats and communities disrupted by the invasion of large-scale commercial agricultural practices into fragile ecosystems and ill-prepared communities.
Our partner at the grassroots level is Wildlife Conservation Society that has been developing an in-depth understanding of the ecology and the right balance for a regenerative system. We intend to source animal fibre through them and help them to commercialise programs that are directed towards creating regenerative ecosystems.
We are connecting the sources of fibre to a newly developing specialised textile hub in Scotland.
Here, in partnership with development agencies mandated to revitalise these communities, we are aiming to revive traditional textile manufacturing that has suffered from competition from China and other cheap manufacturing centers by specialising in processing for discrete small brands and to maintain source of origin identity
Our proposed strategy for this hub is a source of long-term synergistic systemic value:
Differentiate textile production in Scotland and give it competitive advantage.
Symbiotically add value to small-batch raw materials that help regenerate ecosystems.
Foster small brands.
Provides local communities with a connection to a larger purpose in regenerating ecosystems and preserving wildlife.
At the front end we intend the value chain to be used by multiple small brands that build on story of origin of the raw materials and the purpose of the value chain.
Small brands can develop and maintain much closer connections to their consumers and can respond better to their needs - they form communities of consumers that go beyond just consumption to a bigger purpose.
Lifestyles and consumption become directed towards creating systemic value.
Products designed from the ecosystem out
Our first products come from a valley called Chigertei in the far west of Mongolia. This valley is home to ethnic Kazakh herders and snow leopards. It is a fragile ecosystem.
The products from Chigertei are made to support the balance of herd numbers and animal types that support the replenishing of the ecosystem.
In practice this means creating economic value from the yak herds in the valley. There are around 200 families herding 3000 yak who will form the community for the first Good Growth products.
Products by people who care for people who care.
Wild Guanacos from Patagonia
In conjunction with WCS we are looking to support the restoration of the wild Guanaco population in Patagonia. This wild creature was the dominant herbivore there with numbers up to 50m a century ago. Today there are between 1 and 2m Guanaco remaining.
By commercialising the fibre from this wild animal we will seek to encourage ranchers to support increased herd numbers.
This won't be easy - but we are currently testing the fibre with designers to determine what product mix will best support the goal.
More to follow.
These two pilots will result in prototype products brought to market in 2020.
There's a lot to do - assembling all the right partners in the chain and resolving tricky technical infrastructure issues; working out how to construct ecosystem restoration plans; developing economic and organisation models that can support shared interest; designing brands that articulate the purpose of the system; bringing together an integrated and systemic impact model.
It is systemic value creation - and in the spirit of a live pilot we will be sharing progress and learning periodically.
Watch this space.