Ron Finley, the ‘Gangsta Gardener,’ is an inspirational force of nature. Like an out-of-control typhoon for good, Finley’s influence continues to build in strength.
Post hosting a Masterclass, and between national speaking engagements and appearances with celebrities at his verdant L.A. plot, Finley has also found time to partner with Taylor Stitch to co-design and launch cultivated style to the masses with Digging In. The run of responsible, work-ready pieces is engineered for those prepared to get their hands dirty in the name of change. Digging In launched on February 17 and the first press isn’t expected to last long.
Finley began his organic work in 2010, responding to the food desert that surrounded his fellow South Central L.A. inhabitants. Like 26.5 million Americans, the members of this community did not have equitable access to fresh fruit and vegetables, despite living in an excellent climate for growth. Finley took action, not only turning an unused strip of grass between his sidewalk and the road into an organic garden but inviting neighbors to take freely from the eventual crop of fresh fruits and vegetables. This evolved into education that taught people how to grow their own readily available alternative to the ubiquitous processed foods available at local restaurants and liquor stores.
When Finley received a cease and desist notice from the city, claiming its custody over the plot, it became a battle cry. The garden soon caught local and national attention via news and social media. The overwhelmingly supportive response would lead L.A. to amend land-use laws, opening the opportunity for community gardens in unused lots throughout the City of Angels. Soon after, Finley would host a TED Talk, appropriately titled The Gangsta Gardener, blasting his message of organic hope to millions of viewers. More than a decade on, this uplifting initiative has evolved into a powerful nonprofit organization, The Ron Finley Project, that empowers people to reclaim food deserts to earn agency over their diets and beautify their communities.
Now supporting this nonprofit with every sale, Digging In represents the do-it-yourself spirit by using materials either up-cycled, recycled, organic, or responsibly sourced. Each piece of apparel is built to withstand the rigors of renegade gardening or whatever people might be doing for good as the job is never truly done.
Capsule highlights include two new colorways for the famous Heavy Bag Tee, complete with the RFP motto, “Plant Some Shit,” emblazoned on the back. There’s also a fresh spin on the Fillmore Hoodie, bursting forth with a fresh embroidered sunflower design on the front.
The new Task Jacket (in olive patchwork and navy) shows off a brand-new plant-based waxed shell (developed by the masters at Halley Stevensons) as well as a host of functional features like extra pockets and an action back — an indispensable tool for anyone with some hard work at hand.
The Carpenter Pants aims to be the be-all, end-all of responsible workwear. Loaded with rugged touches like kick panels, internally reinforced knees, and large tool pockets all in a tailored silhouette, the pants keep wearers ready for any task without compromising on style.
The Digging In capsule is available exclusively through the Taylor Stitch Workshop, with a portion of every purchase donated to The Ron Finley Project to help support urban gardening initiatives from coast to coast. Pick up your gear of choice while you can and get ready to dig in.
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