Manhattan, Gotham. This concrete jungle is not just a melting pot, it’s a meat grinder.
But wander through East Village today and you may find over 30 secret gardens, hidden in plain sight. These small sanctuaries are maintained by volunteers as places of tranquility, outreach and education.
However, these havens have a dark and storied past, from fires to murder. These green oases where school children recess, once rife with
crime, waste and drugs more closely resembled a war zone than the East Village of today.
This communal rejuvenation parallels the work of the labels in our story. They are reeling in waste, educating and leading by example.
With them paving the new road to responsible practice, future generations will look back and thank them for reclaiming and reframing the industry, steering away from the waste of today.
1973 — Liz Christy founds the “Green Guerrillas,” a grass-roots organization that begins the transformation.
Almost 50 years of events including legal battles, a young girl’s murder, grants and donated time eventually result in the gardens known today as, “El Jardin del Paraiso” and “Orchard Alley”. An ideal battlefield for our Guerre Verte.
Here we highlight their work in this now beautiful setting juxtaposing old and new, leaf and brick, growth vs decay.
Models: (EMG NY) Lena Vost – @lenavostrikovaa Jaelynn Willis – @jaelynn_willis
Photog/Producer: Steve Peirce – @cest_la_temp
Photo asst: Kyle De Vre – @therealkylekarl
HMUA: Robbie Minjarez – @robbiemakeupart
Stylists: Karen Schaupeter – @karen_schaupeter Aoife Piggott – @firstinline_ny
Archival Photogs: David Schmidlapp Marslis Momber
Special thanks: Ayo Harrington – Gatekeeper Angelina Harron – EMG Models