THE WOOD WIDE WEB

If you look closely, you’ll see some pieces from our FW20 collection are adorned with patches. Look closer- one of them, like the one on this jean jacket, reads “Wood Wide Web”.


Only fifty years ago, the idea that plants could communicate with one another was dismissed as mere science fiction. As it turns out, they not only communicate, but share nutrients and information with each other across kilometers of underground networks.
This vast grid, an infinitely thin, white web called that we are only now beginning to unravel has come to be known as the “Wood Wide Web”, for its resemblance to our own (mostly) below- ground network.
When walking through a forest- often a haven of calm and quiet- it is difficult to imagine this buzzing world beneath our feet, where a single step conceals hundreds of kilometres of mycorrhiza (literally, ‘fungus root’). In order to understand it, we might first look for its reproductive organ: a mushroom.


Like the tip of an iceberg, a mushroom acts as a hub for the reproduction and dispersal of these fungal threads which connect trees and plants alike. Unlike the common assumption that fungus can only be harmful to plants, bringing disease to the organisms it latches onto, it has become known that come types of fungi exist in symbiosis with plants, connecting them to each other.
This relationship transcends a simple exchange of nutrients (carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and more) between fungus and plant- using mycorrhizal networks, the communication extends to other neighbouring plants, even between different species.


The most surprising behavior this complex system has demonstrated is the ability of plants to care for one another by acting as a single organism. For example, if a seedling does not have enough sunlight for it to grow, neighbouring trees, or hub trees (the oldest, and tallest trees with the largest biological pathways) will share nutrients with it through the mycorrhizae. This creates memory inherent to the network, and ensures the forest longevity.


FW20’s title “Tales of the Forest” suggests a fantasy-filled world where the impossible becomes the every day. The discovery of plant intelligence makes one feel as though the impossible has come true; like we might not be so far from speaking to trees, like our favorite fictional characters.
The patches seen above (first image) will be available as a five-pack in select stores and online very soon, including the "Wood Wide Web" patch, "League of Dendrology" patch, "Guardians of the Forest" flag, "Guardians of the Forest" crest, and "Mind your Fire" patch.