Our fibershed challenge is to create a bioregional wardrobe that will be lived in for one year and made completely from fibers and natural dyes that are solely sourced within a geographical region no larger than 150 miles from my front door.
The aim of the project is to educate and map the landscape of our Fibershed,. This geographical region has yet to be understood by the growing sustainability movement. And yet, it is the role of the Fibershed to provide one of our basic human necessities-- our clothes. We feel it is time to give this region a defined and visible face.
The Fibershed wardrobe will act as a living model of how our clothing can function hand-in-hand with global and personal health, principles of sustainability, local economies, and regional agriculture. Our pledge campaign is raising funds to pay farmers for the raw materials, as well as to generate enough funding for film and photographic documentation of this wardrobe.
The on-going series of videos and blog entries will focus on Seed to On-the-Skin. If we make our challenge our blog can and will be used as a resource for a wide array of organizations and individuals, including students, designers, and businesses desiring to green their supply chain.
The impacts of the textile industry are immense-- global water supplies are contaminated daily with over 2,000 synthetic chemical treatments that are used to soften and process fibers into fabrics. These chemicals have been shown to create a range of effects in humans-- from chronic illness to cancer. One in four people in China are drinking contaminated water, and it was recently discovered by the Chinese government, that synthetic dye use is one of the major sources of this pollution.
The carbon footprint of textile manufacturing has been called 'The Elephant in the Room' by those in the industry. The U.S. Energy Information Administration has found that the textile industry is the 5th largest contributor to CO2 emissioins in the United States.
Fibershed Mission: Our project seeks to put a face on the bioregional clothing movement, through a wardrobe that will be filled with functional and beautiful designs, that speak the intricate language of the landscape, and reflect a balanced and healthy relationship with the earth's ecosystems.
The Fibershed Goal: One facet of our global clothing solution is to make use of local resources sustainably, and discontinue off-shoring the effects of our consumption onto others. Our goal is to use this year as a period for research & design, as well as a year to garner publicity for the local, green, and healthy clothing movement.
This project will be focused on Northern California, yet it is designed to create a replicable module that can be used as inspiration and technical assistance for other communities across the globe.
Our team is well established for the job:
The roles include:
Rebecca Burgess www.rebeccarburgess.com project management, author, professional weaving spinning and natural dye expertise. Wearer of the wardrobe.
Paige Green: http://paigegreen.wordpress.com/ MFA. Professional natural light documentary photographer.
Heidi Iverson: Designer and Artist. Knit designer, with incredible color sensibility. Pattern Drafter
Melissa Mansfield and Averan Gale: http://www.greengorillamedia.com/ Web and Graphic design, documentary film, publicity.
The money will be used to:
Pay Farmers fairly for their fiber Pay local mill to process the fibers Pay for professional documentation of the project- photo and film Pay for knit patterns to be drafted and samples to be created
- (89 days)