Ecologicalarts Launches The Fibershed Project

March 17, 2010

Paige Green Photography: Shugri is wearing a Point Reyes wool handspun hooded scarf dyed in madder root.

Its been gently rumbling throughout this blog, the message of fibershed has rippled out here and there.  However, its now a done deal! On Saturday March 13th, a team of artisans came together, over fresh local oysters, and Napa Valley biodynamic wines, and launched the project, amongst a receptive and supportive audience of family and friends.

The goal is to create a wardrobe that I wear from fibers and dye plants sourced within a 150 mile radius of my front door.

Why we’re doing it:  I’ve written a bit about the textile industry in this blog before– and most of the readers who come to this site, are here to learn about alternative color sources.  Even so, many people are unaware that the textile industry is the #1 contaminator of fresh water resources in the world– there are an average of 2,000 synthetic chemicals used to treat our garments–these chemicals are known to create anywhere from irritating to fatal effects in humans.  And, if that wasn’t enough–even though the United States has moved most of its industry off-shore, textiles create the 5th largest carbon footprint of any industry in the nation.

[For more facts on the industry see O ecotextiles]

My response to this litany of unappealing facts has been brewing for many years, and since the recent economic debacle that has many communities facing a financial tail-spin–I felt it might be time for some investigation into how we could turn our fashion industry into one that worked hand-in-hand with organic regional agriculture, local economies, and principles of sustainability.

Fibershed is designed to be a module that gathers information about the possibilities, opportunities and challenges of creating bioregional clothing–and then share these stories with you.  With the hope that both artisan scale and commercial production textile ventures will begin to harness the opportunities of creating and honing a stronger local component within their product lines.

Paige Green Photo: One of the local Chileno Valley Sheep. This lady is likely the CMV breed

Our Fibershed team consists of Paige Green who will be documenting the farmers, herds, and wildlands where our raw materials for the wardrobe will be sourced.  Our film team Melissa Mansfield and Averan Gale will be creating a video documentary of our story.  Heidi Iverson is the knit wear designer, pattern drafter, and all-around style sensible artisan.  We also have a number of knitters and spinners from around the Bay Area who are bringing their talents to the project.  If you’d like to get involved as a collaborating artisan, feel free to contact me.

To learn more about the project you can click on the image below, and go to our grassroots  kickstarter campaign.  We are using an innovative new community based model of gathering pledges– We are a non-profit– but not a 501-c3.  We decided to do this because we are focused on being a one-year, ‘project-based’  team.  All the money that comes in, goes directly into the community of farmers, artisans, photographer, and film makers.

I and all the team members look forward to bringing you the most beautiful, jaw-dropping pictures, well written stories, and captivating films.  So if you’ve been happy with this blog so far– imagine it getting even more interactive, more beautiful, and more frequently written in!  If you’d like to see that happen–make a pledge and spend a few moments thinking about all the others in your community of friends and family who would like this project, and then forward them the message. We are the ones that make this happen!!

thank you….

7 Responses to “Ecologicalarts Launches The Fibershed Project”

  1. WoooHooo!

    I’m so excited for you, can’t wait to see you and your naturally clothed self upon my return.

    Love Brother.

  2. kel Says:

    ay to go! whata fantastic initiative! good luck and best wishes for your exciting project. Next time Im in Fairfax, definitely check it out. I LOVE Pt Reyes! ps. i really need that hoodie scarfe

    • ecologicalartist Says:

      Ahh thanks! Looking forward to meeting you! I appreciate the support so much. Did you’re indigo seeds survive the trip?

  3. velma Says:

    this looks quite interesting…have you notified elaine lipson at slow cloth on facebook? i’m sure she’ll want to keep current, and through her perhaps many others.

    • ecologicalartist Says:

      Thanks Velma, I did become a member of slow cloth, I really appreciate the thought. What a beautiful mission they have! I didn’t see a way to contact Elaine directly, but I’ll see what I can do. Let me know if you think of others!

  4. Hi there,
    This is Elaine Lipson – thank you so much for thinking of me in connection with this, and for joining Slow Cloth. This project looks amazing and I’m very glad to learn about it. I’ll read your site more thoroughly, and meanwhile, let me know if I can help. Maybe you can start a discussion thread on the Slow Cloth page on Facebook.
    Warm regards

    • ecologicalartist Says:

      Thank you Elaine, I’ll certainly look into starting a discussion on slow cloth. If you have any questions, or further connections and inspirations, for where Fibershed might coalesce with other organizations, individuals, and or conferences, I’d be happy to hear your ideas.

      Thank you!

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