Fibershed is a project that is very close to my heart.
I clearly remember the conversation Rebecca and I had in 2009 while we were sitting in the airport waiting to board a plane to one of our Harvesting Color adventures.
She told me she wanted to do so much more than teach people about natural dyes.
She was so deeply concerned about what the fashion industry was doing to the environment and to the people working in the factories that she needed to do something more.
So she decided she wanted to challenge herself for a year to only wear clothes that were created, start to finish, within 150 miles from her home… within her Fibershed.
But she told me how one of our mutual advisers had completely dismissed her idea saying that it would never be of interest to anyone outside of her small community… so Rebecca was feeling very discouraged.
I told Rebecca that she had to do it… at the height of the local and organic food movement, now was the perfect time to bring attention to the fashion industry.
But, I said, she had to make the clothes fashion-forward… otherwise she would be dismissed as just another hippie from Fairfax wearing strange brown clothes.
So we agreed it could be cool… but I don’t think either of us had any idea how cool it would become.
Four years later, Rebecca’s personal challenge has become a full fashion movement that is spreading across the country and internationally.
Rebecca’s vision has evolved in to a non-profit, a Fibershed Marketplace, and most importantly lifelong friendships between farmers and designers.
And at the Fibershed Fashion Gala, on Saturday December 14th, 2013 at Jacuzzi Winery, the “coolness” was unstoppable.
Originally I was supposed to be out-of-town on the 14th… and I was supposed to miss this event.
But my schedule changed at the last-minute allowing me to go… and the moment I walked in to the event space, I knew that there was nowhere else I was supposed to be.
It is so inspiring to see what the passion and determination of one person can lead to.
Rebecca Burgess, I am so incredibly proud of you, and I can not wait to see where Fibershed goes next.
Congratulations to all of the talented designers, the hardworking farmers, the beautiful models and the event planners. It was a fantastic event and I hope I get to work with all of you again in the future.
(For another perspective on the fashion gala, click here to visit event coordinator Andrea Plell’s blog post about the event.)