Recent Stories from Fibershed

Microplastics Policy Moves Forward in California

Thanks to an outpouring of public comment earlier this year to the Ocean Protection Council, our Fibershed community’s voice helped shape next steps in California’s precedent-setting framework on state-led microplastic research, risk assessment and action.

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Alpaca Stories Part 3: When PETA Strikes, Certifications Follow

In the third and final article, we take a closer look at the claims for alpaca made by the ‘sustainable’ apparel sector. I walk through how these claims prioritize a global north perspective that diminishes the most disadvantaged, those in the global south who are producing the fiber. We conclude with an understanding of how the claims of ‘environmental harm’ are contributing actual harm to the livelihoods of small-scale alpaca farmers and call on the fashion industry to reexamine its categorization of sustainable materials.

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Alpaca Stories Part 2: Fibs, Lies, and Falsehood

In Part 2, we examine how alpaca fiber ranks in terms of environmental impact using the Higg Materials Sustainability Index (MSI) and the Kering Environmental Profit & Loss (EP&L) account. We look at the shortcomings of these measurement tools in assessing alpacas’ cultural, social, and economic value to indigenous peoples. Finally, we dig into the competing interests in the mining industry for land use in Peru.

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Alpaca Stories Part 1: Alpaca – More Prized than Gold by the Incas, Still Scorned by the West?

In Part 1, we take a close look at what alpaca are, why they are so well-suited to the Peruvian altiplano, where sustenance is scarce and the indigenous inhabitants have few options, and we price check alpaca against other fibers – it’s expensive. This means that there is an economic incentive for brands and their funded initiatives to portray alpaca as environmentally harmful. Do they? And if so, is it justified?

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Foggy Bottoms Boys Are Changing the Farming Formula

Cody and Thomas, otherwise known as the Foggy Bottoms Boys, are seventh-generation farmers in Ferndale, California. There, where the fog hangs low in the Eel River Valley, they run a multi-species farm, including a certified humane, organic dairy for milk, cheese, and beef, sheep for fiber and meat, and pastured poultry. Going viral from their TikTok videos with 90,000 followers and 10 million views, Cody and Thomas are raising awareness about local fiber while simultaneously increasing representation and visibility for the LGBT community in the agricultural world.

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