Fibershed is a non-profit organization that develops regional and regenerative fiber systems on behalf of independent working producers, by expanding opportunities to implement carbon farming, forming catalytic foundations to rebuild regional manufacturing, and through connecting end-users to farms and ranches through public education.
We envision the emergence of an international system of regional textile communities that enliven connection and ownership of soil-to-soil textile processes. These diverse textile cultures are designed to build soil carbon stocks on the working landscapes on which they depend, while directly enhancing the strength of regional economies. Both fiber and food systems now face a drastically changing climate, and must utilize the best of time-honored knowledge and available science for their long-term ability to thrive.
We see a nourishing tradition emerging that connects the wearer to the local field where the clothes were grown, building a system that can last for countless generations into the future.
We work across three program areas to cultivate Regional Textile Economies, expand Climate Beneficial Agriculture, and empower Education & Advocacy. Rooted in our Northern California Fibershed homebase, we foster Fibershed community around the world — here is a snapshot of our impact:
45,550+ Metric Tons CO2e estimated drawdown secured through four years of community carbon farming practices that will result in 20 year carbon sequestration rates
200,000+ pounds of Climate Beneficial Wool verified and moved into value chains that fund ecosystem restoration
$1 Million in investment capital leveraged into regional manufacturing, from pooling Climate Beneficial verified fiber to reshoring the latest textiles technologies and providing technical assistance to entrepreneurs
45 Fibershed Affiliate communities around the globe generating place-based visions and engagement for their fiber system
75,000+ reached with public education through community events, curriculum development, digital media and partnerships
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A new “farm-to-closet” vision for the clothes we wear, by Rebecca Burgess with Courtney White
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There is a major disconnect between what we wear and our knowledge of its impact on land, air, water, labor, and human health. Even those who value access to safe, local, nutritious food have largely overlooked the production of fiber, dyes, and the chemistry that forms the backbone of modern textile production. While humans are 100 percent reliant on their second skin, it’s common to think little about the biological and human cultural context from which our clothing derives.
Almost a decade ago, weaver and natural dyer Rebecca Burgess developed a project focused on wearing clothing made from fiber grown, woven, and sewn within her bioregion of North Central California. As she began to network with ranchers, farmers, and artisans, she discovered that even in her home community there was ample raw material being grown to support a new regional textile economy with deep roots in climate change prevention and soil restoration. A vision for the future came into focus, combining right livelihoods and a textile system based on economic justice and soil carbon enhancing practices. Burgess saw that we could create viable supply chains of clothing that could become the new standard in a world looking to solve the climate crisis.
In Fibershed readers will learn how natural plant dyes and fibers such as wool, cotton, hemp, and flax can be grown and processed as part of a scalable, restorative agricultural system. They will also learn about milling and other technical systems needed to make regional textile production possible. Fibershed is a resource for fiber farmers, ranchers, contract grazers, weavers, knitters, slow-fashion entrepreneurs, soil activists, and conscious consumers who want to join or create their own fibershed and topple outdated and toxic systems of exploitation.
Fibershed is a California non-profit corporation exempt from federal tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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