Fast Track to Slow Fashion

Even if you don’t see yourself as a fashionista, consider this: the fashion industry — all the phases responsible for getting us dressed each day — creates more CO2 emissions than international flights and maritime shipping combined. The pace of production and consumption has accelerated so quickly that one garbage truck of textiles goes to the landfill or incinerator every second. We call this fast fashion, and it has created a culture of clothing that is practically single-use. Another way is possible: we invite you to download the Fibershed Clothing Guide: a Menu of Actions & Options to get started.

Fibershed Learning Center

The Fibershed Learning Center is located at the historic Black Mountain Ranch in Point Reyes Station, California, the ancestral territory of the Coast Miwok. Launched in summer 2020, the Learning Center offers a series of virtual workshops for live participation and on-demand streaming. Our work on-site includes a fiber and dye garden to model production practices, ecosystem restoration, and community education; please stay tuned for public opportunities when it is safe to visit.

Soil to Soil Podcast

Our audio program connects the dots in the lifecycle of clothing and material culture. Each episode offers a look at how and why our community is working to cultivate fiber and dye systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere. Tune in to seasons 1 and 2 to hear from a Climate Beneficial verified sheep rancher, experts in soil carbon science and modeling, artists who are shaping slow fashion, and more.

Fibershed Affiliate Network

What does the soil to soil ecosystem and supply chain look like in your community? The Fibershed Affiliate Program supports an international grassroots network that promotes the development of regional fiber systems communities, including economic and non-economic growth, in the form of building relationships and new global networks. We provide a directory for connecting to independent Fibershed Affiliates around the world. Fibershed serves our members by facilitating connections and educational opportunities to cross-pollinate this work from the ground up.

(Left photo by Ashish Chandra for the Prakriti Fibershed, photo below by Emily Neill for the Upper Canada Fibershed)

Symposia

Fibershed hosts an annual Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium for a sold-out crowd each year in mid-November. The event functions to connect urban and rural communities by bringing together designers, farmers, ecologists, scientists, and the general public to hear about topics that range from place-based breeding practices to Indigenous land stewardship to supply chain collaborations. The event includes a marketplace and free demonstrations to the public on sheep shearing, spinning, weaving, and natural dyeing. Videos of past presentations and panelists are archived and organized by year.

Fiber Visions

What would it look like to work with the cycles of place while developing textiles? Fibershed’s Fiber Visions project models opportunities to produce materials grounded in seasonal cycles, ecological restoration, and fair jobs. We invite you to learn about wool, cotton, and dogbane in the Northern and Central California regional context and join us in envisioning a fiber economy from field to manufacturing.

illustration by Amanda Coen

Indigo Research & Education

For approximately 5,000 years, communities have been honing their skills to farm, extract and apply this plant-based blue pigment. By working with a temperate climate indigo variety, we are honing a place-based understanding of the crop within the constraints and opportunities posed by California agriculture. Fibershed’s research on indigo production and processing is ongoing, and summaries are available in a series of free downloadable reports.

indigo dyeing, photo by Paige Green

Design School Collaborations

Emerging apparel and textile designers are essential voices for a more sustainable fiber and dye system. Rooted in our home base of Northern California, Fibershed partners with educational institutions from fashion design programs to junior college courses. We offer guest lectures and resources and create deeper partnerships for curriculum development and student project support. Check back soon to learn more about this work.