2023 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Relationships of Change

“Relationships of Change” will explore the interdependence of people, policy, and materials that are necessary for transforming our soil-to-skin system. Every choice we make when wearing, caring and consuming elicits a direct environmental, economic, and human response. In this year’s Symposium you’ll hear from those working on critical issues of fossil fuel divestment from textiles and fashion, garment workers’ rights, and new laws aiming to internalize the costs of our textile ‘waste’ while catalyzing shifts in material choice and design.  We will also take stock of our regional fibershed economies– hearing from Fibershed Affiliates, the Fibers Fund and efforts to bring climate benefitting farming and ranching incentives to the national scale.

This will be a hybrid event, and you may join us in person in Point Reyes or virtually.  A portion of our speakers will be presenting virtually as well as a few in person. In person attendees will enjoy the 4 hour event in a casual cafe atmosphere with a special coffee and tea service.

2021 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Weaving Voices: People, Land & Water

This year’s symposium will begin with a conversation between those living and working to produce our global demand for textiles and those that receive the mounds of material that is discarded once clothing is deemed “uninteresting” or damaged. We’ll hear from members of the OR Foundation Community and the Garment Worker Center, who will share the consequences that they personally and professionally experience due to current rates of production within the fashion industry.

The day will include a presentation by Local Futures, an organization founded on the work to uplift place-based regional economies; including efforts to ‘expose the big picture’ and ‘unite and connect’ farmers, mainstreet business owners, indigenous communities and everyone in between. We will hear from textile artist Karen Hampton whose art and life is shaped by connection to her ancestry– a lineage versed in care and regard for soil, textiles and dyes.

The second half of our day will focus on our region’s water and agriculture. With rapid changes in weather patterns, our soil based systems from which we rely upon for material culture are undergoing transitions. We will hear from hydrologists, farmers, those leading people-powered solutions, and researchers in two panel discussions focused on realities and solutions of California water and the growing agroforestry movement. We will hear lightning talks from Fibershed Producer members focused on stories of how they are implementing carbon farming practices and enhancing biodiversity and soil carbon within their working landscapes.

(Illustration by Laurie Sawyer)

2020 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Healthy Soil and Sea: Changing the Flow of Fashion

The 9th annual Fibershed Symposium will focus on how natural fiber and dye systems can positively impact soil and sea. Join us this November 12 – 14.

From the landscape to the seascape, the largest active carbon pools on planet earth are where we humans work, and where the impacts of our lives are made evident. When textiles are drawn from fossil carbon reserves and spun into plastic clothing, we see ripple effects from climate destabilization to microplastic pollution. Extractive industries undermine our value systems — from the pressures of overproduction on garment workers to the excesses of disposable clothing.

In land-based fiber and dye systems, we see living examples that restore soil health and change the course of fashion and agriculture’s impact on waterways. Reconnecting to bioregional and cultural models of production, we can contribute to our oceans’ health and well-being, our soils, our manufacturing sector, and our fiber and dye sovereignty.

(Illustration by Vyana Ma)

2019 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Partnerships that Elevate

The 8th annual Fibershed Symposium will explore the role of partnership in elevating and activating right relationship with bioregional material culture.

From soil to skin, partnerships elevate our experience with fiber and dye systems, our opportunity to implement meaningful and vital work, our hope and resilience in a changing climate, and our potential to find common ground. At present, there are many points of disconnection between humans, plants, and animals, and from this separation stems confusion, ignorance, and even division in our human communities. Through partnering with one another we engage, we participate, we carry responsibility, and we are nurtured.

In this year’s Symposium, we will look into how we support one another in generating a vision, a practice, and in turn, an in-perpetuity culture invested in managing whole systems with heart, wisdom, and intellect. We will converse and ask questions about modern ideas of sustainability and deconstruct popular narratives whose time has come to be re-evaluated and elevated.

(Illustration by Nina and Sonya Montenegro of The Far Woods)

2018 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Fire Ecology & Fiber Systems: wisdom to manage the natural and textile resources in our community

We deepened our understanding of human-led land management practices that include the use of fire as a tool for land regeneration. We heard from a spectrum of young women and men who are working diligently to restore ecological function in our farm, range, and open space districts by reintegrating fiber-producing animals into croplands. We learned more about the ‘functional use’ stage of a garment and hear from those that are seeking new ways to support us in retaining higher quality garments and textiles for much longer periods of time than what we see manifest in the throw away models promulgated by faster forms of fashion. (Illustration by Laurie Sawyer)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.

2017 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Nature’s Resilience: Illuminating the Cycles & Processes that Clothe Us

The 2017 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium provided education to the general public about how current textile systems are impacting our health, water, carbon and genetic life and how the replication of decentralized, regional, transparent, and regeneratively produced Fibershed soil-to-skin value chains are a direct alternative to existing industrial models and the havoc these systems have imparted on our personal and global ecology. (Illustration by Hallie Rose Taylor)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.




2016 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

For the Love of Place

Fibershed’s 2016 Wool Symposium panels and presentations focused on regional breeding strategies, biological and mechanical technology, Climate Beneficial Wool, ‘prosumption,’ true cost of raising sheep and making a garment by hand, the history of sheep production in our region, and a special visit by a distant Fibershed Affiliate community organizer who shared how their community is cross pollinating urban and rural sectors. (Illustration by Amanda Coen)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.




2015 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Our Soils & Our Second Skin

The Symposium featured presentations on collaborations between fiber farmers and designers, local RCDs and carbon farming, soil carbon sampling, drought tolerant sheep breeds: Navajo-Churro & Santa Cruz Island Sheep. (Illustration by Hallie Rose Taylor)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.





2014 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Enhancing Diversity — The Ecology of Wool

The Symposium featured informative presentations on breeding practices that build heirloom garments, plus predator- and pollinator-friendly practices that harmonize and blur the line between wild and domestic spaces, all bringing beauty and function to our fields and wardrobes. (Illustration by Alycia Lang)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.





2013 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium

Climate and the Clothes We Wear

Presentations included talks about the carbon cycle and how we can help reverse climate change through the management of our farmlands and rangelands, about modern day shepherding, about natural medicine for our animals, and about Fibershed’s research on the California Wool Mill Project and our findings on the six-month-long Fibershed wool inventory project. (Photo by Dustin Kahn)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.