The Regional Fiber Manufacturing Initiative (RFMI) is made up of committees of local and international experts to focus on core issues throughout the soil-to-soil cycle.

 

 

Stewardship Committee

Adrian Rodrigues Co-Chair: Adrian Rodrigues is a Co-Founder and a Managing Director of Provenance Capital Group where he helps develop blended capital structures that catalyze resilient biological systems and businesses. Before Provenance, Adrian co-founded the boutique consulting firm Hyphae Partners where he helped companies finance and build regenerative business models. Additionally, he worked at Patagonia within its Venture Capital arm Tin Shed Ventures, helping author a standard for Regenerative Organic Agriculture and exploring Regenerative Organic Land Funds. He is an experienced asset allocator, fundraiser, and business model innovator. Adrian spent six years at Morgan Stanley helping long time horizon investors manage their asset allocations and diligence investment opportunities across asset classes and sectors. He has also lectured on food innovation at the University of California Berkeley Haas School of Business and designed and taught an entrepreneurship intensive for farmers at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture. Adrian is a graduate of Berkeley Haas’ full-time MBA program. At Haas, Adrian was a Portfolio Manager of the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund and a Member of the Center for Responsible Business’ Student Advisory Board. He received a B.A. in English from Williams College, studied English literature at Exeter College, Oxford University, and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. He’s an avid chef, backyard farmer, and budding yogi.

Nicholas Wenner Co-Chair: Nicholas Wenner works as an engineer to design regenerative materials and manufacturing systems. He earned a B.S. in Earth Systems and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on manufacturing from Stanford University, where he taught design and manufacturing through the Product Realization Lab. Nicholas recently led R&D and process engineering for MycoWorks to create a leather-inspired material from fungi, authoring 7 patents. Other experiences include crafting natural animal leathers in the mountains of Eastern Washington, designing botanical indigo dye production systems with Fibershed’s True Blue project, and developing modern products with 3-D modeling and CNC machining. He aims to bridge the wisdom of the past with the possibilities of today to foster mutually supportive relationships between modern humans and the world that sustains us.

François-Jérôme (FJ) Selosse François-Jérôme (FJ) Selosse is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Provenance Capital Group, where he works to enable the deployment of mission-aligned capital towards regenerative businesses and projects. Prior to PCG, he co-founded Hyphae Partners, a boutique consulting firm helping regenerative pioneers refine their business models and raise funds in order to scale their impact. As a former Fellow at the Environmental Defense Fund and a member of the sustainability team at TPG Capital, he has helped private companies design and implement numerous sustainability strategies. He is an experienced investor and business strategy expert. Prior to his MBA, FJ spent seven years working for investment banks, including Barclays Capital, and investment funds with over $2Bn in AUM to manage and invest capital across industries and asset classes, with a particular focus on high yield and distressed opportunities. He bore responsibilities spanning the entirety of the investment process including designing new investment strategies, developing deal sourcing pipelines, researching macro and idiosyncratic value drivers, performing deal due diligence, structuring deals, executing, and managing investments, and managing risk at the portfolio level. FJ is a graduate of Berkeley Haas’ full-time MBA program where he focused on researching and designing blended financial structures that catalyze and align development, conservation, and agricultural stakeholders. He also holds an M.S. in Financial Engineering from NYU and a B.A. in Economics and Statistics from the Ecole Polytechnique in France.

Material Production Committee

From soil to fiber: Understanding the supply of fibers, hides, and dyestuffs in the region and the best ways to pool supply and early stage processing

Nicholas Wenner Chair: Nicholas Wenner – See above.

Stacie Chavez is located in Central Oregon where she enjoys raising Huacaya Alpacas and Rambouillet sheep. Stacie’s herd is focused on growing fine fibers for making clothing and textiles utilizing the American Supply Chain. Stacie’s company Imperial Yarn, LLC has been working with American Brands to provide luxury natural fiber goods made with Climate Beneficial fiber. Stacie was raised in New Mexico and graduated from the University of New Mexico. She has been working with supply chains turning raw commodity goods into marketable jewelry, clothing, and textiles for over 25 years.

Brittany Cole Bush, AKA Cole is a creative entrepreneur, educator, and advocate working in the fields of regenerative agriculture, prescribed grazing, and land stewardship. She is the co-owner-operator of Shepherdess Holistic Hides, a value-driven business purveying mindfully sourced sheep hides, producing luxury home goods made from the sheep and goat hides, leather, and Climate Beneficial wool. Shepherdess values supporting regional farmers and ranchers who share aligned values, as well as diverting waste of raw pelts, byproducts of the meat industry by taking the raw hides through the tanning process to then become beautifully finished products. Cole is also the owner-operator of Shepherdess Land & Livestock Co., a prescribed grazing business with sheep and goats in the Ojai Valley, performing fire prevention and land management services, as well as providing vocational training, public education, and technical assistance for public agencies and private landowners.

Angela Wartes-Kahl, Co-founder, Fibrevolution LLC, has been an organic farmer for the last 15 years, managing, Common Treasury Farm with her husband and business partner. They currently grow fiber flax, blueberries, and annual vegetables as well as raise cattle, hogs, and sheep. Angela is the co-owner of Independent Organic Services, Inc. (consulting and contract inspection work). She has been an organic inspector for crops, processing, and textiles since 2011. She is the former Fiber and Textile Coordinator of Oregon Tilth, having managed their Global Organic Textile Standard program and promoting organic certification for textiles from 2016-2020. In 2017, Angela and Shannon Welsh (of PNW Fibershed) founded Fibrevolution LLC to rebuild the fiber flax industry in Oregon. Angela serves as the vice-chair of the Fiber Council for the Organic Trade Association. She attended College of the Atlantic (Human Ecology) and Oregon State University (Merchandise Management and Agricultural Sciences).

Manufacturing Committee

From fiber to fabric: Working with prioritized opportunities to provide industry expertise and engineering technical assistance

Nicholas Wenner Chair: Nicholas Wenner – See above.

James Welstead, a Scottish textile designer, is CEO and founder of the textile consultancy and production company, Olaf McTarn, SARL, based in France. James has gained, through an international career in the textile industry, a wealth of experience in every aspect of the supply chain. He is known as a highly accomplished textile expert, directing product development from concept to market. He is particularly known for his ability to generate unity and understanding between different disciplines and functions, combining creation and development of beautiful and relevant textile products with industrial efficiency and implementation of essential eco-friendly and ethical strategies. James has worked extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the USA, and has many valuable contacts in the international textile community. He is particularly interested, at this stage in his career, in doing everything he can to contribute to the essential drive towards the goals he shares with Fibershed, meaning the regionalization of textile production and the encouragement of a more intimate understanding and respect on the part of the consumer regarding the land, and the stewards of the land, who produce the fibers that go into making the clothes they wear, and the textiles they use. He believes that key elements in this movement are community, reduced and thoughtful consumerism, longevity, and respect for our planet.

Shannon Welsh has called Oregon home since the age of 5. For over 20 years she has promoted fiber, textile, and apparel design through raw fiber development, regenerative agricultural production, textile systems revitalization and innovation, community organizing, outreach, and education. Shannon has spent over 4 years researching and reviving the historic linen industry of Oregon and is the Co-founder of Fibrevolution Bast Fiber Producers. She is also the Founder and Affiliate Organizer of Pacific Northwest Fibershed, a Fibershed Affiliate Program, which promotes the development of regional regenerative fiber systems that build soil and protect the health of our biosphere. Shannon has a BFA in Apparel Design from The Art Institute of Portland, a BA in History from Lewis and Clark College, and a Teaching Certification from the Association Montessori Internationale.

Consumer Connections Committee

From fabric to wearer: Identifying opportunities for brand engagement and developing purchasing agreements

 

Chair: Logan Yonavjak is a financial services professional, social entrepreneur, and author. She’s incredibly passionate about building businesses and guiding capital in ways that replenish, restore, and sustain our social, environmental, and economic systems to advance a more holistic future for all. Prior to co-founding Provenance Capital Group, Logan worked as a consultant with a variety of clients, primarily focused on working lands investments. She has also held positions with CREO Syndicate, the Yale Investments Office, and Align Impact. Logan’s work in financial services has involved connecting high net worth individuals and other investors to regenerative investment opportunities. She has also developed new financial models and tools, particularly focused on land conservation and restoration, and has written extensively about how to invest for people, planet, and profit. Logan has advised a variety of impact-oriented startups, on both raising capital and reporting impact metrics. She is a Startingbloc Fellow, a Property and Environment Research (PERC) Fellow, and a Kinship Fellow. Since 2017, Logan has served on the Board of Slow Money NYC, a local network of Slow Money, a national non-profit catalyzing investment in sustainable food and farms. Logan holds a Masters of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. She also holds a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dominique Drakeford’s background is a 10 year expose of youth development, cultural enrichment, and adventure-based outdoor education for targeted youth in the Bay Area. She is an environmental educator with a BA in Business Environmental Management and a Master’s Degree from NYU in Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Fashion. Currently, Ms. Drakeford works at the intersections of sustainability and style to heal our relationship to the Earth and spark equitable change for economic wellbeing. She is bringing fairness to storytelling by championing the values of inclusive representation and informed responsibility through her digital platform MelaninASS (Melanin And Sustainable Style). This blog hones in on sustainable fashion, natural beauty, wellness, and land sovereignty efforts by BIPOC.  As a social sustainability writer, she has been featured in The Cut, Fashionista, i-D, Nylon, Fashion Mag, and Essence. She has worked with a myriad of companies to further understand systems-based thinking for a regenerative future alongside ethically-based public relations and consulting. With recent partnerships including Timberland, Airbnb, Vice Media, Buzzfeed, All Birds, Native Shoes, and Nature’s Path, her fashion influencership focuses on elevating sustainability and agency. Additionally, Drakeford is the co-creator of Sustainable Brooklyn, working to bridge the gap between the sustainability movement and targeted communities through resources and events. Through the entirety of her work, Dominique focuses on instilling regenerative solutions within local Black communities while re-engineering the sustainability movement to put Black and Brown Indigenous change agents at the forefront of the conversation and activation. @dominiquedrakeford

Positioning sustainable practices within innovative brand strategies, Beth Miles delivers creative solutions that allow for scale within an organization’s end-to-end process.She possesses a unique blend of left & right-brain thinking that allows her to craft creative strategies for purpose-based organizations. “Good” can shift culture; creating opportunity & lasting change. “Good” notices the climate and pivots to reinvent. “Good” is sustainable & requires the modern alchemy of innovation, technology & data to make it work. Clients include Habitat for Humanity, Greater San Francisco; Fibershed; Athleta; Erica Tanov; RSF Social Finance; Google & Arete Advisors. Early in her career, Beth learned best practices within apparel design/manufacturing from leading industry brands Ralph Lauren, Esprit, and Limited Brands. As an entrepreneur, Beth founded Ses Petites Mains in 2006–a collection of Better Childrenswear with a commitment to producing the brand within the USA. In 2008, the traditional wholesale model was transformed to meet the needs of a next-generation, omni channel, D2C model. WGSN referred to Ses Petites Mains as “one of the strongest American collections” within the Childrenswear category. In 2017, Beth launched Girls Up Front, Predator Not Prey collection — a conversational capsule line rooted in Girls’ Empowerment, as a reaction to the Brock Turner rape case. She was instrumental in the storytelling & product development that reminded consumers that girls deserve fierce feminist imagery similar to that which we provide our boys. Girls Up Front pierced through the #Metoo movement and was featured as the cover story of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section. An advisory member of the Interactive Ad Bureau; Steering Committee Member of La Casa de Las Madres and the Parent Coalition of Bay Area High Schools. In her off hours, Beth is a long-boarding, surfer mom who believes that personal growth is directly related to her professional success–she applies this principle in the waters of West Marin on many a weekend.

Lesley Roberts is currently the principal of Oceanparkstudio, a marketing and strategy firm that believes in the power of thoughtful ideas, creative vision, and clarity of purpose to achieve meaningful change and growth. Oceanparkstudio operates with a focus on social enterprise, emerging brands, and community building. Lesley is also a principal of licensing agency Count the Chickens and the co-founder and executive director of Textile Arts | Los Angeles. She is the lead for Southern California Fibershed, an affiliate of Fibershed, and a member of Textile Society of America, American Craft Council, and Surface Design Association. She received a BFA in Art History from UCLA and a certificate from UCLA Anderson School’s Executive Education program. Lesley is a native Angeleno.

Equity and Justice Committee

Highlighting the levers for equity & justice across the textile ecosystem

 

Chair: Teju Adisa-Farrar is a Jamaican-American writer and geographer. Her work centers on climate and environmental justice, adaptive responses, ecological resilience, and cultural equity. To date, Teju has done projects in Israel/Palestine, Denmark, Panama, the USA, Botswana, and several more on myriad issues spanning urban exclusion to regenerative economies to Black geographies. Her approach encourages us to connect the dots between space, place, and identity. Teju supports artists, activists, initiatives, collectives, and organizations who are mapping/making alternative futures.

Anh-Thu Nguyen coming soon

Business Services Committee

Providing business advice and support to entities and engaging capital and resource stakeholders

Adrian Rodrigues Chair: Adrian Rodrigues – See above.

Jenny Kassan has 25 years of experience as an attorney and advisor for mission-driven enterprises. She has helped her clients raise millions of dollars from values-aligned investors and raised over $1.5 million for her own businesses. She is the author of Raise Capital on Your Own Terms: How to Fund Your Business without Selling Your Soul (Berrett-Koehler, October 2017). Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. She served on the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. She submitted the petition to the SEC that led to the passage of the 2012 JOBS Act and was present at the White House signing ceremony. Jenny is also a fellow at Democracy Collaborative and the co-founder of the Force for Good Fund. Before becoming a securities lawyer, Jenny worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents. Jenny is the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities. She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center, a nonprofit that provides legal information to support sustainable economies. Jenny is on the board of directors for CfPA (Crowdfunding Professional Association) and formerly served as a director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Jenny is certified as a coach by the International Association of Women in Coaching.

Sarah Kelley serves as Consultant/Project Director to SAFSF for its Special Project on Sustainable Fiber and Textiles. She is the Principal of Common Threads Consulting, working with philanthropic clients to provide strategy development, research, impact assessment, and facilitation. Other recent work includes interview-driven analysis for the Guidelight Strategies/Patagonia regenerative agriculture landscape assessment, with a focus on racial equity in regenerative ag, and strategy development for a family foundation seeking to defend environmental health progress from libertarian and corporate influence. Sarah is the author of Common Threads: U.S. Foundation Opportunities in Sustainable Fiber and Textiles, published by SAFSF and recently cited in Vogue Business. Previously, Sarah served for 10 years as Senior Program Officer at Island Foundation, where she directed the Environment portfolio and managed $1.2 million in annual grants. In that role, she developed and implemented a program on equity, inclusion, and environmental justice, including an innovative cohort-based model for grantee equity training. She is a Board member and Treasurer of New England Grassroots Environment Fund, and she was selected as a 2018-19 RSF Integrated Capital Fellow, focusing on integrating investment and grantmaking strategies to drive change. Sarah holds an M.S. in Plant and Soil Science from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in History from Yale.

Chiefs of Staff

Marisol Valles, photo by Paige Green Marisol Valles is the Deputy Director for Fibershed. She is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience in non-profit and hospitality management graduating with a BA from San Francisco State University. Through her solid management, a keen eye for detail, and consistent application of policy, Marisol oversees the operations and human resources for the organization.

Rebecca Burgess, photo by Paige Green Rebecca Burgess is the Executive Director of Fibershed. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America, and Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy, released in 2019. She has built an extensive network of farmers and artisans within our region’s Northern California Fibershed to pilot the regenerative fiber systems model at the community scale.