Hulsman Ranch, photo by Paige Green

Session 1: Defining Regeneration for Fiber & Textile Systems

From carbon cycling to creative supply chain partnerships, this session explores the fundamental connections between atmosphere and soil. We explore the practical ways to balance risk in the supply chain to meet our climate goals. Below, you’ll find resources mentioned by each speaker and topical information for further reading, as well as a Q&A packet answering the audience questions that came in during the live session.

Guest Speakers

Dr. Jeff Creque, Director of Rangeland and Agroecosystem Management at the Carbon Cycle Institute, on the Earth’s Carbon Cycle and Earth’s Energy Battery

Gopal Dayaneni, ETC Group

Nishanth Chopra, founder of Oshadi Studio and organizer of the Prakriti Fibershed Affiliate

Sarah Bellos, founder, and CEO of Stony Creek Colors


General References from Fibershed for the COVID-19 Epoch

Questions & Answers – linked here

Session 2: Designing for True Circularity & Biological Systems

This course frames the circularity within the capacity and design of natural systems, including a San Francisco Bay case study on micro-plastic fiber.

Guest speakers

Beth Rattner, Executive Director and Megan Schuknecht, Director of Design Challenges, Biomimicry Institute

Diana Lin, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, San Francisco Estuary Institute

Margot Lyons, Manager, Production + Sustainability, Coyuchi

Kristy Caylor, CEO, For Days

Questions & Answers – linked here

Session 3: Deepening Impact Assessments toward Social & Climate Goals

Ever wondered about life cycle assessments and how they are created? LCAs are what is used to develop the ‘carbon footprint’ for a pair of pants or a shirt and they are meant to guide the wearer towards improved and environmentally thoughtful decision making.  In the August 31st webinar we explored details of what is traditionally in a life cycle assessment, and hear from scientists and labor organizers about the depths of textile creation processes that have been traditionally omitted from life cycle assessments, and how we can work together to better understand what a decision-making framework for our clothing could look like that has the potential to address the most pressing climate and social justice issues of our time.

Guest speakers:

Dr. Marcia DeLonge, Research Director and Senior Scientist in the Food & Environment Program at Union of Concerned Scientists

Paige Stanley, Doctoral Researcher at UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management

Annie Shaw, Outreach Coordinator at the Garment Worker Center

Teresa Garcia, Garment Worker Center Member

Led by Rebecca Burgess, founder and Executive Director of Fibershed

Question & Answers – linked here

Session 4: 2020 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium — Healthy Soil and Sea: Changing the Flow of Fashion

The 9th annual Fibershed Symposium focused on how natural fiber and dye systems can positively impact soil and sea.

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.

We heard from scientists, community leaders, landscape managers, and designers: together, we grew our understanding of:

  • Why the modern wardrobe is damaging life in the soil and sea
  • How natural fiber and food systems can be managed to enhance soil and watershed health, including on-the-ground examples from Northern California and Fibershed Affiliates
  • Ways in which Indigenous fiber stewardship and Black-centered fiber traditions are in a relationship with ecosystems
  • What it would look like to meet our clothing needs and provide fair compensation to all who contribute to fiber, fabric, and finished goods