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Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers…

por Rebecca Burgess

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332581,937 (3.5)1
"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entrepreneurs, soil activists, and conscious consumers who want to join or create their own fibershed and topple outdated and toxic systems of exploitation"--… (mais)
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In 2010, I joined the Slow Money movement—a movement focused on moving investment money into local food systems. Not long after, I asked the founder, Woody Tasch, "what about all the other aspects of a local economy; will Slow Money expand some day beyond food?" Tasch responded in the affirmative; that food systems are the place to start, but that of course local economies need more than just food.

Ten years later, it seems that the nascent regional manufacturing movement is surging, and Rebecca Burgess is one of the leading lights. Burgess is the founder of a non-profit bearing the same name. Derived from the pattern found in the word "watershed," a "Fibershed" encompasses a bioregional perspective on textiles.

Burgess frames the narrative from both poles. On the one hand, she paints the potential of the vivacity of what our lives and relationship with land and each other could look like. On the other, she catalogs the unconscionable damage wrought by the conventional fiber industry—from the carcinogenic nature of aniline dyes to the micro-plastics pollution explosion resultant of synthetic fibers.

In this book, you'll learn not only about fiber production from "soil to skin" (such as wool, linen, cotton, hemp, and nettle)—but also about other aspects of textile production, especially natural dying.

For Burgess, her vocation in building fibersheds (first in California, and now as an advocate for fibersheds nationally and around the world) was inspired by her commitment to source all of her fibers locally for a year. Along the way, in a story you'll hear recounted in these pages, Burgess became swept up by the nascent local fiber community, and decided to get her hands dirty in helping build the infrastructure (physical and cultural) necessary to bring about a revolution in what we wear.

I've had a personal fascination with local fiber myself for many years. The sheepskin of a friend's farm graces my desk chair. I've been purchasing shirts from Rambler's Way since their founding—a company mentioned by Burgess in this book. I have denim handcrafted in Hartford, CT (not far from my home in Western Mass) by HarDenCo. And I repair my jeans with countless patches before eventually retiring them.

This book has come out at the perfect time—highlighting the farmers, craftspeople, and artists, bringing about a new way of clothing ourselves. ( )
  willszal | Jun 16, 2020 |
Nice photographs, and an immensely interesting topic - doing the "locavore" thing for textiles. But the text! I admit I skimmed a lot. I just could not focus. I was consistently amazed at how the authors could make such a fascinating topic such a dull slog of a read. Growing flax for linen, naturally colored cotton, natural dyestuffs, alpaca cooperatives - every time I turned to a new chapter about something I thought "now THIS is finally going to get interesting," nope. Another page of text I could not get through.

Too bad, because it is a fun topic. As someone who raises fiber animals and makes yarn and loves weaving, I could be and should be the first to be all gung-ho about local textile production. But there seem to be lots of reasons it's different from food, in terms of the future of truly localized sourcing and production. Reasons they didn't really get into in this book. Or maybe they did. Honestly, I can't be sure. ( )
  Tytania | Mar 29, 2020 |
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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"--

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