I came across a new word today. Fibershed.
It’s been around for a while, and I am a bit upset I hadn’t heard it before. Not only is it a great term, but its just so much fun just to say!
A fibershed is like a watershed, except it refers to the area around where you live from which natural fiber clothes can be made….. from growing the fiber, to design, to distribution.
- 100 million metric tons of petroleum-based polyester “fibre” is used to make clothes. Polyester takes over 10 times the energy to produce than natural flax fiber and over twice that of wool. Petroleum-based clothing exposes wearers to umpteen types of exciting chemicals….
Most folks fibersheding are fiercely cool eco-warriors like Rebecca Burgess. She is the Northern Californian-based coiner of the term fibershed , and her Fibershed center does all sorts of innovation and advocacy work. Rebecca went so far as to live in fibershed clothes for a year. But baggy and scratchy didn’t turn out to be her thing. And, I would ask, who wants to look like a 13th century monk anyhow?
Fortunately, Slow Fashioned fashionista companies are growing quickly, and natural fibers is their thing. Few big companies offer much in the way of fibershed clothes, but organic and fair trade clothes are widely available.
If you are an investor and want to make a clothing statement, check out the equally outstanding clothing advocacy work at As You Sow, a shareholder advocacy campaigning organization. Make sure any clothing related company in your portfolio has at least signed the Cotton Pledge Against Forced Labor in the Uzbek Cotton Sector. Write them if they don’t.
Have a sustainable day.