Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What is your fibreshed?

In general, it feels there is a growing awarness of the importance of supporting local farmers and sustainably grown foods.  100-Mile diet, locavore, slow food, bioregional eating, local food challenges, food buying clubs, CSA's (community supported agriculture), community gardens, school gardens, and farmstart and mentorship programs for young would-be farmers, are just some of the options and ideas that have become increasingly available in recent years.  And this is a good thing.  There is the great quote we see on bumper stickers around here: "farmers feed cities", a reminder not to forget the dependance we in our urban areas have on farmers (and farmland) around us.  I remember Michael Ableman, a keynote speaker at an the Canadian Organic Conference in Guelph a few years ago, getting a standing ovation when he noted that farmers should get the same respect (and earnings) as the most prestigious doctors and lawyers.  So, the local food movement has slowly brought a little more of this acknowledgement and support to the farmers.

The Fibreshed Project takes this one step further.  This project is a one year challenge to wear clothes sourced (and dyed) from fibres grown close to home (within 150 miles) - as a way of raising awareness about the incredibly unsustainable  clothing industry (the ecological and social impacts of the clothes we buy/wear); as well as aiming to support local farmers who produce fibres that are largely undervalued (e.g. thousands of pounds of wool discarded each year because of lack of market).  If the farming, milling, production, manufacturing of many of our clothes could be done closer to home, this would be a significant ecological and social contribution.  Read this beautiful blog, and be inspired to start building networks with your local fibre-producing farmers.

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