A small group has been meeting at HandMade in America and talking about how we could create better connections, identify and fill gaps in the market, and grow the fiber economy in our region. Last Tuesday morning, I read an email from Chris at Joybilee Farm in southern British Columbia that rocked my world! It talked about the concept of a Fibershed – like a watershed, only relating to locally designed, sewn, grown and milled clothing.
Chris’s blogpost is inspirational, and references another one created by a like-minded group in California last fall. Both paint a compelling case for the environmental value of drawing a 150 mile radius around Asheville and working to develop more connections here. Starr Cash created this map so we all could see who would be included in a 50, 100 and 150-mile radius.
Fiber artist Rebecca Burgess has challenged herself to wear locally sourced clothes – from her fibershed – for a year. Her goal is “to both show and model that beauty and fashion can function hand-in-hand with sustainability, local economies, and regional agriculture.”
We have such rich fiber resources and traditions in the Western North Carolina region – could be create our own fibershed project to discover how to make the most of what we have here?