RE­BECCA BURGESS

Fashion (Canada) - - The Draw Sustainability Reboot - —P.B.

Just like many great ideas, Re­becca Burgess’s even­tual brain­child was right there in front of her. “Dur­ing col­lege in Cal­i­for­nia, I stud­ied agri­cul­tural sys­tems and also learned to weave, yet I never learned about lo­cal farms that were pro­duc­ing nat­u­ral fi­bres and yarns; the tex­tile com­mu­nity was hid­den in plain sight,” says Burgess, founder and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Fiber­shed. “While trav­el­ling in In­done­sia, I saw vil­lage-scale tex­tile pro­duc­tion and re­al­ized that my com­mu­nity could learn from this. Fiber­shed be­gan as a way to re­con­nect our ma­te­rial cul­ture and con­sump­tion pat­terns to the land­scape and the liveli­hoods that sup­port it.” The com­pany, founded in 2010, de­vel­ops and con­nects farm­ers and ranch­ers to de­sign­ers and ar­ti­sans and, ul­ti­mately, to con­sumers. “It’s not just about re­duc­ing the miles trav­elled by a gar­ment,” says Burgess. “It’s about valu­ing the work of your com­mu­nity, from the peo­ple who man­age the work­ing land­scapes rais­ing food and fi­bre to the liveli­hoods sup­ported by fi­bre pro­cess­ing and tex­tile cre­ation.”

“Dur­ing col­lege in Cal­i­for­nia, I stud­ied agri­cul­tural sys­tems and also learned to weave, yet I never learned about lo­cal farms that were pro­duc­ing nat­u­ral fi­bres and yarns; the tex­tile com­mu­nity was hid­den in plain sight.”

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