South West England Fibreshed

We are building a community of fibre and dye growers, processors, makers and manufacturers across the South West to start a conversation about how we can produce more home-grown textiles and garments in a more healthy, resilient and regenerative textile ecosystem.

As we connect with people and businesses who are behind the ethos, we map them on to our Producer Map. Then we can start to create spaces in which this conversation can place  and opportunities for members to meet, to connect and to learn and support each other in working towards implementing a Fibreshed system.

We believe the strength of Fibreshed lies as much in community as it does in fibre and textiles resources, so we’re excited to meet you all, hear your ideas and explore how we can help Fibreshed evolve in the South West.

SWE Fibreshed is an official member of the Fibershed Affiliate Network, a community of grassroots groups seeking to understand, support, and innovate a regional, regenerative fibre system in their home community.

Background

Our sister organisation, Bristol Textile Quarter became an affiliate of Fibershed in 2015.

Later that year we proved the Fibershed concept in the South West, by co-founding the Bristol Cloth with Babs Behan. Together we joined the dots between long-term collaborators and fibre farmers Fernhill Fleece & Fibre, natural dye studio Botanical Inks and the Bristol Weaving Mill to create a fully traceable, non-toxic, biodegradable cloth made almost entirely with fibre, dyes and labour sourced within a 15 mile radius – the flagship Fibreshed product.

While Babs has taken the Cloth from concept to market, we want to explore how the Fibershed model can be applied in the South West to facilitate the joining of more dots, the creation of more bioregional products, and the re-building of a healthy, resilient, local textile economy.

Who we are

Besides everyone on the Producer Map, we are also:

Emma Jane Hague
Founder/director of Bristol Textile Quarter and one of the co-founders behind the Bristol Cloth project. Also a co-founder of Awamaki, a Peruvian NGO that works with communities of indigenous Quechua women to develop local and vertically-integrated systems of artisanal textile and garment production, and previously a consultant working internationally across public and private sectors in voluntary sustainability standards and responsible supply chains related to natural resource commodities and materials. Emma also studies herbalism and has recently moved to a smallholding in Gloucestershire.

Laura Griffin
Laura  works as a freelance seamstress and pattern cutter in Bristol. Aspiring to create her own sustainable garment brand, Laura is representative of a new generation of designers who are driven by more ethical, connected ways of doing business and making their product and who are therefore keen to connect with local producers and makers to build their brands from the ground up.  Currently Laura takes on bespoke commissions for clients based in the South West.

We both work voluntarily on this project at the moment so please be patient with us!