What is a Fibreshed?
“A Fibershed is a geographical landscape that defines and gives boundaries to a natural textile resource base. Awareness of this bioregional designation engenders appreciation, connectivity, and sensitivity for the life-giving resources within our homelands.” – fibershed.com
So, much like a watershed, a Fibreshed is a designated area within which efforts are made to harness and use natural resources – in this case fibres, dyes and labour – in a responsible way that minimises waste and creates opportunities not just for sustaining these resources, but for improving them over time in positive feedback cycles.
In other words, the Fibreshed ethos goes beyond sustainability, to something that is truly regenerative and it does this by considering the whole system in which fibres, textiles and garments are not only produced, but also how they worn and how they are disposed of.
Fibreshed is grounded in the concept of soil-to-soil systems. A garment that is constructed using entirely natural fibres, without chemical or artificial inputs, is one that is entirely biodegradable and compostable, and can therefore feed back in to a regenerative fibre system by feeding and building the soil from which the fibres were first grown.
Illustration by Laura Griffin 2019
Fibreshed Clothing Guide
Fibershed California has developed a Clothing Guide, freely available for download here, to provide practical guidance on how you can implement the Fibreshed ethos in everyday choices you make about your clothes and how you wear them. It’s essence can be distilled into four clear points:
- Wear natural fibres
- Avoid plastic fibres
- Choose quality over quantity
- Keep clothing in use