The who, what, where & when of my challenge and how it is grounded in my mission.
Locally Dressed educates readers about the environmental and economic regional benefits of investing in locally created clothing and fiber industries.
Slow fashion, like the Locavore or Buy Local movement, can bring us back to our roots -
the place where we live - and in a broader context the planet Earth.
I started in climate work several years ago when I moved up to New Hampshire and settled outside of Keene, NH. I joined a local nonprofit with a mission to bring clean energy solutions to the Monadnock Region. My work focused on electric vehicles, clean energy for homes and businesses, and promoting energy savings through weatherization. I was involved in grassroots climate work.
After reading Rebecca Burgess's book Fibershed, my eyes opened to an area of climate work I had not really given much thought to, the clothes on my back. I had changed practices in my life around food and composting and began using glass to store most of my food in the fridge and freezer to reduce plastic use (made from fossil fuels). But, I had not given much consideration to the Fashion Industry and my own clothing. In fact, I was a lover of fashion. I wanted to have a classic casual look and as a sportsperson, I loved technical wear.
After completing her book, I was left with some big questions about my lifestyle and my clothing. I wondered how I could change my wardrobe. I knew that simply getting rid of all my clothes and purchasing sustainable fashion would not be helpful. According to the EPA, the average American throws away 82 pounds of clothing or other textiles annually. Only 15% (or 12 pounds) are recycled, the rest is buried, burned or sent to a foreign country.
If a typical outfit weighs 1.5 - 2.0 lbs. Americans on average throw away the equivalent of 41 outfits a year.
Rebecca Burgess in her book suggests purchasing one local garment a year as a good goal. This made sense as local clothing would likely be more expensive. But, I have never been someone who checks the water temperature with her toes. I am a dive right in person. So, I thought, I will recreate her journey from her book. I will live one year in local fiber. When the idea first came to me I thought to myself - that is too crazy. But, as time went on I couldn't let that idea go. As a friend says - it was an idea demon!
With no background or connections in the fiber community, working on this idea seemed like a big challenge. I love challenges and so I am setting out to try to connect with anyone and everyone from the regional fiber community. If you are a farmer, processor or maker I want to come out to your place and learn about your craft and hopefully get you to help me procure raw wool, yarn, or clothing.
I am modeling my journey through the local fiber industry from the Fibershed book. This means that I want to reach out to communities within 150 miles from my home shown below.
I am starting to collect my new local wardrobe NOW! It won't happen overnight so I can't say exactly when I will start my one year of wearing only local clothing but by Spring, 2022 I will hope to have collected a sufficient wardrobe to start.
This doesn't mean I won't be blogging until then. I will blog about all the makers I talk to and people involved in industries affected by today's fashion industry. I am educating myself and sharing this knowledge with you.
Journey with me as I learn about local fiber processes and how to become locally dressed.