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What's a Fibershed anyway?

A Fibershed is akin to the "Buy Local" movement that promotes eating foods grown in your local community.

raw fleece wool
Raw Wool from a yearling sheep shearing

The #BuyLocal movement has been in the collective conscience of many Americans for over a decade or more. Fibershed is a newer term that is unknown by many but its roots are steeped in the Buy Local movement.

“Every time you spend money you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Vivienne Westwood

A #Fibershed is a region or 'shed' that supports farmers, millers, dyers, and designers growing, processing, and producing clothing locally in a holistic and sustainable way.

What are the benefits of a local Fibershed?

The benefits of a regional Fibershed are many and can reach from the fiber farmers to regional economic development. This may include helping farmers change their growing methods to use less water or capture carbon. It may also involve educating local dyers about growing plants for natural dyes. A Fibershed can also reach outward to the local community to educate around the effects of the fast fashion industry today and the layered benefits of purchasing locally grown and created clothing. Each Fibershed begins by focusing on one or two local benefits for the community and builds capacity as the organization matures.

How did Fibersheds get started?

It started as many missions start - a desire by Rebecca Burgess to learn about the fiber grown in her region of California. In fact, Rebecca Burgess started the first Fibershed in California after challenging herself to wear only regional grown and created clothing within 150 miles of her home. By the end of her journey, she learned so much about the processes required and barriers to be overcome that she founded the first Fibershed and wrote a book on it! I am modeling my LocallyDressed challenge on her journey. Since each 'shed' is unique my journey will be a new experience.

Where are Fibersheds regionally?

The national Fibershed webpage keeps track of affiliate Fibersheds across the country once they are fully established. You can see if your region has a Fibershed by checking out the national Fibershed Affiliate Directory.

Webpages for New England Fibersheds:

So far, there is no Fibershed established in New Hampshire. But I hope that we will see one soon to support our local fiber farmers, processors, and designers!


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