Close

Grow Your Jeans…

Do you know who made your jeans or where they came from?

paigegreenFibershed09132015-132

Thanks to Fibershed’s “Grow Your Jeans” campaign, I do know who made my jeans and where they came from…

paigegreenFibershed07152015-098

The inspiring Sally Fox grew the organic cotton in the Capay Valley,

paigegreen-fibershed8211-016

The fearless Rebecca Burgess grew and composted the indigo at different farms around the Bay Area,

paigegreenFibershedLeslie08052015-120

The talented Leslie Terzian wove the yarn into fabric at her studio on the Shipyard at Hunters Point, San Francisco,

paigegreenFibershed0772015-225

And the lovable and meticulous Daniel DiSanto measured twice, designed and sewed a pair just for me at his studio in Alameda.

paigegreenFibershed09132015-322

While this is sadly not me… this is how happy I look when I put on my new sustainable/local/custom made jeans… now I just need some tops to go with them…

paigegreenFibershedGYJ10032015-0690e

Click the following links to learn more about Fibershed and the Grow Your Jeans event that was held in Bolinas on October 3rd, 2015.

 

 

Green Gala Goddesses…

The University of California Botanical Gardens at Berkeley had their Green Gala Fundraiser today. The highlight of the event was definitely the fashion show of sustainable and local designs held in their stunning Redwood Grove Amphitheater. The eco-chic designers used inspiration directly from the Garden’s uniquely biodiverse plant collection to create two original designs that feature natural fibers and plant-based dyes.

The UC Botanical Gardens are a wonderful Bay Area resource, so I was happy to come and support their event. But really who doesn’t love running around in the redwoods photographing beautiful women in amazing clothes? To see more photos of the event click here.

My only regret is that I didn’t have more time to play. Because as it turns out, I think I am secretly falling in love with fashion photography… well, maybe not all fashion photography, but at least local sustainable fashion photography.

So if you are a local designer and you want your fashion photographed… I am inspired and ready to play.

Local Wisdom…

Local Wisdom is a research project by Dr Kate Fletcher that aims to gather examples of clothes that are used in ways that save resources and give us satisfaction.

The Local Wisdom process involves documenting the stories of clothes, through image and word. Photo shoots are advertised in local press, community notice boards and within established local networks.

 

Volunteers are asked to bring along something that fits into one of the following categories:

  • Garments that are shared between people
  • Garments that are regularly worn and have never been washed (and aren’t leather!)
  • Garments that show or tell the story of how they have been used
  • Garments that are made up of interchangeable pieces that can be worn in different ways
  • Garments that are worn the same in different situations
  • Garments or elements of garments that make for easy repair
  • Garments enjoying a third, fourth or fifth life
  • Garments that catch your attention each time you wear them
  • Garments worn in ways that reinforce or defy the producer’s values
  • Garments that connect us to others and/or remind us of our potential
  • Garments worn in response to changing economic and environmental concerns
  • Garments that are adapted over and again to meet changing needs
  • Garments that are perfect for you

To learn more and to see more images from the day, please visit the Local Wisdom website.

Thank you to Rebecca for introducing me to Lynda. Thank you to Lynda for introducing me to Kate. Thank you to Kate for giving me the opportunity to document your project. Thank you to all the volunteers who became fabulous models, whether they wanted to or not. And thank you to Bridget for staying by my side all day and for helping make the photos even better.

The Artist Meets the Farmer…

This is Zara Franks, creator of Venn Apparel, in her impromptu outdoor studio in Berkeley, California.

Zara is one of the talented fiber artists contributing to Rebecca’s fibershed wardrobe.

And these are two pieces Zara created for Rebecca, with wool that Rebecca acquired from Kenny, a farmer in Mill Valley, who raises his sheep just 21.7 miles away from Zara’s home.

Zara was kind enough to meet with us and show us how she creates her magic…

She makes it look easy, but I am not fooled. It takes more than a machine to make the lovely pieces that Zara creates.

After our visit with Zara, we scooped her up and took her to meet Kenny and his sheep at The Woolly Egg Ranch.

Kenny’s family has been farming this property for multiple generations and Kenny is doing his best to keep that tradition going, even though the land around him isn’t so rural anymore.

Kenny raises his sheep for meat, not wool. Meat sheep typically do not have the quality of wool that knitters want to use. So until Kenny met Rebecca, he threw away the wool after the sheep were sheared because he didn’t know what else to do with it.

Rebecca was not scared off by the meat sheep’s wool, so she made a deal with Kenny to pay for the cost of the shearing in exchange for the wool.

Next Rebecca had the wool spun with a softer wool at Jane’s Mill, and she is giving the wool blend to fiber artists, like Zara, to create clothing for her fibershed challenge.

And now Kenny, excited about the new potential market for his sheep, is looking into breeding his meat sheep with wool sheep, so ultimately he will have two products to sell.

The fiber artists, who Rebecca is working with, were very excited to meet the sheep responsible for the wool they are using.

And they were excited to meet Kenny, the biodiesel making, chicken farming, sheep herding, stage building man of many hats.

As an extra bonus to Rebecca’s fibershed challenge, to keep her wardrobe entirely locally grown and produced for one year, Kenny makes his own biodiesel fuel out of leftover grease from a local Chinese restaurant.

So the lifecycle of these these two pieces of clothing goes… from sheep on a biodiesel fueled farm in Mill Valley, to a mill in Yolo County, to Rebecca in Fairfax (where part of the wool is dyed with indigo that was grown in Fairfax), to Zara in Berkeley.

By my googlemap calculations, that equals about 198 miles from start to finish. It is hard to get clothes with a smaller carbon footprint than that.

And it is especially hard to find sustainable clothes that are as stylishly fantastic as these.

For more information on Fibershed hats.. email Zara, at orders@vennapparel.com

Organic Colored Cotton right here in Northern California…

This is the amazing Sally Fox. The woman who will not be stopped on her mission to grow organic colored cotton.

This is Sally Fox’s organic cotton growing in a field that she is letting go fallow in order to let the soil rest.

This is Sally Fox’s adorable daughter, who is the only nine-year-old in the valley.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This is what an organic cotton field sounds like.

This is Rebecca Burgess wearing an outfit that was made solely from Sally Fox’s brown organic cotton.

Rebecca made her shirt and Rebecca’s mom made her pants. This means that Rebecca’s entire outfit was grown, spun, and sewn within 150 miles of her home in Fairfax, California.

And this is what Fibershed means. It means wearing locally grown, spun, designed and produced clothes that look and feel beautiful. It means wearing clothes that reflect the region you live in. And it means wearing clothes that do not harm the environment or the people who make them.

To help support Rebecca’s challenge to only wear clothes grown within her Fibershed for one year, please take a moment to vote for us on the Grant for Change website: http://www.nau.com/collective/grant-for-change/rebecca-burgess-1355.html

The winner gets $10,000! We need funding for this project so we can help pay farmers like Sally Fox and so we can document Rebecca’s journey in sustainable fashion. Thanks for your vote. Any little bit helps.

To learn more please visit the Fibershed website.

%d bloggers like this: