anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘sustainable fashion

Rebecca Burgess

leave a comment »

“You have to look back to know how to move forward.”

-Rebecca Burgess

Back in 2010, Rebecca Burgess set out with an ambitious goal: to see if she could create a wardrobe that was grown, processed and made within 150 miles of her home in northern California. Along with a team of other women, she crowdfunded the project. But what grew out of this endeavor was in fact much more than a wardrobe; Burgess launched a movement.

The project evolved into what is now Fibershed, an organization devoted to developing regional and regenerative fiber systems. Based in California, Fibershed has affiliate groups around the world, all working on reviving and growing local fiber systems, communities and economies.

Burgess is also a climate activist, and an advocate of carbon farming, a holistic method of farming that sequesters carbon. Fibershed has an entire program devoted to climate beneficial wool which not only supporters producers who are sustainably managing their land and animals, but also works with brands and designers to turn that fiber into products and bring them to market. Last year Fibershed teamed up with The North Face to launch the Cali Beanie, made with climate beneficial wool sourced in California, and the organization also hosted a climate beneficial fashion gala.

The organization also has a program focused on the development of a regional indigo industry, and another one on hemp. Their work has help to kickstart a new generation of U.S. fiber and textile systems, helping people to start to think about what they wear like they think about what they eat. After all, without agriculture, we don’t have food or fiber, and investing in sustainable agriculture systems is the only way that we can move forward.

Her tireless work makes her a force for change, but I think what makes Burgess such a symbol of wisdom is that she is approaching that change in a slow and intentional way. When we connected over phone, she had just returned from a trip to Europe, investigating local textile and agricultural systems in places like Norway and Sweden. In our conversation we talked about everything from an appreciation of landscape, to slowing down, to how to manage our anxiety in an increasingly complex world.

Grab a mug of tea and settle in.

Anna Brones: What does wisdom mean to you?

Rebecca Burgess: Very general, broad brushstrokes that you’re pulling from a collective, more timeless source of information and synthesizing that in some way that works for the context of now. I think wisdom is tethered to time. It doesn’t mean you have to be old to have it, it just means you have to look back to know how to move forward.

Wisdom to me is about knowing how things have come to be and understanding the cycles. Everything comes back around, it just might sound, feel, taste, look a little different. But all these human things that we’ve been dealing with – our own anger, frustration and aggression, joy, bliss, happiness – all these human emotions have been guiding civilization, for better or worse, for as long as we’ve been here on planet earth. I think wisdom is about understanding the drivers for how civilizations have come and gone and understanding how to work collaboratively with our planet and each other. And I think that to do that, you need this thing called wisdom, which is tethered to time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Written by Anna Brones

September 6, 2018 at 08:34

Do You Think About Your Clothes Like You Think About Your Food?

leave a comment »

It has been five years since the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed. I made this papercut a couple of years ago, but the sentiment continues to hold true. Today is Fashion Revolution Day, the perfect time to challenge ourselves to ask brands #whomademyclothes.

It’s also a good time to reconsider our own fashion and consumption habits. Did you know that in the United States alone, we consume 4 times as much apparel as we did just two decades ago? Our habit of overconsumption is resulting in millions of tons of textile waste, inhumane working conditions for garment workers around the globe, and severe environmental consequences.

What can you do?

Start by checking out Fashion Revolution for more resources and join the movement calling for a fairer, safer, cleaner fashion industry.

Take time to consider your own fashion choices. Do you buy new clothes because you need them or because you want them? What’s in your closet: clothes you love or clothes you have bought on impulse? Is there something in your closet that could be mended and brought back to life? Can you reach out to brands and ask them where they are sourcing from? Can you buy secondhand to avoid buying something new? If you are shopping, are you looking for transparent brands with ethical sourcing and production?

Think about treating fashion the same way you treat your food. We all have a role to play in how we clothe and feed ourselves.

Interested in more topics related to food and fashion? Check out the Food and Fibers Project

 

Written by Anna Brones

April 24, 2018 at 12:03

This Week’s Stories: Paris Coffee + Natural Dyeing

with one comment

IMG_6043

Another week, another list of stories, including one I worked on last fall before I moved from Paris, and which finally made it out into the real world. In a print magazine!

Paris Coffee Revolution – My story on the specialty coffee scene in Paris is the feature in this month’s Fresh Cup magazine. But you can read it online too.

Are Self-Cleaning Fabrics in Our Future? New Research Says Yes – Did I say self-cleaning fabrics? Oh yes, I did. You might not have a self-cleaning t-shirt tomorrow, but research is leading us in the right direction.

Planting a Dye Garden to Make Your Own Natural Dyes – Kristine Vejar, author of Modern Natural Dyer and owner of A Verb for Keeping Warm, helped me put together a post on natural dyeing and five great plants to put in your garden that you can dye with.

Rice Pasta, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Hazelnut Parmesan – Another adventure-friendly recipe over on Adventure Journal. Super easy and perfect for warmer weather outdoor cooking.

Images: Kristine Vejar

Written by Anna Brones

April 22, 2016 at 14:19