Sustainable Fashion: Spotlight on Fibershed

The eco-friendly apparel company, Indigenous, held their second Speaker Series this past November 14th at their boutique in Petaluma.  The goal of the Speaker Series is to bring awareness to sustainable practices in the garment industry and meet the people behind the movement.  It probably comes to no surprise that I am front and center, hanging on their every word, during their events!

This series featured Rebecca Burgess, teacher, author, and founder of Fibershed.

My love affair with style and clothes started waaaay back.  For me, it was about self expression.  Today, getting dressed has taken on new meaning. Where, how, and who pop into my mind before I make a purchase.  Where was the cloth produced and sewn into a garment?  How is the land being tended to and how will this effect my carbon footprint?  Who is being compensated for working on my garment and is it fair?

Back in 2010, Rebecca Burgess, had questions similar to mine.  She took it a step, rather ten steps further, and set out on a mission.

Rebecca set out to develop and wear a prototype wardrobe whose dyes, fibers, and labor were sourced from a region no larger than 150 miles from the project’s West Marin headquarters.

Rebecca did not have any expected outcomes, just that she wanted to reduce her own ecological footprint…and possibly inspire a few others.

She did more than inspire a few others, her experiment shed light on the importance and viability of building regional textile communities.  She has pioneered the way to a more ‘soil-to-soil’ textile process.  In a mere eight years, the Fibershed model has been replicated thirty-three times in the United States and thirteen times internationally!

This is exciting for both the fiber and food systems that are currently being compromised – around the globe – by climate change.  She works tirelessly with scientists, the fashion industry, and ecologist to utilize what we know from science to make better, more sustainable, choices so we all can thrive!

What can we do?  There are a few things we can do, just in time for the holiday season or the end of year tax right offs (yes, I’m the wife of a CPA!).


  • Contribute to the mission of Fibershed (for as little as $8).
  • Support local artisans (Craft fairs in Marin).
  • Buy local produce at farmer’s markets.
  • Shop local for holiday gifts.
  • Handmade gifts are always amazing (this is a tradition my family started last year).