Mass-produced clothing generates 37 tons of CO2 for every ton of fast fashion, making it the second dirtiest industry in the world. But there is a better way. A way to produce clothes locally with natural fibers grown in regenerative ways. A way that is at least carbon neutral, if not carbon beneficial. And that method of hyperlocal textile manufacturing is facilitated by fibersheds.
Becky Porlier is the cofounder of the Upper Canada Fibreshed, a nonprofit dedicated to building a regional fiber system centered around local fibers, local dyes and local labor. An affiliate of the international Fibershed network, Becky and her team seek to nourish bioregional textile communities of producers and consumers who value soil health, sustainable agriculture, and the health of the biosphere.
Today, Becky joins Ross, Christophe and guest host Lorraine Smith to explain the fundamentals of a fibershed, discussing how they serve as a climate solution. She shares her approach to engaging farmers and shepherds and describes how big brands might get involved in the fibershed movement. Becky also offers insight around the negative aspects of fast fashion in terms of poor working conditions and environmental destruction. Listen in to understand how consumer demand could affect change in the fashion industry and learn how you can be a part of the fibershed community!
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[2:03] How Montreal is a leader in the climate solutions space
[5:02] Becky’s path to reversing climate change
[6:40] The fundamentals of a fibershed
[7:48] How fibersheds serve as climate solutions
[11:17] Becky’s approach to engaging farmers and shepherds
[12:48] How to get big brands involved in the fibershed movement
[16:39] How regional systems would impact uniformity
[22:08] What makes fibersheds incredible carbon sinks
[26:41] The parallels between technology and textiles
[30:04] What fibersheds can learn from other industries
[31:29] The negative aspects of fast fashion
[35:52] The fastest way to facilitate change in the fashion industry
[37:26] How did natural fiber lose in the marketplace