I feel like 2016 is going to be THE year where local fibres, sustainable textiles and all things ethical and fashion related really start to gain traction. Maybe it’s because Peace Flag House’s Twitter feed is full of people doing awesome things like figuring out how to compost textiles and create compost dyes (hey @Egosumterra!) or amazing organizations like EcoAge popping up on Peace Flag House’s Instagram account. Regardless, there seems to be a lot of sustainable fibre - textile - fashion discussion circulating in the ether.
But not everything is happening in far off locations. I’m very excited to share a home grown event: The Sustainable Fashion Series. This series, which expands on the growing interest in local and sustainable fashion, is co-hosted by the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners Guild and the Neilson Park Creative Centre. Three events over the course of 3 Friday evenings take us through the social and environmental issues of the current fashion industry, introduce us to a leader in re-thinking textile and garment production as a social and environmental positive endeavour, and finally engages us in rethinking our own wardrobes with a hands-on workshop.
Fabulous, eh? I know. I’m excited too.
#1. A screening of The True Cost, by Andrew Morgan.
I had the opportunity to hear Andrew Morgan speak at WEAR2015 this past fall and I feel in love with the film all over again. The stories he shared about getting to know some of the garment workers, including a woman featured in the film, and watching them struggle to maintain their families was heart-wrenching. I know, I know…you’re thinking that The True Cost is on Netflix right now. This is true. But, this screening is free and co-sponsored by the local brewery, Black Oak Brewery. Not only to you get to watch a fabulous movie, but you get to share it with other fibre nuts and there’s beer.
#2: An Evening with Rebecca Burgess, Founder of the Fibershed Movement.
After watching a film about all the problems with our fashion industry, we need to focus on what us creative humyns are doing to make positive change. There is no better example than Rebecca Burgess. This wonderful humyn is the brains behind the Fibreshed movement. And she is the inspiring force behind this blog: I watched her describe choosing to wear only local for a year and I feel in love with the concept. (Warning: if you watch this video, you will fall in love too.) Rebecca will be talking about her work in creating the fibershed movement and building relationships with fibre producers to promote the creation of local yarns. This talk will be geared to those of us who love local fibre, fleece and yarn, with a dash of natural dyeing! (I still get some little heart flutters when I read this. Rebecca Burgess is coming! OMG! I’m so excited! Breathe.)
#3: A Creative Mending Workshop with Alisa McRonald of FibrePerson
Because sitting around and listening isn’t what fibre folks do. We make stuff. We create community. We dream up answers. And this is where the Sustainable Fashion Series culminates: an opportunity to put our thoughts into action. The Creative Mending Workshop pulls together all the issues that have been explored in the previous two events by teaching us how to repair, rejuvenate and remake items already on hand. Why throw out that sweater with moth holes? Fix it! Why shelve all your samples and swatches? Make them into a new project! Alisa, a very creative fibre artist, will be teaching us tips and tricks for creative mending. And, because this is a going to be a really good natter, there will be local beer.
Clearly, 2016 is going to be good.
Location: Neilson Park Creative Centre | 56 Neilson Park Drive, Etobicoke, ON
Time: Doors open @ 6pm
Cost: #1 The True Cost - Free | #2 An Evening with Rebecca Burgess - PWYC | #3 Creative Mending - $45
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