This idea could help apparel industry reduce its carbon footprint | GBRI

Not many people are aware that clothing industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world that consumes an enormous amount of natural and industrial resources. The environmental impact of the clothes that we wear is immense, partly because they are not produced locally. The U.S. sends up to 75 percent of its cotton abroad, only to ship it back as cheap T-shirts.

‘Fibershed’ in North California addresses this issue in an effective manner. Brainchild of textile artist and sustainability advocate Rebecca Burgess, the concept started in 2010 when Burgess challenged herself for one year to wear only clothes produced near her community.

Under this concept, about 104 farmers, ranchers, weavers, spinners and designers across 19 counties make up a garment-producing system where every producer uses materials sourced within a 150-mile radius. At heart, the system is about connecting and respecting the gifts and limits of the land. Burgess said the system sequesters as much carbon from the atmosphere as it emits, and the organically dyed garments are compostable.

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