The Southern Appalachia Fibershed consists of a 250~ mile radius outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. It includes parts of North Alabama, Georgia, Western North Carolina, and Kentucky. Our fundamental goal is to build community and connect the supply chain from farmer to consumer.
Through this collaborative network we look forward to strengthening the local economy and raise awareness about our region’s variety of local textile resources.
As an affiliate of Fibershed, our goal is to play a supportive role in the re-development of sustainable and transparent textile manufacturing in the United States.
How did the Fibershed project start?
The project began in 2010 with a commitment by its founder, Rebecca Burgess, 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 headquarters. Burgess had no expected outcomes from the personal challenge other than to reduce her own ecological footprint and maybe inspire a few others.
Burgess teamed up with a talented group of farmers and artisans to build the wardrobe by hand, as manufacturing equipment had all been lost from the landscape more than 20 years ago. The goal was to illuminate that regionally grown fibers, natural dyes, and local talent was still in great enough existence to provide this most basic human necessity—our clothes. Within months, the project became a movement, and the word Fibershed and the working concept behind it spread to regions across the globe. Burgess founded Fibershed’s 501c3 to address and educate the public on the environmental, economic and social benefits of de-centralizing the textile supply chain.