The Fibers Fund
"A catalytic fund to support small U.S. natural fiber and textile producers and processors, with a specific focus on environmental equity."
The Fibers Fund supports building an equitable and regenerative domestic fiber and textile industry, both to combat the negative environmental and social impacts of the mainstream global textile industry and to support small businesses working on better alternatives.
The Fibers Fund recognizes that flexible sources of capital are necessary to supply businesses in the fibers sector with financial capital that meets specific needs at the right time, advance the adoption of climate beneficial agricultural processes that are rooted in cultural knowledge and heritage, and increase sector access to fair and just financing tools. Rebuilding U.S. natural fiber ecosystems is our opportunity to invest in change.
The first set of five grants of the fibers fund was awarded for business technical assistance and capacity building. Exciting to begin executing the vision of this fund, which is to support U.S.-based, small to mid-scale regenerative and sustainable natural fiber and dye businesses. This first set of grantees represents an array of entrepreneurs and businesses who are part of expanding soil-based natural fiber ecosystems—across supply networks and domestic bioregions.
Two grants were awarded to businesses profiled in the SAFSF Fibers Roadmap Case Studies: Seattle-based Botanical Colors and Oregon-based Fibrevolution. Botanical Colors offers natural dyes sourced from regional organic and regenerative farmers. They also provide natural dye education to textile and fiber artisans. Fibrevolution has a vision for the revival and establishment of regional fiber manufacturing hubs for bast fiber located in strategic growing regions around the U.S. These grants will help Botanical Colors and Fibrevolution unlock other sources of capital. Learn more on our Portfolio page.
Black Fiber Cohort
We are thrilled to introduce the inaugural Black Fiber Cohort. Envisioned and facilitated by Fibers Fund Co-Managing Director Teju Adisa-Farrar, the Cohort will provide tailored support to early-stage and emerging Black fiber entrepreneurs as their businesses grow. Environmental and cultural equity requires meeting Black entrepreneurs where they are at by recognizing historical and current disenfranchisement, and responding with nuanced support. Having a dedicated cohort prioritizes access and attention for each of the businesses’ particular needs. This inaugural group of amazing entrepreneurs and brands represents the possibilities for creating sustainable and equitable fiber ecosystems:
Kept Studio: Brooklyn, NY. Kept Studio by artist Kesiena Onosigho is a textile studio, natural dye processor, botanical pigment + ink producer, and knit development processor. This grant will provide technical assistance for business structure and set-up, along with planning support to obtain a permanent studio with garden space.
ROOLE: Durham, NC. ROOLĒ by Gordon Holliday is an upcycle and bio-fashion brand focused on reworking natural fibers. This grant will support the development of a local regenerative supply network for ROOLĒ—including partnering with a local Black organic cotton farmer—to produce a bespoke collection for NYFW 2024.
MAHDIYYAH: New Jersey. MAHDIYYAH by Mahdiyyah Muhammad is a circular fashion brand with a focus on upcycled apparel exclusively using natural fibers. This grant will facilitate sourcing of soil-based textiles and natural dyes from small regenerative farmers for the purpose of creating a research-based collection, and doing free community workshops.
diẹ̀diẹ̀ textile farm & studio: Piedmont, North Carolina. Adé Oni is the dynamic creative behind diẹ̀diẹ̀ textile farm + production studio, which is a locally-scaled textile farm and raw textile material production space. We provide low-carbon, raw, processed, and value-added cellulose-fiber and natural dye materials and educational experiences to the Piedmont NC bioregion and beyond. dièdiè is being designed and developed as a hybrid worker/producer cooperative business that centers regenerative land care, African and Indigenous material culture and craftways, ecological presence, creative expression, and healing justice.
Fibrevolution is thrilled to scale up production with the arrival of our specialized harvesting equipment. A big step forward for linen production in our region!!
A fabulous night with Bonnie Wright of Go Gently and Pattie Gonia at the Go Gently Gathering hosted by Arborbrook Winery. Go Gently is producing an upcoming television series exploring the West Coast of America while meeting a beautiful spectrum of people all working to protect and celebrate the magic of our planet. This amazing wreath was our centerpiece, constructed by the Bundle Collective from Fibrevolution's stash of fiber flax crops. The gathering included a great panel of climate activists from urban farmers to mycologists, a vat of bubbling indigo dye from Vibrant Valley Farm, spoon carving, honey, sea otter conservation, and the constant flow of biodynamic/organic wine from our hosts. Night to remember! Thank you for inviting the Fibrevolution team! We can't wait to watch the upcoming tv series.
*This flax wreath is now on display in the Arborbrook Winery
Announcing the North American Linen Association (NALA)!!
We're so excited to announce that the North American Linen Association (NALA) is officially open for Membership!
JOIN HERE: northamericanlinen.org/
Connecting over the shared challenges of building a fiber flax to linen supply chain in North America, a group of agricultural growers, brands, businesses, researchers, and representatives from community projects in emerging regions came together and identified the need for an industry association to align efforts at building the domestic flax to linen supply chain.
In September 2022, the North American Linen Association (NALA) was formed as a 501(c)(6) organization with headquarters in McMinnville, Oregon, to serve members throughout North America.
NALA brings together interest groups from all stages of the supply chain to share in infrastructure development, networking, best practices, and marketing campaigns to promote fiber flax agriculture, bast fiber processing infrastructure, textile manufacturing, and co-products in North America. NALA also serves to connect regional fiber flax industry clusters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, the Pacific Northwest, Nova Scotia, Victoria, Manitoba, and beyond.
Please join us in rebuilding the linen supply chain in North America and become a Member of NALA today!
JOIN HERE: northamericanlinen.org/
International Roundtable, Journeys in Design
"Welcome to the recording of our Online International Roundtable event THINK GLOBAL GROW LOCAL drawing together a community of flax enthusiasts."
Part 1 Grow Flax Now - from home patch to farm to bioregional network
Part 2 Cultivating Community - transnational culture, education and tourism
You can scrub through the video using the bookmarked clips.
Each presentation is also offered individually within our Creative Encounters playlist.
0:00:00 John Ennis, Journeys in Design, Scotland
0:04:20 Sirpa Morsky, Seed to Shelf, Finland, with Jane McCann, N.Ireland
0:20:40 Helen Keys, Flax Farm, N.Ireland, with Arwen Roberts, Wales
0:34:20 Shannon Welsh & Angela Wartes-Kahl, Fibrevolution, USA with Rosie B, Scotland
0:51:40 Roundtable Q&A incl Simon Cooper, Flaxland, SW England
0:57:20 Christiane Seufferlein, Berta's Flax, Austria
1:12:50 Paul Henry, Spinning Class, England
1:21:30 with Peter Szikriszt, IkvmLIN, Sweden
1:25:10 Sylvie De Costa with Greet Verstraat, TEXTURE Museum, Kortrijk
1:45:20 John Ennis, Flax Futures, Scotland
An exciting step forward for the Fibrevolution team! We are scaling up our fiber flax trials and will be utilizing a mechanical flax puller to harvest this crop. Fall planting allows us to grow fiber flax in our region without the need for irrigation. This field will be harvested in June 2022. We have partnered with the Yamhill County Historical Society to restore a flax puller that they have in their collection, for use on our fiber flax trials. We have dug hard to find one of these machines in the USA, and this is the only flax puller we have found still in existence in America. Thankful for the support from our community as we all believe in the viability of linen production in Oregon, and together envision it's revival in our region. Stay tuned for more...
Exciting News!! This is Fibrevolution's new home for research and development. The property will be certified Organic, with the ultimate goal of Regenerative Organic production. Our continued fiber flax seed breeding and fiber quality trials will move to this location, as well as trials of other rotational crops. Thanks to Angela and her husband Garth, we will be utilizing rotational grazing practices on the land. Follow us on our journey to revitalize flax to linen production in Oregon.
Listen to PODCAST here: podcast.ausha.co/roots-routes-of-linen/fibrevolution
"Welcome to ROOTS & ROUTES of LINEN, the podcast which pass the mic to actors and lovers of the linen industry in Europe. Today I welcome a special guest, Shannon WELSH, co-founder of Fibrevolution. Fibrevolution’s mission is to bring flax and linen production back to the state of Oregon (and really the United States!).
For 4 years Fibrevolution’s team has been immersed in all things flax and linen - and you know what? Flax grows beautifully in Oregon! From the time of the early settlers until the 1960’s fiber flax was a dominant crop in Oregon. During this period Oregon developed the only flax industry in the United States.
Shannon Welsh and Angela Wartes-Kahl, co-founders of Fibrevolution, vision is to build an economy that values people, work, plants and the land at every step of the process. They have teamed up with farmers, textile professionals, manufacturers, seed breeders and university researchers in their community, who are as much as inspired as Shannon and Angela to participate in the revitalization of flax and linen in the Pacific Northwest.
Enjoy the episode!"
Fibrevolution is thrilled to be one of the 12 businesses chosen for a Case Study for this project!
"Funders, impact investors, and integrated capital practitioners currently have the opportunity to catalyze momentum and reform in the U.S. fiber and textile industry. A coordinated, strategic roadmap is critical to make the best use of integrated philanthropic and investment support.
This research project drew on more than 60 interviews with fiber farmers and ranchers; processing businesses along the supply chain (mills, tanneries, etc.); brands and other supply chain experts; and funders and investors.
Findings from these interviews have been synthesized and distilled into a seven-year financial Roadmap identifying five key Gaps and Levers where integrated philanthropic and investment capital would have the greatest impact in rebuilding the “missing middle” of the supply chain. " -SAFSF team
Read more about the 'Fibers Roadmap' and 'Case Study' businesses here:
A magical exploration of Oregon's historic linen industry.
"In the broad Willamette Valley,
There's a village quaint and small
With its blue-eyed flax of summer
And its golden flax of fall;
Where the toilers in the flax plant
And the toilers in the field
Pause to celebrate each autumn
All the flax their labor yields."
Oregon Flax Song By Barbara Pauli
Read Flax and Linen: An Uncertain Oregon Industry by featured historian Steve M. Wyatt here: https://ohs.org/research-and-library/oregon-historical-quarterly/upload/Wyatt_Flax-and-Linen_OHQ_95_3_Summer-1994.pdf
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