Ayesha Barenblat, founder of Remake, shared 2 videos to provide context for her presentation and work. You can watch these videos here.
SAFSF FUNDER WEBINAR Farm to Fiber:
Building a Just & Sustainable Textile Industry
Photo Credit: Remake & SEMAP
Tuesday, March 14th
10am PT / 12pm CT / 1pm ET
Sustainable agriculture does not stop at food production. Fiber production, both animal- and plant-based, is a significant but overlooked part of the U.S. agricultural system, and this production in turn ties in to a global textile sector with major environmental and human health impacts. U.S. foundations currently have a key moment of opportunity to invest in the sustainable fiber and textile sector in ways that will mobilize consumer awareness and accelerate improvements in many stages of the textile production chain. Consumer awareness is beginning to grow, and post-election emphasis on U.S. manufacturing and jobs may provide additional opportunities. Positive changes in the textile sector would in many cases tie into and further strengthen the sustainable agriculture movement in the U.S. and abroad. Sustainability in textiles also involves both toxics reduction and labor issues, presenting opportunities for foundations already involved in environmental health and justice work.
Speakers will provide a broad overview of the global and U.S. fiber and textile industry, highlighting both the environmental and social impacts of production, processing, and textile waste and new approaches to closed-loop innovations. Learn about inspiring efforts to bring a more story-based approach to communications around this topic, an effort that brings the voices of textile workers in to the conversation from the start. Speakers will talk about about one local effort that is working to rebuild local fiber system and the results of a just-completed roundtable that brought together fiber farmers, textile mill owners, designers, economic development organizations, and more to explore opportunities and challenges—a case study that offers ideas and lessons for funders interested in supporting or scaling such approaches many regions. Drawing on a forthcoming white paper SAFSF will soon release that highlights opportunities for U.S. foundations in this emerging sector, we’ll conclude with an overview of avenues for engagement through both grantmaking and emerging investment opportunities.
Sarah Kelley, senior program officer, Island Foundation