British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast Fibreshed is a non-profit organization that generates awareness and shares the necessary skills to build and sustain a thriving bio-regional textile and fibre community that functions hand in hand with principles of ecological balance, local economies, and regional organic agriculture.
The beautiful Sunshine Coast Fibreshed represents a lush geographical area along the 150 mile stretch of coastline in British Columbia. It runs from Langdale to Lund (at the end of the longest highway in the world stretching as far as South America), and includes the Trail Islands (Gambier, Keats, Nelson, Savary), Texada, and Thormanby islands. The winding Highway 101 runs along the base of the Coastal Mountains on its East side. To the west lies The Salish Sea, with views of Vancouver Island 3o miles further west. It winds its way past small rural communities, rich stands of old growth and second growth forests, creeks, ravines, and pockets of agricultural land. The climate is moderate, reflective of a temperate eco system influenced by the Pacific Ocean. Rainfall is ample during the winter, spring, and fall, and summers dry with temperatures in the low 20’s (Celsius).
The Sunshine Coast Fibreshed seeks to build interactive relationships among skilled Fibre Artisans as well as Fibre Suppliers and is home to a number of small farms raising Sheep, llama, Alpaca, Angora Goats, and Angora Rabbits primarily for pets or meat. Fibre Artisans who have a place at The Fibreshed include Fibre Art Studios, Dye Gardens, The Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild, Mushroom Dyers, Designers, Sewers, Spinners, Knitters, Felters, and Wool Processors.
Our mission is to decrease our environmental footprint, by encouraging and supporting awareness within the community of the many uses of local animal and plant fibre, to change the way we think about how we clothe ourselves, and to connect local fibre farmers with local artisans. We seek to enhance ecological balance by using regional agriculture for our fibres, practicing sustainable wild crafting, and growing and gathering our own dye plants, thus strengthening our local economy and supporting local artisans. We have a website, blog, directory of artisans, producers and vendors, and promote Fibreshed activities through social media such as Facebook. We host events, organize classes and workshops, and attend many local community festivals and gatherings to promote the message and work of Fibreshed.
Our Fibreshed is an affiliate of the California Fibreshed and follows the same principles of using local fibre, local dye materials, and local labour. The Fibreshed movement began as a project in northern California, started by Rebecca Burgess. Her initial goal was to illuminate the fact that regionally grown fibers, natural dyes, and local talent could provide a most basic human necessity: our clothes. To read more about Rebecca’s wonderful vision and movement, please go to www.fibershed.com (yes we do spell fibre differently—eh?).
As fibre artists and members of the Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild, we dedicate this effort of establishing our very own Fibreshed to Yvonne Stowell, formerly of FibreWorks Studio and Gallery in Madeira Park. Yvonne has been the greatest gift to the entire fibre arts community on our Sunshine Coast. She inspired and mentored us in so very many ways. Yvonne, we love and honour you for allowing us to discover and explore the myriad of fibres, texture, and colour in Pender Harbour, while also hosting exhibitions, workshops, and spin-ins in your wonderful yurts.
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