Fibreshed Field School

Created by Emily Smith, Fibreshed Field School ​is an experiential mentorship program that investigates ecologically sensitive and economically viable methods of local textile production.

This program is inspired by and works collaboratively with Fibershed, an international network founded by Rebecca Burgess. Fibershed develops regional and regenerative fibre systems on behalf of independent working producers, by expanding opportunities to implement carbon farming, forming catalytic foundations to rebuild regional manufacturing, and through connecting end-users to farms and ranches through education.

Between September – December 2020, 18 students participated in field activities divided in three distinct mentorship cohorts, each run in partnership with internal and external collaborators as a means to engage different stakeholders in the textile industry.

The program offers

  • Industry exposure and knowledge transfer between fibre producers, designers, and entrepreneurs.
  • Immersion in the hands-on, real world context where fibres are grown, harvested, and processed.
  • Practice and support as well as greater understanding of how to instantiate ideas and make projects happen outside of the classroom.

Mentors and Facilitators

  • Rebecca Burgess, Founder + Executive Director, Fibershed
  • Stephanie Ostler, Devil May Wear + Instructor, SFU Beedie School of Business
  • Nicola Hodges, Textiles Instructor + Maker
  • Sharon Kallis, Executive Director, EartHand Gleaners Society
  • Brenda Crabtree, Aboriginal Gathering Place
  • Connie Watts, Aboriginal Gathering Place
  • Valerie d. Walker, Indigo Griot + Artist, Emily Carr Sessional Faculty
  • Tasha Nathanson, Founder + CEO, 7 Leagues Leather
  • Dr. Love-Ese Chile, Founder, Grey to Green Solutions
  • Pam Magee, Macgee Cloth Company
  • Star Hoeraf, MorningStar Woollen Farm
  • Janey Chang, Artist + Experiential Educator
  • Senaqwila Wyss, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Ethnobotanist + Educator
  • Meagan Innes, Indigenous Educator

This program is generously supported by the Accountability Council for Co-op Education and Work-Integrated Learning (ACCE-WIL) and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.