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Sustainable World Radio- Ecology and Permaculture Podcast

Sustainable World Radio creates podcasts about the natural world and brings you interviews and news about ethnobotany, herbal medicine, Permaculture, organic gardening, sustainability, ecology, and regenerative farming. Tune in to discover practical, earth-friendly, and nature-based solutions to environmental challenges; solutions that adhere to the Permaculture Ethics of Earth Care, People Care, and Fair Share. 

Oct 28, 2010

Rebecca Burgess is an ecological restoration educator, author, and textile artist.  Burgess is the founder of the Fibershed Project; a year-long challenge to live in clothes made from fibers sourced within 150 miles from her home.  In this interview, Burgess explains what a fibershed is, talks about the hidden environmental costs of the textile industry, and shares with listeners some of her favorite natural fabrics. 

thirteen and a half years ago

I recently discovered your podcasts and I have found all of them to be very interesting and informative. I especially enjoyed this podcast about the Fibershed project. I love what Rebecca is doing. I haven't gone as far as she has, but I make an effort to reuse materials, such as those from thrift stores, for my sewing and knitting projects.
You asked the question about why a linen blouse costs so much and I would like to add to Rebecca's comment as someone who sews and knits and has tried to sell my goods. I think the better question to ask is why are skills like knitting and sewing so undervalued? We don't expect a plumber or an electrician or the IT guy to charge .20 cents/piece for their work, yet if I charged for my labor and my skill as a knitter for a handknit sweater, in order to make a decent wage, that sweater would have to cost(way)more than $20 (the average cost of a sweater at one of the big name box stores. Of course effeciencies can be made in the fashion industry, but as consumers, we are so removed from our product and have undervalued the skills and workers that produce them that in the end, many other jobs are being undervalued and moving to other countries. We all want to be paid a decent wage for our skills and knowledge but that will only come when we respect and demand that for everyone, whether we live in the U.S. or China. The cost of goods will rise, but then maybe we'll lose the disposable mentality and I think that would be a good thing.