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By Grace Weir, Fashion Design
Advisor: Ashley Kubley
Awards: Presenter Award: Excellence in Research Communication
Presentation ID: 307
Abstract: As the fashion industry begins to see more clearly the effect they have on the environment, many designers are taking strides to become more sustainable in their production methods. While these efforts are important many fail to take into account the origins of the "eco-friendly" fiber options that brands are quickly adopting. Thus, placing less value on farming and equality for the stewards of our land. This research strives to examine the relationship between fashion designer and fiber farmer and the gaps that may exist. During this study I have interviewed several experts in both fashion design and sustainable farming as well as reviewed several publications on the subject matter. With a clear gap between farmer and designer and often little to no direct communication between the two groups, I have focused on their interactions with each other as well as their interactions with fiber. This research has made clear that education and providing local connections can help close both the information and social gap that exists between the two groups. I am hoping to continue the research during the summer of 2021, by providing a program designed to connect fashion students to the origins of their textiles. Participants will get hands on experience in the planting, harvesting, processing, spinning and weaving of flax fiber to make linen. We are also hoping to provide opportunities for farmers in the area to come and speak about their experiences as well as provide volunteering opportunities to students on regional farms.