Connecting Threads: Rebuilding our Domestic Apparel System

Join us for a panel discussion around those who are striving to build local production, from farm to fiber. By strengthening the connections between the passionate, hardworking people that power our local fiber economy, we hope to position the Pacific Northwest to meet the demand for domestic, thoughtfully produced and environmentally responsible fiber, textiles, and apparel. Panelists will share their experience, current projects, and what’s being done to foster growth within their industry. Apparel professionals, land stakeholders, manufacturing specialists, and anyone interested in the farm-to-fiber movement, you’re invited.

Join Inside Fashion Design and Creative Capital Design for this lively panel discussion from some of movers and shakers in the Pacific NW area working in their respective fields. We will open with a cocktail hour with food and adult beverages. During the social hour, attendees will have an opportunity to touch and feel some items each panelist has brought that demonstrates their work and to engage in conversations surrounding this important topic. Come meet other like minded individuals to see how best we can support this ongoing challenge in domestic apparel production.

20% of proceeds from this event will be donated to Pacific NW Fibershed.

Panelist to include:

JEANNE CARVER Imperial Stock Ranch. Jeanne Carver of the historic Imperial Stock Ranch (est. 1871) in north central Oregon, has become well known across multiple segments of the textile industry. In the late 1990’s, with a collapsing wool market and a diminished U.S. textile infrastructure, Jeanne led them out of commodity wool sales and in a new direction. Similar to the farm-to-fork “slow food” movement that reconnects us to our food, she connected a fiber value chain as close to home as possible, along with heritage and mindful stewardship of land and animals, to a growing customer base for textile products. In an era of outsourcing and disconnect, she led with product traceability and accountability. Imperial Stock Ranch scaled up while maintaining its intimate connection to land and animals, and became what Jeanne refers to as a “Farmer’s Market of Textiles.” Against great odds, Jeanne built a successful yarn, fabric and finished goods business with products in 5 unique market channels. Working at the very roots of food and fashion where sustainability begins, Jeanne and the Imperial Stock Ranch have been at the forefront of an economic and rural revival -- rebuilding the importance of traditional skills, connecting regional and domestic supply chain partners, and building those connections through to a variety of brand partners and the consumer. In 2014, Jeanne and the Imperial Stock Ranch, became the face of Ralph Lauren’s Made in America Olympic uniform program. And in 2017, became the first ranch in the world certified under a new voluntary global program called the Responsible Wool Standard. Jeanne serves on numerous boards related to agriculture, received an Orchid Award given by the Portland Business Journal for Women of Influence in 2014, and was named one of 9 Female Farmers Changing the Fashion Industry (2016) by the Pratt Institute of New York.

Jared Flood: an American knitwear designer, photographer, and founder of the design house and yarn manufacturer Brooklyn Tweed. His work is inspired by historical hand-knitting traditions of the British Isles and Scandinavia but imagined for contemporary urban life. Jared has aligned himself with the local purchasing movement, committing his yarn company to sourcing and milling all its wool in the United States and to producing breed-specific yarns. Flood is a prominent figure among a new generation of independent knitwear designers who have successfully used digital publishing, online distribution, and social media to form a direct relationship with customers. His philosophy of garment design and construction is influenced by the work of Elizabeth Zimmermann, and he draws inspiration from Japanese textile, architectural, and interior design; urban street fashion; and traditional hand-knitting from northern Europe. Flood says that texture is his medium and that the experience of the hand-knitter must be an essential element of each design. Flood received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2005 and continues to explore ways to integrate his passion for fibers, painting and photography in his everyday work as a designer and entrepreneur.

Jocelyn Tutak: a Senior GIS Analyst at Ecotrust, where she uses mapping technology to identify where good works are converging to create strong economies, communities, and places. Her background is in ecology and conservation, and she often works with foresters, farmers, and fishermen to highlight how their work can support conservation goals. Recently she supported an assessment of Oregon’s food infrastructure intended to catalyze a more sustainable and equitable regional agricultural system. She currently serves on the board of the Society for Conservation GIS and is a member of Ecotrust’s Equity Working Group. Jocelyn received her Master of Environmental Management degree in Conservation Science and Policy at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and her B.S. in Natural Resource Management from Cook College at Rutgers University

Angela Wartes-Kahl: Angela has been an organic farmer for the last decade in the Coast Range of Oregon, at Common Treasury Farm. Her interest lies in local raw fiber development. She has raised sheep and grown fiber flax for several years and is Co-founder of Fibrevolution, Bast Fiber Producers. Angela manages the Fiber and Textiles Program for Oregon Tilth and is an organic processing and crops inspector. She has studied textiles and merchandise management at Oregon State University.

Shannon M Welsh is a textile and apparel designer, artisan, and educator with more than 20 years of experience. She has worked with independent designers and retailers, major apparel brands, indie films, fiber farms and textile mills. Shannon develops and supports bio-regional fiber systems and is the Program Manager for Pacific Northwest Fibershed and Co-founder of Fibrevolution, Bast Fiber Producers. She has a BFA in Apparel Design from The Art Institute of Portland, a BA in History from Lewis and Clark College, and a Teaching Certification from the Association Montessori Internationale. Most recently, PNW Fibershed became a 2017 Patagonia Environmental Grant recipient.

There will be time for audience Q & A and time permitting, a meet and greet with the panelist.