#SmallThanks to Fiber Farms & Textile Small Businesses

It’s National Small Business Week! As last week’s Fashion Revolution encouraged us to consider the variety of makers who make our clothing, small business week is an initiative to support local economic development. Many small business owners shared their stories while I was a graduate student at Cornell. They introduced me to a variety of…

Building a New York Fiber Farm Map & Database

I began to look for New York fiber farms online in 2013. In 5 years, my database has grown to over 470 sheep, alpaca, and goat farms, and I am sure there are many more. I looked at several mapping platforms to visually communicate my fiber farm research including ArcGIS, QGIS BatchGeo, CartoDB, Google Earth,…

Vista Fiber Arts Fiesta & Spinzilla

Over the weekend, we had the great opportunity to participate in the Vista Fiber Arts Fiesta that formed to support the local fiber and arts community in San Diego. Me and my twin sister, Nidia, made our debut as Fiber Novation Loops, a farm-to-fashion social enterprise. We shared my NY fiber farm research, the New York Regional Yarn…

Hidden Alpaca & Sorting Fibers

Now that the snow is gone and it is shearing season, I started to sort fibers as part of my fiber apprenticeship in a path to become a Master fiber sorter, grader, and classer. I have  collaborated with Carol Haff of Hidden Alpaca Farm to sort and grade her alpaca’s fleeces. Her farm is in…

Alpaca Shearing Day

Shearing day is a fiber filled day of excitement!  I volunteered to help during the annual shearing day at Under the Moonlite Alpaca and Garlic Ranch in Ulster Pennsylvania to have experiences sorting during a live shearing. The PA farm is about 1.5 hour south of Ithaca and is nestled in between rolling hills just like many NY fiber farms. The…

Green Eileen Take Back Program & Higher Ed

Watching sustainable fashion and textile initiatives emerge to address pre- and post-consumer waste issues provides hope that closed-loop, zero-waste fashion will be the norm in the future. Over the past few months, I have been able to learn more about the Green Eileen take back program, a recycled clothing intiative of the sustainable women’s wear brand…

Yarn Love Challenge

Touching my fibers for most, if not all of the year, led me to realize how much I really love fibers! The Yarn Love Challenge on Instagram has opened my eyes to a world of fellow fiber enthusiasts who also love their fibers! I wasn’t able to keep up and post every day in February, but here are my…

“Fibershed” as Social Entrepreneurship

“Social entrepreneurship” involves social change, continuous innovation, adaptation, and learning. The Northern California non-profit “Fibershed” embodies the definition of “social entrepreneurship.” Initially, the founder of Fibershed, Rebecca Burgess, collaborated with local fiber producers and artisans to make an “150-mile wardrobe.” The success of the “150-mile wardrobe” project steered the development of the non-profit Fibershed that promotes a local clothing and…

Knitting Needles, Patterns & Dress Form

Found materials provide inspiration for thought-provoking art. Clare Graham & Moryork: The Answer is Yes, is currently exhibited in the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. Clare Graham provides social commentary with basic materials that are used to create clothing, such as knitting needles, patterns, and a dress form. I was most drawn to Graham’s cabinets that were decorated…

Fiber Arts & Fibersheds – A Call to Dismantle the “Bystander” Effect

Fiber arts can provide powerful social commentaries. I visited the Craft & Folk Art Museum‘s New Directions Exhibit in Los Angeles, and was astounded by the work of June Lee in the group exhibit that was juried by the Textile Society of America. June Lee’s “Bystander” sculptures address the social “bystander effect” issue. Lee explains that the term “Bystander Effect” was developed…

FACES OF MENTAL HEALTH CAMPAIGN

Originally posted on S ∆ M M U S | OFFICIAL:
Last semester, I was asked to participate in a mental health awareness campaign at Cornell University called “Faces of Mental Health.” The art project, put together by the students from the group Cornell Minds Matter, juxtaposes black and white + color images, to highlight some of…

Positivity in ‘Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals’

August marks the second year that President Obama’s executive memorandum DACA, Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals, has helped immigrant youth reach greater social and economic potential in the United States. In 2012, DACA allowed immigrant youth who lived most of their lives in the U.S. to obtain a 2-year work authorization without fear of being removed from…