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Clothes in Color Grown Cotton

May 4, 2010

May 1st arrived, and so did the first Fibershed clothes.  The wardrobe was launched with some functional basics- a shell, and a pair of loose fitting bolero pants.  The fabric for these pieces was woven and knit from Sally Fox’s organic color grown cotton.  Fox’s farm resides in Guinda, California,  just 90 miles from my home.

This is just a taster of what will be a three part series on Sally Fox’s cotton farming, and the process that she undertook to have the textiles produced.  These fabrics are currently ‘endangered species’ so to speak; they were produced in the 1990’s, and cannot, unfortunately be reproduced– unless, we revitalize certain aspects of our local textile manufacturing industry.

Sally continues to plant, harvest, and bale her cotton– working to preserve and continue the  life cycle of her precious seeds.  The clothes I am wearing were grown in the color you see– no dyeing necessary.  The use of this cotton on a larger scale has the potential to supplant the need for brown and khaki synthetic dye.  The elimination of the use of these dyes would begin to chisel away at what is the largest contributer of CO2 within the textile supply chain.

These fuzzy little seeds contain the non-genetically modified cellular  blueprint for growing brown, white and green cotton.

Our next post will feature Sally Fox on the farm– we’ll be driving northeastward into the beautiful Capay Valley to catch the greenery and wildflowers before they disappear with the late spring heat.  The next journal entry will be a focus on ‘Where are the Mills?’, with a more in depth look at the source of the fabrics that have been constructed into these fine clothes.

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2 Comments
  1. Leely H. permalink
    May 20, 2010 9:35 pm

    I traded a piece of Foxfibre jersey for a handmade backpack in 1990 or ’91. I wasn’t much of a sewing person, and had adventures calling at that time… So wistfully, this page brings up memories, and begs the question of why this beautiful fabric continues to be under funded. Change comes slowly, and let’s not give up?

  2. Christine Parisotto permalink
    August 26, 2010 7:51 am

    In the late 1980’s – or early ’90’s, I worked for an NBC affiliate in Bakersfield. The news story we covered that day was the hearings being held to thwart an entrepreneur’s attempts to grow colored cotton in a county where white Acala cotton was “king”. I admired Sally Fox then, and I certainly admire – and envy – her now. She has a vision and has followed it, not solely for herself, but for the health of others. She has nurtured a deeply beautiful part of nature, and we should all be grateful. I think it would be interesting to use some of that video in the current documentary to help others to see how the “landscape” for this endeavor has changed.

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