Diário | Journal

We should probably look at what we're wearing too

"I was at an airport, sitting in a plastic chair, and CNN was on. I was watching U.S. troops being deployed to Afghanistan and it dawned on me that all of this effort to protect oil resources was something I was actually complacent about. Even though I wasn’t deploying those troops and I wasn’t armed and trying to protect our derricks and distribution lines, I realized I was sitting in a plastic chair, and my clothes were dyed in fossil carbon synthetic colour. I looked around and every piece of the material culture – even the paint on the wall – had fossil carbon pigments in it. There’s all this that we’re digging and extracting out of the Earth’s core for fuel, for colour, for form plastics, plastic clothing – the acrylics, the nylons, the stretchy jeans, all of that. I’m complicit in this war because of my connection to, reliance on and consumption of these materials that come from the Earth’s fossil carbon resources. I was also on my way to the Navajo reservation in New Mexico at the time, about to start exploring these natural dye recipes that were plant-based and had been part of the landscape in North America for several thousand years. I thought if I’m going to be writing and publishing about natural dyes and I’m concerned about war and imperialism and people taking from other people, I should probably look at what I’m wearing: It’s the one arena in which I have some control, because I’m a weaver and I’m a natural dyer. I made a commitment that around the time the book was to launch I would be a role model. I knew I needed to hold my own values true by wearing these clothes. I could no longer be a hypocrite."

- Rebeca Burgess, founder of Fibershed, in this interview;