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Steeple Newsletter

First Church Reads: Fibershed

This week we have a great recommendation from the Environmental Ministry Team (EMT) and Sue Jones that also appeared in the June 2020 Edition of The Landmark Newsletter.

by Sue Jones on June 17, 2020

"First Church Reads" is a new feature section of the Steeple where staff members or members of the church may be invited to offer book and formation recommendations that specifically help deepen spiritual life. This week we have a great recommendation from the Environmental Ministry Team (EMT) and Sue Jones that also appeared in the June 2020 Edition of The Landmark Newsletter.



Fibershed By Rebecca Burgess with Courtney White

One reviewer said if you wear clothes and care about the environment you should read this book. In 1998 Rebecca was teaching a class of youngsters dyeing t-shirts using gloves masks and aprons to protect them from the colorful dyes. As she was cleaning up she wondered why they could not touch the dyes but could wear the dye soaked shirts next to their skin. No one could answer her question.

In 1990 half of the clothes we wore were made in US. Today it is 2 %. There are nearly 70000 synthetic compounds in use today for garments and less than 2% have been tested for their impact on human health. We absorb these compounds through our skin and now carry these compounds in our bodies. How alarming! Our food carries labels of contents but our clothing does not. There is no required third-party precautionary testing for any health impacts of this synthetic clothing. The most common group of compounds of concern are endocrine disruptors. Another concern is fast fashion. Between 2000 and 2004 global production of garments has doubled using oil-based synthetic fibers and dyes. These garments take 200 years to decompose yet they are being thrown into landfills after 4 or 5 wearings.

Rebecca’s solution is “SLOW FASHION” wearing our clothes for a long time mending trading and repurposing our clothing and then composting them in an endless recycle when they can no longer be repaired. The fibers raised on farms and ranches are dyed with natural non-toxic dyes. They are safe to wear and compostable. Rebecca has found an enthusiastic response to creating Fibersheds in small areas all over the country finding farmers ranchers millers knitters weavers sewers dyers felters spinners and designers all creating non- toxic compostable clothing.Added subjects included in this important book are carbon farming agroforestry plant-base fibers not used yet for clothing and a list of Fibersheds forming all over the world.

The book includes many important ways to save our beautiful planet. There are several copies of this book available from the Environmental Ministry Team. Call me to borrow a copy 203-457-7020.

Sue Jones 

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