The Upper Canada Fibreshed is a not-for-profit that facilitates connections between Ontario fibre producers, artisans and consumers to develop local, value added supply chains for Ontario natural fibre products. We believe that supporting natural fibre communities will change the way we make, shop and use textiles, envisioning a different culture that values ecology, craft, slow traditions, pride in our bioregion and responsible use of resources.
We value the farm and fibre communities that support and rely on bioregional livelihoods.
The Upper Canada Fibreshed was begun by Becky Porlier, and Jennifer Osborn in 2015. Becky and Jennifer became fast friends after meeting at at the Rare Breeds Canada table during the Guelph Organic Conference. Independently they had both discovered the work of Rebecca Burgess’ Fibershed initiative out of California. The two discussed how to replicate a similar initiative in Canada. After drinking too much coffee it was decided to jump into the current Fibreshed model with both feet – as long as California would allow the Canadian spelling of fibre.
Where is the Upper Canada Fibreshed?
Generally the Upper Canada Fibreshed (UCFS) is any producer, processor, farmer, or artisan, within 250 miles of Toronto give or take. This distance was chosen at this time to try encompass as many processors and growers as possible. Although Ontario has a high population, there are relatively few fibre producers in the province, there are even fewer processors and manufacturers. To bring as many resources together as possible, the Fibreshed was made quite large. The hope is that new, even more regional fibresheds will appear.