Us & our mission

Meet South West England Fibreshed

Founded and coordinated by Emma Jane Hague, SWE Fibreshed became an official affiliate of the global Fibershed movement in 2015.

The what

Fibreshed systems are grounded in soil-to-soil

A fibreshed is a defined geographical area within which we harness and use the natural resources available –  in this case fibres, dyes and labour –  in a responsible way that minimises waste and creates opportunities not just for sustaining these resources, but for improving them over time in positive feedback cycles.

The fibreshed ethos goes beyond sustainability, to something that is truly regenerative and it does this by considering the whole system in which fibres, textiles and garments are not only produced, but also how they worn and how they are disposed of.

The why

Fibreshed is grounded in the concept of soil-to-soil systems

A garment made with natural fibres and dyes grown in agroecological systems is entirely compostable. This means that in breaking down it will release carbon and other nutrients, helping to nourish and rebuild the soil.  



Fibreshed Clothing Guide

Fibershed California has developed a Clothing Guide, freely available for download here, to provide practical guidance on how you can implement the Fibreshed ethos in everyday choices you make about your clothes and how you wear them. It’s essence can be distilled into four clear points.


Emma Hague


Emma is the founder of South West England Fibreshed, Bristol Textile Quarter and co-founder of Bristol Cloth. With an academic background in political and economic anthropology, indigenous rights, natural resource development and conflict, her work over the last 15 years has been at both grassroots and global policy levels.

Happiest working in the community, the combined environmental, social and political motivations of the Fibershed movement marry her intellectual interests with a passion for textiles, clothing and artisan products. Emma lives on a 12 acre smallholding and is a new entrant to farming, grazing Galloway cattle on conservation sites in Gloucestershire.

Zoe Gilbertson

Bast Fibre and Fibre Economics Steward

Zoe is a fashion ecologist and design practitioner working systemically at the intersections of fashion and farming. Zoe has held leadership roles in design and education with extensive enterprise and innovation project management experience. Her work focuses on developing new systems, networks, governance and enterprise for agroecological fibre and textiles. 

A recent Churchill fellowship allowed her to explore the concept of bioregional resilience through fast fibres; investigating the machinery and methods needed to support the reintroduction of flax and hemp to the UK. Zoe has an MA in Ecological Design Thinking from Schumacher College.

COMMUNITY: a fibreshed system thrives on relational rather than extractive ways of working. In making a garment we build a community.

DIVERSITY: means resilience. Diversity within our supply network- of fibres, producers and designers- creates a resilient fibre and fashion economy.

SEASONALITY: working with the agricultural seasons and with what is regionally available helps to ensure that we produce without overstepping planetary boundaries.

The who for

We work with farmers, growers, designers, brands and educators

We work with all kinds of people and businesses in our regional fibre and fashion supply network. We are involved in new research, storytelling, education and advocacy as well as advising and forging practical collaborations that reconnect fashion with farming.

join us

Do you have a role to play in strengthening fibreshed in the South West?


We will be launching a Supporter membership shortly. If you are interested in receiving more information on this and other news from our fibreshed, please sign up here.