Every year, as a part of NY Textile Month, our partners in the Regional Climate Beneficial program, NY Textile Lab, hosts a farm tour in upstate NY at one of the alpaca farms where our fiber comes from. The tour is led by our Agriculture planner who gives an overview of farming practices that are implemented on this specific farm and how that leads to building healthy soil and in turn drawing down carbon.
These are things like, allowing the wetlands to exist on the land.
Allowing the grass to grow long which creates long roots which enable rich soil and micro organisms to thrive.
Letting wild hedgerows thrive for larger plants with deep roots and this also creates a habitat for pollinators and migratory birds.
All of the wool and alpaca fiber comes from our local bio-region. It's processed and spun locally as well. Here is a map of all of the places along our supply chain.
The spinning is done at a small mill in NY.
Then the sweaters are knit in NYC.
This year, the carbon farm tour panel discussion focused on certifications and legislation to combat greenwashing and degrowth. The panel included a group of passionate and intelligent women that I was proud to be a part of, Caroline Priebe / CAGM, Becca Coughlan / ReMake, Liz Alessi / Coach, Carrie Woerner / Assemblywoman. Led by Laura Sansone from NY Textile Lab. You can watch a video of the full discussion HERE.
My main points in this conversation were that small businesses are important for so many reasons. We typically operate more sustainably with less waste. There's less room between the decision making and an employee or a production partner so decisions tend to be made more on a human level, less about only financials. Certifications can be tricky and I think they are meant more for large companies. There's a lot of nuance around them and they aren't as black and white as they're meant to be. My approach has always been more about meeting people and building relationships over relying on certifications. I think certifications can take us away from engaging with our supply chain which to me has been one of the most rewarding parts of building this business.
I'm very proud of this Regional Climate Beneficial program because although it is a certification, it's more about building community and working with our regional economies.
I hope you love these sweaters and appreciate the movement behind them.