fiber & textiles


North American Linen

During World War II, fiber flax—the plant whose fibers are woven into linen—was produced in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, and became famous around the world for its high quality. Post-World War II in North America, the production of textiles derived from petroleum and synthetic chemicals outpaced textile production from natural fibers (cotton, wool, silk, flax). Moving factories abroad afforded cost savings, at the expense of human rights and environmental health. Today, the carbon and toxic footprint of fast fashion has caught up with us, and the post-2020 supply chain disruptions have offered a wake up call to the lack of textile infrastructure in North America. Both consumers and brands are looking back to natural fibers for a way forward.

Linen is an extraordinary clothing material—cooling in summer and retains warmth in winter—with valuable biomass residuals for bio-composite and other markets. The majority of today's linen is produced in Europe, but there is an active effort to restore fiber flax agriculture, linen production, and textile industry in North America. We are working to bring this effort at building a regenerative textile economy to life.