The 2022 Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference at IslandWood presents “We All Get Dressed: Garb, Gear and Growing a Sustainable Clothing Economy” on Sunday March 27, from 12:30-5pm. The conference will feature keynote speakers focused on consumer psychology, our local fibershed, and closing the loop on textile waste through innovative recycling technology.
Following the keynotes, there will be two sets of breakout sessions that will cover a variety of topics in both discussion and hands-on learning formats, including a clothing audit, a local fibershed panel, toxic chemicals in textiles, the secondhand clothing journey, clothing labels, WA textile legislation, and repairs. There will also be exhibits in the Great Hall for you to get connected, learn more & take action!
Participants will be invited to bring a piece of clothing to swap and to share their ideas of what each of us can do to contribute to a sustainable fashion economy.
Child care for ages 6 on up is available at Scrappy Arts Lab’s Environmental Conference Day Camp. Register here for camp.
- 12:30 pm – Registration/Exhibits at IslandWood Welcome Center
- 1:00 pm – Introduction to Conference and 2022 Environmental Award
- 1:15 pm – Keynote Addresses
- 2:45 pm – Session A Workshops
- 3:30 pm – Break for Exhibits
- 4:00 pm – Session B Workshops
- 4:45 pm – Wrap-up and Networking in Welcome Center
Because space is limited, registration is required. Thank you for reserving your tickets pronto!
- Professor Mathew Isaac, Seattle University Albers School of Business and Economics – “The Psychology of Acquisition: Why We Buy and Keep Products We Barely Need and Rarely Use”
- Lina Lipski, CEO, founder and operator of Olympic Yarn and Fiber – “Small Is Beautiful: How Local Natural Textiles Support Healthier Communities and a Healthier Planet”
- Stacy Flynn, CEO and a founding partner of Evrnu – “Evrnu and NuCycl Technology: Innovations in Recycled Fibers”
Breakout Session A:
- Stitch It, Don’t Ditch It: The (In)visible Art of Mending – Paige St-Pierre, Seattle-based textile artist. Bring your favorite, well-loved garment in need of a simple repair (can be fixed within 30 minutes by hand with a needle and thread, e.g., button, small rip, patch) and mend it with us so you can declare your independence from fast fashion! Learn to prepare a needle and thread for hand sewing, practice a few simple hand-sewing stitches, and sew on a button so it won’t fall off.
- The Local Fiber Movement: How to Support the Production of Local Fiber – Lina Lipski of Olympic Yarn and Fiber; Cathleen Robertson, owner and farmer of ARAN Farms and Pacific Fiber; and Jean Van Effen, farmer and owner/operator of Tahoma Vista Fiber Mill. Like the local food movement, the local fiber movement is trying to provide local products so that you can support local farmers and reduce your environmental impact and support local artisans. From a panel discussion, learn about the local fiber movement from these producers and processors.
- Clothing Audit – Naomi Spinak, fiber artist and Trashion Show chair. What’s in your closet? What is the decision process that goes into buying or finding a new piece of clothing? When do you have enough? We will discuss why we buy clothing and what drives our choices. Naomi will share her pyramid of textile choices (similar to a food pyramid) and a shopping worksheet she has developed for her family to lower the environmental impact of clothing purchases.
- Legislative Action: What Is Going on Politically and What Can We Do? – Heather Trim, executive director of Zero Waste Washington. Discuss results from recent WA legislative sessions and potential policy actions addressing textile and related waste.
- DIY Dryer Balls: Wholesome Helpful Wooly Balls for Dryer Health & Happiness! – Lily Diament-Hansen, textiles artist and Lara Hansen, chief climate scientist at EcoAdapt. Make your own wool dryer balls while learning their benefits as an antidote to our chemical-centric society. Please bring your own 100% wool yarn, worn-out wool socks, or other wool article of clothing, plus the leg from a nylon or stocking. Materials will be provided if you cannot bring these items.
- Secondhand Life Panel Discussion – Kate Stragis, executive director of Ragfinery; Janelle Abbott, designer; and Zeb Whitehead, owner of Zutto Vintage & Antiques. What happens to our textiles after we use them? Hear from three leaders making creative use of discarded textiles and clothing, and find out where the textiles you donate go.
Breakout Session B:
- Stitch It Don’t Ditch It – see above
- Textiles and Toxic Chemicals: AdDressing the Chemicals in Our Clothes – Shirlee Tan, toxicologist for King County and Holly Davies, toxicologist for the WA state Department of Health. Learn about many of the chemicals associated with clothing (in the manufacture and fabric itself) and how you can reduce your exposure to them. You’ll never think of the term “clean clothing” the same way again!
- Read the Label: Understanding What Your Clothes Are Made of and How to Care for Them to Reduce Your Environmental Impact – Susan Skalek, design and manufacturing engineer and former owner of Esther’s. Do you want to buy with more intention? Reduce microplastics shedding? Care for your current wardrobe? Learn how to read labels and spot plastics, determine what clothes are made of if there is no label, how to wash and care for your clothes and how to successfully wash wool in the washing machine.
- DIY Gear Repair: Demo and Discussion – Kyle Willis, climber. Learn how to extend the life of outdoor equipment through demonstrations of easy techniques and methods with hand tools and a basic sewing machine. Learn how the Speedy Stitch can save you hundreds of dollars and maybe save your trip! Basic zipper replacement and patching easy/difficult-to-access repairs included. Bring your gear in and get directions on how to make it work.
- What you Gain from a Stain: Creative Stain Interventions – Janelle Abbott, designer. Creative interventions on how to rescue garments seemingly doomed by stains of any sizes, shape or quality.
- Buy Nothing, Get Everything: The Textile Edition – Rebecca Rockefeller, co-creator of the Buy Nothing Project, will give some background on this worldwide gift economy platform, then will take questions and walk attendees through the new app with their own items to give or receive.
Acknowledgement: The Bainbridge Island Environmental Conference was originally created by the Association of Bainbridge Communities and has been an annual tradition in our community for decades. We recognize the importance of the history and legacy of ABC in creating and stewarding this conference for many years, and are grateful for the opportunity to continue this tradition of bringing important environmental issues of relevance to our community.
The 18th Annual Environmental Conference is made possible by the collaborative superpowers of these organizations: IslandWood, Sustainable Bainbridge, Bainbridge Island Parks Foundation, Bainbridge Arts and Crafts, Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network and Bainbridge Island Land Trust.
- Our campus policy is ‘no dogs unless they are a service animal.’
- Refreshments will be served oudoors on our patio during the break at 3:30PM. No other food will be available, so please make sure you’ve had a hearty lunch before arriving.
- Tickets to this year’s conference are $10/person. We are committed to inclusive attendance without economic barriers, so if you need financial scholarship to attend, please contact the conference organizers.