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Warm threads – clothing & landscape

Seminar: Exploring local actions for changing the fashion story

Sted: Nordhordland folkehøgskole, Holtermansvegen 3, 5918 Frekhaug Dato og tid: tirsdag 15. mai 2018 kl. 09.00 - 15.30

jente med sauer

Fiber, like food, is part of everyday life. And while the development of local food has resulted in increased knowledge and choices, can the same be said for textiles and clothes?

This one-day event will explore what localism means for clothing from a range of perspectives: Culture, tradition, nature management, regenerative farming, ‘green growth’, pride, diversity, self-esteem and taste.

In conjunction with greater focus on local raw materials and ‘in-sourcing’ of production, the discussion quickly emerges about what this really means for the environmental challenges and for other aspects of today's escalating and demanding patterns of consumption.

And what does it mean for the local community in Nordhordland, Norway’s first Biosphere Reserve?

To learn more about this, we have invited international academics and experts working with the field in different ways. The program is preliminary and may be subject to changes.


Welcome and an intro to the Nordhordland Biosphere Reserve by Kari Evensen Natland (Region Nordhordland/Nordhordland Development IKS). She is project leader Nordhordland’s UNESCO application for status as biosphere reserve (UNESCO programme: Man and the Biosphere ). Both Nordhordland and Lofoten are currently in the process of applying. A biosphere reserve is a model region for sustainable development, where the use of local resources and the UN Sustainable Development Goals are central.

Ingun Grimstad Klepp , head of the KRUS project and research professor at Consumption Research Norway (SIFO) at OsloMet, will explain 'warm threads' and clothing culture on the basis of the field work done in Nordhordland: The way that clothes – production and use of them – help to bind people, past and present, together. The clothes are not only produced from the landscape’s resources, such as fiber and dyes – but also as ideas of how to be dressed when we are together. She will lift our gaze from the technical to the social dimension.

Kate Fletcher , Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, is one of the key people in the KRUS project and will present new work about fashion localism as part of sustainability change. In localism, place matters. Local ecosystems provide both resources and constraints to an area’s activity. People and communities evolve within unique natural and social assets of where they are based. Ecosystem health is preserved through the local adaptation of knowledge, products, cultures and practices. Through reference to fieldwork studying the relationships between people, clothing and place in the town of Macclesfield in the north of England, Kate suggests that in the context of fashion, place also matters. She will examine how it is at the center of a new wave of more inclusive fashion-sustainability practice concerned with affecting both the quantity and quality of our clothing lives.

Rebecca Burgess , Founder of Fibershed (California), will talk about a unique project based on local wool and local production, where the goal is to become 'climate-positive' by reviewing the entire value chain in a hyper-local perspective. Closely linked to a biosphere mind-set, she will explain how ‘regeneration’ of the land makes the resulting fibers ‘restorative’ and a positive in a sustainable perspective. Rebecca is also passionate about natural dyes.

Laura Sansone , is a textile designer and activist. She is the creator of Textile Lab, a design and consulting company that supports environmentally responsible and regional systems of production. She is also Assistant Professor of Textiles at Parsons The New School for Desig n. Her work brings designers and farmers together, and in NYS Regional Textile Initiative a collection of locally sourced and produced yarns and fabrics are intended to link apparel, product and interior designers to the regional network of farms and fiber processing mills; including spinning, weaving and knitting. This initiative   is recognized nationally as a significant economic revitalization effort on the East Coast of the US. How this is communicated is an exciting and new field.

Katelyn Toth Fejel , PhD candidate at Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London, will speak about how do the characteristics of a place effect how people interact with their clothes? Sustainable lifestyles and resilient communities are linked through the observations that have taken place through a pilot investigation, using ethnographic and mapping methods to trace clothing interactions within a square mile of East London. This type of local fashion system tends to be influential but largely unrecognized by industry and government, who tend to focus on technical innovation towards fashion and sustainability, which takes a reductive and globalized approach. This work seeks to acknowledge the importance of people, place and clothing.

Ragnhild Lie , director of Lofoten Wool, has in a very short term built a brand based on local anchoring and a local commodity. She brings together clothes and landscapes and will share her experiences from building production and marketing focusing on the site's biosphere potential, and how this resonates with tourism locally.

Professor Klas Nyberg , Director Centre for Fashion Studies, Stockholm University will talk about how the multinational clothing labels went from local to hyper-global; so that H&M, Zara and Uniqlo are everywhere.  Seeing the opposite of local gives a perspective that is valuable in understanding how the development can be reversed.

Francesca Camilli , from Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche Italy, is a biologist who has studies how loss of local use of resources through grazing has had detrimental results for the local biosphere with erosion, drought and fires. In order to reintroduce grazing in the region, she also sees the need for products that can find their way to the market.

Synne Brustad, partner inVêr, will talk about their experiences with clothing and architecture when it comes to using local wool. Actually knowing the sheep the wool comes from, does that do something to us and our perception?


Please register for attendance before April 24th. 

Conference fee: regular NOK 450- / student NOK 100

Fee includes lunch.

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How to get there

Boat from Bergen 8:22 Strandkaien Bergen. 

Return by boat 15:51 from Frekhaug to Bergen.


Please contact SIFO communication adviser Kjersti Lassen if you have any questions. 



  • seminar-logoer Consumption Research Norway (SIFO), OsloMet, project KRUS (Green growth in white gold through locally based value chains)
  • Nordhordland Biosphere Reserve
  • The Museum Centre in Hordaland