2009 Is the International Year of Natural Fibres

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is coordinating the International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF). Their website is fairly dry and totally fails to excite, but I heard Linda Cortright, the editor of Wild Fibers magazine, speak about it at TNNA in January and everyone in the room became positively giddy with excitement. I couldn't find information about some of the programs she talked about, but I'll keep you posted as they come to light.

According to said dry website, here's what the program is all about:

"The main goal of the International Year of Natural Fibres is to raise the profile of these fibres and to emphasise their value to consumers while helping to sustain the incomes of the farmers. In addition, the International Year will:

* promote the efficiency and sustainability of the natural fibres industries;
* encourage appropriate policy responses from governments to the problems faced by natural fibre industries;
* foster an effective and enduring international partnership among the various natural fibres industries."

I like to think of the program as being about:

I've always preferred natural fibres to synthetics—for how they feel and for their other qualities, and because it's important to me to support fibre-animal raisers, eco-friendly fibres (note that not all natural fibres are raised/grown or processed in environmentally friendly ways), and sustainable fibre-related businesses.

Are you aware of any IYNF events in your area? Got any stories to share about why you like working with natural fibres?

Creative Commons Flickr photo credits (top to bottom): tinou bao, Stevie-B, flydime, ktylerconk, Jule_Berlin.

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