World Farming fashion - the people growing their own clothes
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Back in April a team of around 30 volunteers started work on a grand plan - to grow their own clothes.
On a patch of unused land in the Lancashire town of Blackburn, they planted the seeds of two crops - flax and woad.
Fast-forward to early August and they harvested the small field beside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
The flax has since beento create the fabric linen.
Meanwhile, the woad leaves were heated and then cooled in water to create natural indigo dye to colour the linen blue.
This Saturday, a portion of the linen will go on display at Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery.
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This is taking place as part of the month-long British Textile Biennial 2021 festival of UK fabric and clothing production, being held at 13 venues across east Lancashire.
The flax and woad were grown and turned into linen and dye by a fashion collaborative called Homegrown Homespun.
This compromises Community Clothing, a fashion company and social enterprise that does all its manufacturing in the UK; North West England Fibreshed, an association of textile professionals; and The Super Slow Way, the organisers of the aforementioned textile festival.
Blackburn, Manchester, and Lancashire in general were once at the centre of global textile manufacturing. But after World War Two the industry went into sharp decline, as production shifted overseas to countries with cheaper manufacturing set-ups.
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Homegrown Homespun hopes to help review Blackburn's textile industry, by producing linen clothes locally - from growing the flax to making the garments.
"The idea with Homegrown Homespun is the rebuild the entire supply chain," says Patrick Grant, fashion designer and founder of Community Clothing who is also a judge on the long-running BBC TV show Great British Sewing Bee.
"In this country we used to be completely self-sufficient in clothing. Most clothes were linen or wool, and flax was grown all across the UK. "In fact, in the 16th Century, it was law that every landowner had to dedicate a portion of their land to growing flax."
Flax is sometimes called "Britain's forgotten crop". It is considered to have- some 4,000 years ago.
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By the 18th Century around 50 million yards of linen was produced in the UK, but during the 19th Century it was replaced by imported cotton, and linen production fell away.
Flax is still grown commercially in the UK to produce linseeds, which you can eat, and linseed oil, which is used as a wood treatment and in paint. However, flax hasn't been grown commercially for the plant's fibre since the 1950s.
"We want to see if it's possible to rebuild the UK flax and linen industry," says Mr Grant.
"So, we can have locally-grown fibre going into our clothes for the first time in a long time. We want to demonstrate that flax can be grown viably, for linen, in the UK."
Justine Aldersey-Williams, founder of North West England Fibreshed, says that flax is a good crop to grow in the UK because it is so hardy - it doesn't require watering, pesticides or fertiliser.
The only downside, she says, is that it is labour intensive to harvest and process into linen, making it more expensive than imported cotton.
"There are no mechanised flax processing facilities in the UK, so we're learning from our pre-industrial ancestors and doing everything by hand," she says.
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Despite this handmade scale at present, Mr Grant adds: "More and more consumers are buying linen because of its environmental benefits. They know it's good for the planet."
This is in contrast to global cotton production,
Growing more flax in the UK to make British-made linen clothing would also cut down on the carbon emissions, and cost, of shipping and flying fabric and finished garments into the country.
There is one clothing fabric that the UK is not short of - sheep's wool.
Babs Behan runs Bristol Cloth Project, which sells scarves, cloth and knitting yarn made from wool sourced from farms within 15 miles of the city. She and her team colour the wool with dyes made from plants foraged locally.
"It's simple," she says. "We need to make less, make it well, and make it last. We must make sure the things we bring into our lives - and wardrobes - are appreciated, looked after, and go back into the soil as food, not poison."
Oxfordshire-based fashion designer, Justine Tabak, also uses a lot of UK wool, specifically from Yorkshire sheep, at her eponymous clothing company.
In addition, she buys Irish-made linen, cotton lace woven in Nottingham, and also uses "deadstock fabric" - discarded ends of rolls from other manufacturers and designers.
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"It goes some way to limiting over-consumption," she says. "My clothes aren't cheap, but I know that my customers wear [them] time and time again over many years, meaning price-per-wear is low."
Almost half of UK consumers are now consciously buying locally-produced goods to try to be more sustainable,
This tallies with what Kate Hills has seen at her organisation Made It British, which promotes UK brands, and helps businesses get their products manufactured in the UK.
"The majority of our members recorded their best year ever in 2020 [despite the pandemic]," she says. "People were looking for something that wasn't made in China.
"[And] when you're flying products all around the world you're making a big carbon footprint."
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Back in Blackburn, Homegrown Homespun aims to scale-up to commercial production by 2023.
This year they harvested enough flax to make samples of linen, but Mr Grant says there are lots of other plots of disused land in Blackburn that they plan to plant on.
"We want to create and sustain jobs in the areas [like Blackburn] that really need them," he says. "[And] we want to show that there is a better way to produce clothing."
Banisadr, Iran's first president after 1979 revolution, dies .
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Abolhassan Banisadr, Iran's first president after the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution who fled Tehran after being impeached for challenging the growing power of clerics as the nation became a theocracy, died Saturday. He was 88. Among a sea of black-robed Shiite clerics, Banisadr stood out for his Western-style suits and a background so French that it was in philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre that he confided his belief he'd beAbolhassan Banisadr, Iran's first president after the country's 1979 Islamic Revolution who fled Tehran after being impeached for challenging the growing power of clerics as the nation became a theocracy, died Saturday. He was 88.