Amidst the glitz and glamour of Milan Fashion Week, Livia Firth – founder of sustainability consultancy firm, Eco-Age – premiered a new documentary, Forever Tasmania, to a crowd of 50 in Milan. The short, the first in a series entitled Fashion-Scapes, examines the wool trade up close in a bid to unearth the realities behind its supply chain.
“Despite sustainable progress, the livelihoods of wool producers are under threat, as wool loses market share to cheaper synthetic fibres,” says Firth in the documentary, adding: “we have been so divorced from who makes our clothes, and where the materials come from, that people don’t know about natural materials like wool anymore.”
Meeting with local farmers and experts in Tasmania, an island just off the southern coast of Australia where wool production has prevailed for generations, Firth experiences the landscape, the way of life and farming first hand. She uncovers the ecological impact of sheep shearing, touching on controversial topics like mulesing, an often brutal process of removing folds of skin from the animal’s rear, intended to reduce the attraction of flies.
Revealing how the wool industry is evolving, she shines a light on those who have pledged to help conserve landscapes and preserve the fibre for future generations: “When it comes to supply chains, there is not one solution to the growing ecological pressures we face across our world,” Firth admits. “But what I found here in Tasmania are producers of fine wool that are deeply committed to landscape restoration and conscious production.”
Watch Forever Tasmania below.