Community-Engaged New York Fibers: A Path Toward Farm-to-Fashion
Upstate New York is home to more than 260 sheep, alpaca and goat farms — emblems of the state’s legacy in wool growing and fiber processing — but these farmers do not have an easy way to reach fiber artisan and designer target markets. To address this issue, Helen Trejo is collaborating with a team from Parsons the New School of Design to develop a New York Fiber Sourcebook, where designers can learn about available fibers. Trejo is also assessing raw wool and alpaca fleeces from local farms as part of an apprenticeship program for scaled-up production. Aligned with the fashion industry’s Made in New York movement, Trejo’s research supports local farm-to-fashion entrepreneurship and community-based economic development.
- Graduate student: Helen Trejo, fiber science and apparel design
- Special committee chair: Tasha Lewis, Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design
College of Human Ecology
- Community partner: Parsons the New School of Design Professor Laura Sansone and Suzanne Dvells
- Community partner: Fiber Farms in New York state, including Ironwood Hill Sheep Farm, Blind Buck Angora Goats, Nistock Cotswold Sheep Farm, Orchard View Farm, Laughing Goat Fiber Farm, St. Mary’s On-the-Hill Cashmere, Hidden Alpaca Acres Farm, Guard Farm
Engaged Graduate Student Grants
Supporting Ph.D. students in any field — whether they are experienced in community-engaged research and scholarship or just getting started.