The Fibers Roadmap

Integrated Capital Opportunities to Support Revitalization of U.S.-Grown Fiber, Textiles, and Leather

Funders, impact investors, and integrated capital practitioners currently have the opportunity to catalyze momentum and reform in the U.S. fiber and textile industry. A coordinated, strategic roadmap is critical to make the best use of integrated philanthropic and investment support.

This research project drew on more than 60 interviews with fiber farmers and ranchers; processing businesses along the supply chain (mills, tanneries, etc.); brands and other supply chain experts; and funders and investors.

Findings from these interviews have been synthesized and distilled into a seven-year financial Roadmap identifying five key Gaps and Levers where integrated philanthropic and investment capital would have the greatest impact in rebuilding the “missing middle” of the supply chain. 

Case Studies

Read the 12 Case Studies highlighted in the report that represent just a small slice of the innovative, place-based fiber system businesses that exist or are emerging across the country. Each one offers opportunities for funders and investors to deploy integrated capital approaches.

Fibers Roadmap Leadership

The Roadmap is led by project team Sarah Kelley, Jenny O’Connor, and Calla Rose Ostrander and guided by an Advisory Committee of experts in investing, grantmaking, and the textile industry. We gratefully acknowledge funding support provided by: 11th Hour Project, Globetrotter Foundation and the #NoRegrets Initiative, Jena and Michael King Foundation, One Earth, and an RSF Donor Advised Fund. 

Special thanks to the Advisory Committee members for the Textiles Roadmap project, who are providing critical guidance and connections that will also help shape the development of SAFSF’s Special Project on Sustainable Fiber and Textiles going forward.

Advisory Committee Members

  • Sarah Bell, 11th Hour Project
  • Rebecca Burgess, Fibershed
  • Virginia Clarke, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders
  • Scott Cullen, GRACE Communications Fund
  • Sarah Ebe, Patagonia
  • Eric Henry, TS Designs
  • Arani Kajenthira, Walton Enterprises
  • Scott Leonard, Indigenous Designs
  • Roger Milliken, Baskahegan Company
  • Esther Park, Cienega Capital
  • Lewis Perkins, Apparel Impact Institute
  • James Rogers, The North Face