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Sustainable Textiles is the topic of choice at We Economy

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Have you ever wondered where your clothes come from? Not what store, and not how each garment is sewn together, but the actual origin of the cloth, the dye, the fabric. We Economy: Sustainable Textiles is a free event at the Chicago Cultural Center which shares information in a family-friendly environment on just that topic.

From 10:00a.m. to 1:00p.m. today, the Illinois Humanities Council will provide education via special guest exhibitors on the topics of farming for textiles, dyeing with natural plant-based coloring, and limiting the carbon footprint left behind by the industry. While the event requires registration on the Illinois Humanities Council website for attendance, it promises to be a very hands-on, family-oriented and interactive experience for all who attend.

The Illinois Humanities Council is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching the lives and strengthening the communities in Illinois through lifelong learning, according to the mission statement posted on their website.

During the three-hour free event, exhibitors will give patrons a chance to try their hand at using a drop spindle for making yarn, choosing various plant-based dyes to see how they affect and interact with the fabric they color, and see if weaving is their thing. On-hand special guests include farmers, artists who specialize in fiber, and even mill owners, all of whom want to show the community how clothing can be made from the body of an animal or plant to the body of a human being. The best part is that the demonstration highlights how this process can all be accomplished locally.

The event itself is organized by a local group called Industrious Anarchy, which promotes cloth making with a mission of limiting or even eliminating the carbon footprint left behind in its process. Artist and dyer Pamela Feldmen, a centerpiece of the afternoon, will be showing how the end result of sustainability is achieved through using natural dyes. Her artistry brings her all over the Chicago area this summer to teach dyeing with berries, leaves, and other local flora to minimize waste and play with color.

The Chicago Cultural Center is located less than one block from the Washington and Wabash exit on the Brown Line CTA, and is conveniently situated near several shopping venues and restaurants to round out the rest of the day. Come and enjoy an educational afternoon to learn how clothing and other textiles are an integral keystone on our planet.

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