Investing in Regenerative Fiber Value Chains

May 2022

Croatan Institute President and Senior Fellow Joshua Humphreys is joined by Institute partners, Molly Hemstreet of The Industrial Commons and Opportunity Threads, Eric Henry of TS Designs, Sarah Kelley of Common Threads Consulting, and Latashia Redhouse of Intertribal Agriculture Council for a conversation on growing needs and opportunities associated with investing in regenerative farm-to-fabric value chains. 

Earlier this year, the Textile Exchange, the global nonprofit for the preferred fibers and materials industry, released a major Regenerative Agriculture Landscape Analysis to provide the fashion and textile industry with a framework and toolkit to understand, communicate, and invest in the urgently needed transition to regenerative agriculture. Although commonly associated with the challenges of climate change and soil health, regenerative agriculture requires a more holistic approach to farming that centers humans and ecosystems and acknowledges its roots in Indigenous practices. Intertribal Agriculture Council played a key role in the Textile Exchange report, and they will share additional details on their work and emerging interest in regenerative fiber financing for Indian producers and Tribal enterprises.

Croatan Institute’s development of Soil Wealth Areas, a new place-based model for financing regenerative agriculture, aims to take precisely such a broader social and environmental approach to investing across value chains. The Carolina Textile District (CTD), an enterprise of The Industrial Commons, is one of numerous partners involved in piloting this work in North Carolina with an explicit focus on fibers. CTD is reimagining the future of the American textile industry, facilitating collaboration among makers and manufacturers across western North Carolina.

This conversation also coincides with the launch of a special collaboration between Croatan Institute and CTD member TS Designs featuring a one-of-a-kind T-shirt naturally dyed with locally foraged North Carolina black walnuts and made from local fiber transparently sourced from Solid State Clothing’s  10,000 Pounds of Cotton Project, an initiative created to transfer power to U.S. cotton farmers and conscious consumers. A portion of the proceeds from every t-shirt sale will support Croatan Institute’s mission to create an equitable world where finance supports flourishing communities, vibrant places, and resilient economies.

As part of emerging solutions, Common Threads Consulting will also share details about the new Integrated Capital Fiber Fund, which is currently being developed as an opportunity for funders and investors to rebuild soil-based natural fiber systems, unlock potential for regenerative land management, and reform the current extractive textile industry model.


Joshua Humphreys

Croatan Institute

Eric Henry

TS Designs

Molly Hemstreet

Industrial Commons

Sarah Kelley

Common Threads Consulting

Latashia Redhouse

Intertribal Agriculture Council

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