Why did we begin Liflad?

Zoe Gilbertson surrounded by pink Acer leaves in a garden
Zoe Gilbertson

Liflad CIC is a brand new not-for-profit company. Woohoo! It’s so exciting to type those words. To share our excitement, I’d like to explain why the Directors, Hattie Emerson, Kat Davis and I have founded this company, why we believe it’s important, what underpins our aims and what we hope to achieve.

I’ve been involved in sustainable fashion initiatives and various enterprises over 20 years. In that time the consumption of clothing and other resource intensive materials has increased exponentially and shows no sign of slowing. Consumption fills a void left by our current empty culture, bereft of purpose and meaning, focused on social media, shopping and individual pleasure. Our aim is to support and demonstrate enterprise that creates useful items from local resources using natural materials and minimal energy, in synergy with agroecological and regenerative methods.

We exist to help provision an emerging culture; one that balances the needs of both nature and people, one that reflects fundamental human needs (rather than wants) whilst manifesting respect for all living beings. The UK lost much of its local textile knowledge hundreds of years ago when our early advancement of industrial processes and colonisation obliterated our indigenous knowledge. Blending old and new technologies, restoring long forgotten processes and bringing hydrid knowledge back into being is essential. We will facilitate networks, research, design and develop new economic, social and governance systems, in service of creating new livelihoods from natural material supply chains of fibre, textiles and clothing.

Liflad will be an emergent container for creativity and practice and we are open to its development over time. We have been involved with enough ventures to understand that the thing you start out with may not be the thing you end up with. This is ok. We are dancing with possibility.

A longer version of this post can be found on my substack, please follow me on there 🙏 :

By Zoe Gilbertson

Zoe is CEO and co-founder of Liflad.