Field to Fashion is a new initiative that unites farmers and stylist in order to preserve Acadiana roots and put it to use today. The group is planting brown cotton seeds that will eventually be used in the local fashion industry.
The spinning and weaving of natural brown cotton stretch back 250 years. In efforts to keep this tradition alive, seeds were planted into fields at the UL-Experimental Farm.
“I know people down here are incredible about making things work with very few resources,” said Sharon Donnan.
Sharon Donnan is a Los-Anglos native that fell in love with the Cajun heartland. She created the documentary, “Acadian Brown Cotton, A Cajun Love Story.” Now, the movement, “Field to Fashion.”
Sharon Donnan met with local farmers, business owners, entrepreneurs and cotton-weavers at Vermilionville to create a market of brown cotton into the fashion industry.
“It really reflects the whole Acadian tradition of independency and self-suffiency and I thought yeah we can do this,” said Donnan.
Farmers spoke about the impact planting these seeds will have on farming. Stylist mentioned the high-demand for knitted, spun and hand-made garments here in Cajun Country.
The spinning and weaving of brown cotton stretches back to 250 years in Acadiana.
“Now there’s people actually looking for organic cottons and hip fabrics,” said Zack Mcmath, President of the Acadiana Food Hub. He mentioned that this production will create a new market for farmers.
“You’re looking at 30 to 40 dollars per pound for organic brown cotton. An acre can produce 8,000 pounds in a four-five month season. It’s not a bad bumper crop,” Mcmath added.
There are already 600 seeds planted in hopes of eventually having organic products sold in the area.
“Whether their bags are newly born saddlers, or baby pillows, or T-tails.. Whatever it is. Hopefully, they will replicate the old Acadian patterns,” said Donnan.
Farmers and stylist and cotton-weavers are working hand-in-hand.
“This opportunity is incredible,” said Mcmath.
Anyone farmers interested in joining this project is encouraged to contact Acadiana Food Hub.
1811 N. University Avenue, Suite 103
Lafayette, Louisiana, 70507