Increasing awareness of the detrimental effects, both on the environment and on people, of fast fashion and disposable clothing has prompted many lively discussions around the EHS studio. After 50 years of practicing ancient textile arts like spinning and weaving, often with materials gathered from farms just outside the city-limits, we feel confident in claiming that we were local makers before it was cool.

To highlight our commitment to sustainable fibre arts, our investment in local hand-made economies and our deep knowledge of craft as clothing we launched The 50 Mile Coat.

This real-time creation of a coat from fibres and materials sourced from within 50 miles took place from April 23 to May 15, 2016 as a part of our 50th Anniversary celebrations. EHS makers collectively processed, dyed, spun, wove and sewed a coat designed by an EHS member.  All the work was done in the Main Gallery to make our work visible, and explain the process to all who came by to visit.

The Coat was finished and revealed at the Final Reception on Sunday, May 15, 2016. Attended by our three local levels of politicians who presented awards to the group, there was great excitement and interested from the crowd of people attending.

The Coat has been on tour, presented to local Guilds, featured at the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Conference in May, 2017, and on display at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario in 2017.

If you’d like to host a presentation on the coat, please contact