Linda Cortright is the editor and publisher of Wild Fibers magazine, the only publication focused on all aspects of the natural fiber industry from traveling with nomads and their camels in the Gobi Desert, to working with veiled weavers in Oman.
Frequently referred to as “the National Geographic of Fibers,” Wild Fibers offers an extraordinary blend of photography, culture, travel, and natural fiber. Its mission is to understand and promote the role natural fibers play throughout the world, specifically highlighting developing countries. “We are as devoted to the people who spin, weave, and create “magic” with fiber, as we are to the farmers, nomads, and shepherds who have tended these valuable animals since the dawn of time.” Cortright says.
In 2014, Cortright launched a campaign to build the Pangong Craft Center. It is the first cashmere craft center in India’s High Himalayas, specifically designed to enable a village of semi-nomadic women to earn income by creating value-added cashmere products (handspun yarn, shawls, scarves, etc.), The Pangong Craft Center represents an extraordinary opportunity for women and their families who have few options for employment living at 15,000 feet.
Cortright also served on the Steering Committee for the International Year of Natural Fibers 2009 (IYNF 2009); a global initiative sponsored by the United Nations’ FAO Division in Rome, Italy. She currently works with the IWTO (International Wool Textile Organization) new global program “Discover Natural Fibers Initiative,” which seeks to unite fiber producers and processors throughout the world,
Cortright started Wild Fibers in 2004 after several years as marketing director for The Island Institute; a non-profit organization dedicated to helping sustain Maine’s islands and remote coastal areas. That experience led Cortright to understand the correlation of preserving agricultural and artisan traditions to maintain traditional livelihoods.
Prior to launching Wild Fibers, Cortright worked in public relations at CBS television, nuclear training for Philadelphia Electric Company, and eventually wrote and produced a documentary on the Chernobyl disaster for the United Nations in Vienna, Austria. She has worked as a marketing consultant for Peace Corps after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
In addition to publishing Wild Fibers, managing Pangong Craft Center, leading tours to India, The Falklands, Alaska, South Africa, Swaziland, Antarctica, and the Russian Arctic, Cortright is also an international speaker, promoting awareness about the ancient bond between culture, craft, and environment.