Seamwork

7 Sustainable Fashion Resources

A list of designers, fabric suppliers, and resources for sustainable sewing and fashion.

People Tree’s Fair Trade Garments

When you commit yourself to a creative practice—such as sewing—you not only have control over design, form, and function, but you also have control over your supplies. Many designers take care to source responsibly and demonstrate eco-friendly and sustainable practices throughout their creative process. If this is an important part of your creative process as well, you likely seek to support companies that are transparent about their ethics and production.

VAVA Lingerie, MOORE Custom Goods, Spiritex Organic Cotton Textiles, Thread International

We recognize the effort it takes to incorporate these values into your home sewing practices. Wondering where to start? Here are some designers, companies, and suppliers who you can trust to deliver—or point you to—sustainable goods.

  1. MOORE Custom Goods: In this month’s issue, we spoke with MOORE’s founder, Andrea, about her dedication to sustainable production and her efforts to source local and vegan supplies for her apparel collections.

  2. People Tree: This UK-based fashion company has a goal to be 100% fair trade across its supply chain. It serves as a model for companies that want to meet the shifting demands and desires of fashion consumers.

  3. Spiritex Organic Fabric: Organic fabric—especially cotton—is a hot topic, not only in the apparel industry but also amongst people who sew. Is it worth it? Does it make a difference? Cotton has a complicated history, furthered by the fact that it’s hard to get accurate information about what happens to cotton throughout the supply chain, starting from right when it’s planted. Companies such as Spiritex partner directly with organic cotton farmers in the US and aim to keep their production transparent. You can trace Spiritex’s fabric from location to location across the southwest, throughout each step of their process.

  4. Sustainable Apparel Coalition: If you struggle to parse out material origins in the fashion production chain, this is a great resource. The Higg Materials Sustainability Index measures the environmental impact of material production across entire supply chains for the apparel industry. This means you can look at each material to make more sustainable choices with your supplies. Wondering about trendy marketing for eco-friendly fabric, such as modal? Or the effects of wool production? You can learn about their environmental impact with this tool.

  5. Thread International: Do you feel guilty whenever you use a plastic bottle? Thread sells rPET fabric which they create from post-consumer plastic sourced in the developing world. Their production model creates jobs across the world, and they are partnering with an increasingly influential list of brands. You can buy their fabric by the yard, and their collection includes some great basics for wardrobe-building, with a range of wovens and knits in classic colors. If you can’t believe it, order a pack of their swatches and see for yourself!

  6. VAVA Lingerie: If you’ve sewn lingerie, you know that sourcing sustainable supplies is a challenge, as most of the notions and fabrics are synthetic. VAVA Lingerie has sweatshop free, eco-conscious, luxury lingerie, made in a wide size range for petite to plus size babes. A few years ago, we spoke with VAVA Lingerie about their sustainable practices.

  7. Fashiondex: When a designer opens up their Rolodex of sustainable suppliers—from fabric to trims—contractors, and manufacturers, you get this list. Bookmark it!

October, 2017

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