I love supporting my local fabric shops but the fabric is not organic or fairtrade. So I decided to split my sustainable budget and buy me some green threads. Actually I wanted them in blue….hahahahha. No, what I wanted was fair trade and organic cotton. Some research later and I came up with several online suppliers.
Tried & Tested
I have used both these companies and can recommend them. You can read the reviews below
Like The Look Of
I haven’t used the companies but I like the look of them. You will find a brief write up below
The hemp Shop pure Organic Hemp Strapping and fabric
Fair Trade Fabrics very nice handloom stripes
Majestic Textiles ltd U.K. made peace silk … amazing
Raystich Has a nice range of wollen fabrics some of it made in the U.K. and some 100% cotton fleece.
Ian Mankin Lovely organic furnishing fabrics
Drapers Organic are the Hemp Shower Curtain, Hemp Fabric and Hemp Homeware Company.
Mauds Fabric Finds Where I finally find a 100% organic cotton knit in a design I like.
Lancaster & Cornish Ribbons and lace
This company was a hit with me. They had a wide range of fabrics including Peace Silk that is silk made without killing the caterpiller, organic jersey and ethnic prints. You can find them all here
Their explanations of the fabrics provenance were clear and detailed. Each product is accompanied by a detailed description telling you exactly how it’s ethical. For example their ladybird cotton is :Animal Cruelty Free, Azo-Free, Fair Wage, Low Energy, Low Impact Dyes, Low Water, No Genetically Modified Crops, Organic Certified
This is followed by a more detailed explanation like this “The dyes used in printing the muslin are azo-free and the cotton is organic and completely biodegradable. Furthermore, the weaving and printing is done in a cooperative and certified Fair Trade by the WFTO. As the printed organic muslin is handmade the process uses virtually no energy or water! This print is also available as a cambric.
Know what you are sewing
They give the fabric weight and suggestions for its use. They post vidoes with an introduction to the fabric quality and pictures of the material made up. You can buy samples or swatch packs which are a broad selection of the most popular fabrics. .
Plastic Free Packaging
They will post the fabric out to you plastic free if you request it. I got this in response to my enquiry
” we are currently using cardboard boxes to send out the fabrics anyway. They are sometimes using bubble wrap to separate the fabrics – so if you just get in touch when you want to make the order we we make a note on it and ensure no plastic is used.”
Sadly the product I wanted was not in stock and I didnt have time to wait but I will be using this store in the future. And actually the packaging isn’t completely plastic free. You might want to double check
Organic Textile Company
I did buy from this store. They too had a good range of fabric and they state that ” All our fabrics are good quality inexpensive organic, cotton fairly traded. ” Though they don’t actually have a fair-trade certificate you can see that they are commuted to the cause. There are some nice personal details about the people they work with. I know who made my fabric,
They also supply ready made products like aprons and tea towels for craft projects.
Know what you are sewing
The fabric descriptions are not so clear. There is nothing on the dies used. They make some suggestions for what to make but do not put in the fabric weight. If you are new to sewing it might be a good idea to use their sample service. I copied the following from their website.
For 50p/£1 you can choose your own – buy separately, denims, cord, velvet,etc You can buy all current woven organic cotton and bamboo samples for £20 around 200 samples. Jersey samples are extra, order set 4.
If you are in the UK and would like 2 small free samples ….. It would help us greatly if you send an SAE (self adressed stamped envelope) saying what you would like and we’ll be happy to send them to you.
I was too rushed to use this and just ordered what I thought would suit. The fabric was lovely and the service prompt. Reviews to follow.
Packaging NOT PLASTIC FREE
Sadly the packaging was plastic.
Due to the nature of what we send through the post it is not suitable for us to use paper packaging. We do reuse packaging that is from parcels that have been sent to us and we would be able to send out fabric using recycled packaging if it was requested by a customer.
These just turned up as part of my research. I have had no dealings with them as yet but I do like the look of them….
Lancaster & Cornish Ribbons like this…. This bias cut feather weight habotai silk is super soft and drapy. The silk is dyed with natural plant dyes in our Cornwall studio.
And lace like this Manufactured in Europe, this guipure style lace trim is 100% certified organic cotton from seed to finished product. The family run factory have developed an innovative process to manufacture with environmentally friendy, non-toxic production techniques from seed to finished product,
Where I finally find a 100% organic cotton knit in a design I like.
Simple, subtle plusses on a gray ground make up this sophisticated fabric. 100% organic cotton knit.
At 200 grams per meter, this interlock knit is soft, stretchy, and sturdy enough for easy sewing
At Fair Trade Fabric we source cotton fabrics that help to improve the lives of poor and marginalised producers, from those who grow the cotton, to those who dye and weave it. The cotton is grown organically and produced to minimise the impact on the local environment Everything you will find in our online shop is fairly traded, guaranteeing that small scale producers in developing countries receive a fair, stable price.
Have a look at our range of organic, natural, fairly traded fabrics by the metres. You will find a comprehensive selection of organic cottons, wools, linens, and silk and hemp and also interesting combinations of these natural fibres. If knitting or crocheting is your passion, you will find organic wool and natural alpaca yarn in vibrant plant-dyed colours or attractive natural shades to suit a variety of uses.
Currently the majority of clothes and design fabrics are made from cotton. The major global fibre crop, it is also the most environmentally harmful, using 25% of the world’s pesticides. The mass introduction of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides has helped keep the price of cotton and other fibre and oilseed crops low. However, as pests have become more resistant to these chemicals, larger quantities are required, poisoning both land and water. Hemp, by comparison, needs little or no insecticides or herbicides and produces three times as much fibre, making it more environmentally friendly.
Has a nice range of wollen fabrics some of it made in the U.K.. Plus some pretty organic cottons some printed. And this
ORGANIC COTTON FLEECE – GREY MARL
Soft, fluffy-back sweatshirt fleece with a tight weave. Perfect for sweatshirts, baby blankets, cushions… It has an approximate 20% stretch with 97% recovery, and stretches two-way.
100% organic GOTS-certified cotton. 1.8m wide. 330gsm. Made in Turkey.
Price is per HALF metre. Multiple order quantities will be cut in a continuous length..
COTTON SWEATSHIRT RIBBING – STRIPED DARK GREY/GREY
Heavyweight cotton sweatshirt 1×1 ribbing for use as cuffs, neck and hems on both woven and stretch garments. This comes as a tubular knit that you can fold it over in many places depending on your required cuff length to create the cuff piece. Stripes are 2mm in width. Oeko-Tex 100 Standard certified.
96% cotton 4% elastane. 84cm wide. 500g/m2.
Price is per QUARTER metre.
Ian Mankin is delighted that everyone is becoming increasingly aware of the environmental, ethical and medical advantages of buying organic products and that more manufacturers and retailers are importing wider ranges at more economically acceptable prices into the country or making them up here – but Ian Mankin are leading the way in weaving delightful designer organic furnishing fabrics in our own mill in the UK – high quality, reasonably priced organic fabrics made by a British firm that has lasted six generations and is the first of the few remaining cotton mills to weave organic cottons and linens.
The company stocks fabrics in their natural, boiled off (BO) state. These plain silks are then used as canvasses, upon which unique hand-painted or embroidered designs are created according to the wishes of the individual customer. The company purchased a field in Hertfordshire, UK, in 2011 to grow Mulberry trees. Leaves from these organically grown trees are used to feed the silkworms, which then provide the organic silk cocoons. This process was monitored by the Soil Association, which awarded us the certification for Organic Silk in 2014.
Majestic Textiles does not use any detergents or bleaches, or feed its silkworms with hormone enhancements, as is common practice amongst many producers. The silkworms are allowed a full life circle, which gives the silk ‘Peace Silk’ status. This is the ethical process of allowing the silkworms to live a complete lifecycle. The silk cocoons are not taken until the metamorphosis is complete and the moth breaks free. The silkworms need 14 days in their cocoon feeding off the silk inside. This means only half as much silk is left at the end of the process, which is the main reason most silk producers bypass the ethics and kill the silkworms as soon as they cocoon. Majestic Textiles’ commitment to its silkworms is the reason we were awarded ‘Peace Silk’ status. Once the moth has broken free, it spends four days mating, before laying its eggs, and dying.
The hemp Shop Hempiness have yet another winner for us with this pure Organic Hemp Strapping. Following on from their Hemp webbing, here’s a different style.Need something that is properly tough? With Hemp’s legendary tensile strength, its breaking strain is the strongest in the entire plant kingdom, you’ll never be let down by this fantastic product. This is the strongest most durable hemp material in the range. Less flexible than the others it is great for products that need a little more power such as bags, belts, chairs and even edging material for rugs.
are the Hemp Shower Curtain, Hemp Fabric and Hemp Homeware Company. We believe you should be able to have style and comfort whilst still enjoying a healthier, more sustainable living environment. We have therefore designed our own elegant range of hemp shower curtains, contemporary hemp fabrics and mix and match hemp tablecloths, napkins, runners, cushion covers & curtains. With our organic cotton sanitary pads, bamboo towels and hemp bags too, we aim to offer a real and affordable alternative for our customers. Thank you for looking.
Eco Earth Fabrics do some organic, fair-trade and hemp fabrics
And there is a good list here of organic cotton and other virtuous fabric here
Harlands Organic Furnishings
Specialist suppliers of organic fabrics, mainly for soft furnishings
Wide range of bamboo fabrics
47 and 98 Berwick Street, London.
020 7437 5155
Limited range of organic cotton and other fabrics, plus English wool and pure wool felt by the metre
Will print to commission on organic fabrics with non-toxic dyes
M is for Make
Retail Cloud 9 printed organic cotton made in the US.
Ardalanish Isle of Mull Weavers
Organic wool tweed made in Scotland
British Made Eco
Organic and sustainable fabrics
Small range of organic cotton printed fabrics
Limited range of organic cotton printed in Scotland
0131 226 7472
Denise Bird Woven Textiles
Ethical and organic textiles
The African Fabric Shop
Not officially fair-trade status but ethically-sourced fabrics
100% wool felt including natural-dyed and organic stuffing wool
Wool and organic wool felt including naturally-dyed
Organisers of Festival of Quilts and Knitting & Stitching Shows where a range of independent fabric suppliers can be found.
The Original Re-enactors Market
Market for historical re-enactment. Suppliers of wool and linen fabrics from various sources.
German supplier of historical fabrics including some naturally-dyed wool and hemp fabrics
Make Do & Mend
Jen over at the blog of the same name has a good list of resources including this list of suppliers of ethical fabrics, ribbons and lace. I will make that flouncy neglige yet! And pants. An organic make your own pants pack! Coolio!
And a very interesting post on using second hand supplies.