A few months ago, Sophie and I realised we were always asking each other for ethical fabric shop recommendations to bring our ideas to life. So, we started to create a list of online and bricks and mortar stores that we could both easily access. We've continued to add to the list and added all of your amazing recommendations too.
We like to be as sustainable as possible when creating so have recommended businesses that sell ethical supplies. If you'd like to understand more about the different types of sustainable fabrics out there, scroll to the bottom to read our quick guide.
So... if you're struggling to find somewhere to buy all your sewing goods including organic dressmaking fabrics, ethical swimwear and lingerie trims, organic threads and so much more, then you're in the right place.
A-Z Sewing Shop Directory
ONLINE ONLY STORES
*most stores ship worldwide as well but, depending on where you live, bear in mind the customs fees*
Hey Sew Sister Location: Scotland UK Website: https://heysewsister.co.uk/shop/fabric
A great collection of ethical trims with a wide variety of elastics, lingerie elastics, ethical rubber for swimwear and more. This is my go-to place for ethical elastics.
Lush Cloth Location: UK Website: https://www.lushcloth.co.uk
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lushcloth/ Lush Cloth has a section on their website for sustainable fabrics and also offers deadstock and ex-designer fabrics amongst others.
My Fabrics Location: UK Website: https://www.myfabrics.co.uk/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/myfabricscouk/ Has lovely organic ribbing, as well as fabric, plus a great range of recycled buttons.
Pure Waste Location: Finland Website: https://www.purewaste.com/shop/materials/fabrics
They sell fabric made entirely out of recycled materials: surplus cotton cutting waste from the textile industry and recycled polyester. They also don't add colours or chemicals to their textiles; the fabric gets its colour according to the recycled waste.
Sew Me Sunshine UK Location: London UK Website: https://sewmesunshine.co.uk/collections/organic-fabrics Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sewmesunshine.uk/
Lovely collection of ethical fabrics but they also stock non-organic fabrics as well so make sure to choose ethical when filtering through.
Since closing our ethical haberdashery store, the lovely Rosie has taken it over, relaunched as The Dorset Haberdashery and expanded it even further.
The Organic Textile Company
Location: Wales UK Website: https://www.organiccotton.biz/store/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/organic_textile_company/
A great collection of ethical organic fabrics. I've ordered from here many times and they're always happy to help.
America (North & South)
A Thrifty Notion Location: Kansas, US Website: https://athriftynotion.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/athriftynotion/ Secondhand fabric shop. A Thrifty Notion has a weekly fabric drop on Fridays at 10 a.m. CST. You can donate unwanted fabrics that you no longer want/need.
Blackbird fabrics Location: Vancouver CA Website: https://www.blackbirdfabrics.com/
Online & In-store shops - so you can visit too
Coffee & Cloth Location: Shropshire UK Website: https://coffeeandcloth.co.uk/collections/cloth
Fabric Romance Location: Ireland Website: https://www.fabricromance.ie/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fabricromance/ Recycled swim and lingerie fabrics. An amazing range of eco-friendly fabrics.
Good Fabric Location: Wimbledon Uk (studio visits by appointment only) Website: https://www.goodfabric.co.uk/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/good_fabric_store/ I've ordered from here many times and every time the fabrics have been even better than imagined. Polina is also really happy to answer questions and give advice. This is especially helpful when ordering online. A fabulous range of organic fabrics for all of your amazing designs.
Guthrie Ghani Location: Birmingham UK Website: https://guthrie-ghani.co.uk/shop/fabrics Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/guthrieghani/ Has a range of OEKO-TEX certified and GOTS certified fabrics along with Lenzing EcoVero certified fibres too.
Lamazi Fabrics Location: Horsham (West Sussex) UK Website: https://lamazifabrics.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lamazifabrics/ Has a beautiful range of OEKO-TEX certified fabrics for dressmaking amongst Mind The Maker organic knits and my favourite sustainable print designer, Atelier Brunette.
A vast array of fabrics, mostly 'normal' fabric but they also have a lovely range of organic linens and ribs and this seems to be a growing area for them too.
METERMETER Location: Denmark Website: https://www.metermeter.dk/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/metermeterdk/ Based in Denmark, METERMETER 'is a modern fabric store with a special focus on quality and sustainability. Everything is hand-picked and carefully selected'. It offers a range of Tencel knits and wovens amongst some other organic fabrics.
Macculloch and Wallis Location: London UK Website: https://www.macculloch-wallis.co.uk/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Maccullochw/ An amazing haberdashery and also some fabrics but mainly non-ethical. However, they do have some ethical trims like tape and webbing etc.
A small collection of ethical fabrics in amongst 'normal' fabrics.
Stitches and Cream
Location: Falmouth UK Website: https://www.stitchesandcream.co.uk/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stitchesandcreamfalmouth/
Lovely wool and fabric store. They have a curated selection of fabrics including my favourite ethical fabric designer Atelier Brunette and if you're into knitting, the most amazing collection of ethical wools.
The Sewing Loft
Australia & New-Zealand
Mrs Maude Sewing
Location: New Zealand (North Island)
Website: https://missmaudesewing.co.nz/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/missmaudenz/ I was very lucky to be able to visit here in 2020 and they had a beautiful store full of ethical supplies with a good selection of fabrics, trims, kits, patterns and more.
The Fabric Store Location: New Zealand and Australia Website: https://thefabricstoreonline.com/
Offer 'a curated range of designer dress fabrics and mill overruns'. The Fabric Store has an organic and eco fabrics section which includes bias binding, twill linings and more.
** Please note that some of the websites above sell organic fabric amongst non-organic fabric, so be sure to look out for organic textile certification labels which you can learn more about below. **
Also if you have any other websites or stores, no matter where they are in the world, that you love getting your organic textile supplies from, let us know and we'll add it to the list so it's all in one place and super handy for you.
A quick guide on sustainable fabrics
Organic fabrics are fabrics that are created without any harmful chemicals. No harmful chemicals are used at any stage of the growing, manufacturing or dyeing processes. These are the most common types of organic fabrics:
Organic bamboo fabric - a silk-like fabric made from bamboo fibres. This is often used as an alternative to silk. Bamboo fabric is a vegan fabric whereas silk is not. Organic cotton fabric - a cotton fabric made from cotton plants that have grown organically and sustainably.
What's the positive side of organic fabrics?
Reduces the use of hazardous pesticides
Some organic fabric manufacture processes use less water
If the fabrics are certified by an organic textile certification, it means that the fabric has been made following strict environmental and ethical guidelines. The workers were treated fairly, harmful chemicals and processes were not used to create the fabric.
TIP: Look out for organic textile certifications such as OEKO-TEX and GOTS on clothes and fabrics to make sure that it actually is organic and workers have been treated fairly.
What's the negative side of organic fabrics?
I get asked all the time which fibre is better for the planet and to be honest, everything has its drawbacks and I want to be honest and share those with you:
Organic bamboo - processing the bamboo afterwards takes more energy than processing cotton. On the other hand, growing bamboo is very sustainable but requires a lot of water.
Organic cotton - takes a lot of water to produce it so you have to be careful that the fabric hasn't come from areas where water is in short supply and is denying the people and animals their drinking water.
As with everything, there's always a positive and negative to these things and the only way to really have no impact at all on Earth is to not do anything but it's all about learning, adapting and educating.
Recycled fabrics are usually made up of different recycled materials. This could be fibres made from other fabrics that have been recycled, recycled plastic bottles, recycled fishing nets and so on. Positive side - Better than them going to landfill Negative side - microplastics still get into our seas which are bad for fish TIP: Look for a higher percentage of recycled fibre rather than a lower percentage as this can be a sales tactic.
You may have seen the terms 'deadstock fabrics' and 'ex designer fabrics' too. Garment factories usually have a large amount of fabric leftover from collections and seasons. This leftover fabric is often sent to landfills to be disposed of causing environmental damage and ethical issues around the world.
Positives -Reduces waste and prevents large amounts from going straight to landfill
Negatives - The clothing companies aren't being accountable for their overproduction and waste - a lot still ends up in landfills. The fibres have also usually not been ethically made.
Ok, so now you know where to get your amazing organic supplies from but it's time to upgrade your sewing game and create your dream clothes. No more searching high and low for a pattern that kind of matches your design and no more struggling to hack your patterns to work for your style.
Join me inside my FREE masterclass and learn how to start creating your very own sewing patterns. You'll soon be transforming your beautiful fabrics into clothes you love and want to wear.