You probably know by now that it's Fashion Revolution Week (read Friday's post HERE) and we will be celebrating the Handmade Revolution here on the blog all week. There are many little things we can do to make the fashion industry better, of course having a good look at the companies we buy from and making sure they practise fair trade is one of those ways. A few other ways are buying second hand, buying local, buying up-cycled... you can read more about this in a guide on Ethical Fashion I wrote HERE. And of course if you are the one sewing, then you know who is making your clothes. Are you doing it in good working conditions? Maybe not ;) I sometimes forget to eat or don't get to see the sunlight because I am too busy at my sewing machine, but these are choices I choose to make. In all seriousness, exploitations of workers isn't only restricted to factory workers. The textile manufacturing leaves a large environmental footprint. Think about what goes into producing these textiles we buy-  from the chemicals used to grow raw materials to water pollution from processing and dyeing to global shipping practices, the fabric business leaves a harsh stain. 

Responsible style starts with the right fabric. 

By knowing what fabrics are eco friendly and sustainable, you can then also make an impact on the environment all the while sewing your own clothes. The following fabrics not only are environmentally friendly, they happen to look great and feel awesome too. 

 I created a Pinterest board with some of my favourite eco friendly and sustainable fabrics, I'll be adding as I find more of course. If you have a great source or eco friendly shop you love, leave a comment and I will be sure to add some link to the Pinterest board so we have a reference and guide to look back on. 

I won't go too much in detail about each fabric, you could spend hours researching about more specifics if you are really interested. This is just a guideline to get you thinking about the different fabrics you could search for when shopping online and start making a small difference.

ORGANIC COTTON
Organic cotton is the same as standard cotton, except it is grown without the use of chemical pesticides, synthetic fertilizers or genetic engineering. Cotton that is grown organically improves soil quality and often uses less water than conventionally-grown cotton. 
 

LYOCELL or TENCEL
Made from the cellulose of wood pulp, Tencel is harvested from tree farms. The fiber is produced via a "closed loop" process, minimizing impact on the environment by utilizing as little energy and water as possible, and recycling its non-toxic solvents throughout the production process.
Tencel shares many of the features of other sustainable fabrics. Soft and absorbent, it resists wrinkles well and is very strong, even when wet. It can be machine washed or dry cleaned, and drapes well.

MODAL
Modal is considered a bio-based fabric because it is made from the wood pulp of beech trees. Sometimes referred to as "artificial silk," modal is soft, smooth and drapes well. It also breathes well and is very absorbent.

HEMP
Hemp is considered a high-yield crop that produces a significant amount of fiber per square foot without exhausting the soil. It requires no pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers and very little water. Hemp doesn't wear out - it wears in! Valued for its strength and durability, hemp gets softer every time you wash it. Not only is it strong, hemp also holds its shape, preventing garments from stretching out or becoming distorted. It is breathable and naturally mold and mildew resistant, making it a perfect choice for warm, humid climates.

RAMIE

Ramie is one of the oldest natural plant fibers, having been used as far back as ancient Egypt. It can be harvested up to 3 or 4 times a year with significantly less water needed than other plants like cotton. It is naturally resistant to bacteria, molds and mildew and able to grow healthily without needing pesticides or herbicides. Ramie fibers are one of the strongest natural fibers - up to 8 times stronger than cotton. It is stain resistant and highly absorbent, which makes it comfortable to wear in warm weather.

RECYCLED POLYESTER
Recycled polyester uses post-consumer waste like plastic bottles or polyester fabric remnants to create new polyester fabric. Not only are these materials kept out of landfills, but using them also reduces the need for raw materials to manufacture new fibers.  Recycled polyester is just as soft, lightweight and easy to wash as the original!

MERINO WOOL:
Wool is made from the hair produced by animals such as sheep and goats. It's been used for many years as the basis for many products, from clothes to bedding and other household goods. The wool from the merino sheep stands out in a crowd. It's built for extremes - breathable in warmer weather, insulating in the cold and still remains lightweight and most of all, soft!

Other fabrics such as Soy fabrics, Linen, Alpaca, Cashmere are also a great sustainable choice. New fabrics like Ingeo even though leave a large eco-unfriendly footprint via pesticides, water use and land hogging of growing plant sugars derived from corn, they still provide advantages as they use half as much energy to produce as it does cotton, even organic cotton. As science evolve it will be interesting all the new emerging eco-friendly fabrics.  Bamboo receives lots of eco-buzz because it’s easy to grow without pesticides and is quick to replenish itself. However, It’s when the processing starts that it potentially loses its eco status, the manufacturing is pretty toxic. Something to keep in mind

Organic and sustainable fabric are more readily available, lot's of shop carry a nice variety. A simple to check is to search for specific fabrics in your favourite online shops with what you are looking for wether organic cotton, modal or merino wool for example. Always shop from a trusted store, read the review and make sure they are legit,  it's not because something is named Organic or Bio that it is certified or that is made with fair trade standards. Try to find fabrics that use non toxic dyes, if in doubt buy natural or pale colours.  Don't be afraid to ask questions if you have any doubts.  

Here are some shops that have a great variety and specialize in sustainable and/or organic fabrics- some are from the US, other from Canada and Europe. [click on the photo to bring you straight to the shops]

NOSH ORGANICS Be sure to enter our giveaway below to enter a chance to win 100euros from Nosh. 

NOSH ORGANICS

Be sure to enter our giveaway below to enter a chance to win 100euros from Nosh. 

NELLY MORELLY SHOP

NELLY MORELLY SHOP

Textiles companies such as Cloud9 Birch Organic Fabrics, Mona Luna, Elvelykcan produce only 100% organic cotton with low impact dyes and are committed to ethical and responsable practices.

Let's not forget Spoonflower, they prints fabric on demand using eco-friendly, water-based inks on natural and synthetic fabric. Because they print the exact length desired, there is little waste of ink, fabric, or water. They also have few organic options to chose from such as their interlock knit, satin and canvas. 

CHARLIE HARPER

CHARLIE HARPER

Or have you ever considered buying pre-owned or vintage fabric? De-stash or swap sales are great as well as vintage and thrift shops. Flea markets are fun too. Other sites such as Ebay and Etsy are great source, you can find some one of kind or out of prints fabric this way. I've used curtains and sheets before too. You just need to think outside the box sometimes. 

Check out REVIVAL FABRIC, DONNA FLOWER and VINTAGE FABRIC for cool vintage fabrics. 

Check out REVIVAL FABRIC, DONNA FLOWER and VINTAGE FABRIC for cool vintage fabrics. 

Up-cycling and recycling old clothes is another way to re-use fabrics and such a great way to avoid that these old clothes end up in landfills. What about fabric scraps? Find fun ways of using those and minimize how much trash you are creating. We have lot's of great examples and tutorials and different way to use these principles this week. Stay tuned. 

Also slow down and think about the choices you are making. There really is no point in making a thousand things and never end up wearing them. Just as there is a slow movement in the fashion industry, we should maybe adopt one in the sewing community too! Buying quality over quantity? Buying only what we need? Making things with good quality fabrics that will go through washes and be worn over and over. 

LET'S All BE FASHION REVOLUTIONARIES!!!

I am not saying I won't be buying any new fabric, I am saying I will make a conscious effort to take a look at what I am buying and think about who created the fabric! As of today I will take the pledge that I will not buy any new clothing that is not eco-friendly or sustainable and will ask myself "who made my clothes". I guess I will be sewing more for myself- I think that is a win win situation! Who is with me? 

HOW ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY?

HOW CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE THIS WEEK...

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To enter the giveaway you’ll have to take a photo of yourself or of your kids wearing a garment you made inside out and holding either this handmade Fashion Revolution poster (here) if you’re showing something you made for yourself or this one (here) and post to Instagram { See friday's post for examples}.

You'll then have to add it to our link party ( below) and giveaway widget for extra entries. To add your photo from Instagram go to www.instagram.com/username - then click on the photo you wish to share and copy and paste the link here. 

The deadline to submit a photo will be Sunday 24th midnight EST. If you share your photo(s) in social media please use the hashtags #FashRev #whomademyclothes #handmadeinsideout #imademyclothes #petitapetitfashrev so we can make our amazing community aware of the Fashion Revolution Event. You're allowed to share more than one photo.

The 5 winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Tuesday 26th of April.

Along with our generous sponsors we are giving away 5 identical prize packages, each including:

One 100€ gift card from Nosh Organics.

All of Petit à Petit patterns that have been launched to date.

One pattern of choice from the Upcraft Club.

One sewing pattern of choice from the following designers: Titchy ThreadsJennuine DesignSew Much AdoCoffee and ThreadStraightGrainLBG StudioRock the Stitch.

Miss Polly sewing pattern by Sew Pony; Cocoon Dress sewing pattern by Groovy Baby and Mama; Bubble Shorts sewing pattern by Do Guincho.

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