Now I am starting to source fabrics for the launch collection I am beginning to realise just how difficult this is. I want to use not only sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton or bamboo but also want the fabrics and components such as zips and buttons to be made in Britain. I can hopefully be more certain of the suppliers ethics and the product's provenance if I am sourcing from UK manufacturers. However I am making it doubly hard for myself in wanting both eco credentials and British made goods.
There seems to be very little organic cloth available in the UK at the moment but I am hoping this will increase over time. I have discovered Discovery Knitting (excuse the pun!) who knit GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified organic jerseys and are based near me. So that's my t-shirts and sweatshirts covered with very little fuel emissions at my end.
There is also the Organic Textile Company who are based in Wales and hold a varied range of fabrics from denim to cotton poplin for shirts. They buy in their fabrics from GOTS certified mills in India, Turkey and China, many of which are made on small hand looms in an artisanal way. The company return some of their profits to help the Indian weavers they work with and support local initiatives. I would rather use British made goods to create an authentically British product but I shall have to compromise on this until more becomes available.
Offset Warehouse have a variety of sustainable fabrics that are ethically sourced but none were suitable for what I needed.
Both these companies will not be able to cover all my fabric needs so I am also looking into a some British woollen weavers who are over 175 years old. It would be amazing to include this textile heritage into the collection, even though they don't stock organic products.
As for components and trims there are not many UK manufacturers left. I managed to find one button manufacturer Courtney & Co. who use corozo to make buttons. These are made from the nut of the Tagua tree from central America, which is a highly sustainable and eco-friendly material. However they only make one style of button and I will need more than that so again I will have to re-think my options until I can find other products.
So if anyone can recommend any UK textile mills making sustainable fabrics or UK manufacturers making eco friendly components please let me know :-)
#SustainableFashion #OrganicFabrics #MadeInBritain
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