Focus on… buying organic & fair trade cottons

As usual the focus of this article is UK-based online shops. If you are shopping in the USA, you have a lot more options available to you. Here in the UK, you have some options if you prefer to buy cottons which have been grown organically, and a lot fewer if you want to try and buy fair trade – I have searched round to find what I can for you. First up there are the brands/manufacturers that use organic cotton only.

Birch Fabrics

 

Online shops that regularly have Birch fabrics in stock are The Eternal Maker, Seamstar, Ray Stitch and M is for Make.

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Cloud 9

Cloud 9 Logo

Online shops that regularly have Cloud 9 Fabrics are Backstitch, Celtic Fusion Fabrics, M is for Make, Eclectic Maker, Fabic Rehab, The Eternal Maker, Ray Stitch, Saints & Pinners, Seamstar and Tinsmiths. Cloud 9 has two categories for its collections – Premium and Price Sensitive, which means there are options for people on a budget too.

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Westfalenstoffe

Cottons from this German manufacturer are available in the UK at Celtic Fusion Fabrics, Fabric Rehab, The Eternal Maker, Frumble and more.

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Daisy Janie

A USA based company set up by Jan DiCintio. The Eternal Maker is a stockist.

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Robert Kaufman

This huge USA-based manufacturer has a number of organic lines. A number their print ranges are printed on organic cotton – it’s worth checking out the list on their greenSTYLE page. Frumble, The Eternal Maker, Saints and Pinners, The Village Haberdashery, Fabric Rehab, Fancy Moon and many many more UK-based shops sell fabrics from Robert Kaufman.

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If you are UK based shop and you stock any of these brands or fair trade/organic fabrics and would like to be included in this article, do please leave a comment, I will be happy to add you.

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Shops with a particular focus on Organic and Fair Trade

 

Ray Stitch

 

Ray Stitch has a particularly rich selection of organic fabrics, helpfully organised together in a group in the online shop. There are prints, solids, checks and stripes and a variety of weights and types of fabric too, including voile, jersey, needlecord and cambric. If you want to pick some organic fabric along with other sewing supplies and maybe other fabrics too, then Ray Stitch is a great general sewing store too.

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Fair Trade Fabrics

This lovely store stocks only fairly traded fabrics. The cotton is grown in Gujarat in India to organic standards and it is woven in a workers’ cooperative in Tamil Nadu. There is a wide range of beautiful colours in solids, stripes and check weaves.  Fabrics are available by the metre (mostly at £10 per metre) or Fat Quarter, and there are FQ bundles and very prettily packaged Charm Packs available too. The payment options are credit card and Paypal, and the delivery charges are £2.30 plus 20p per item.

 

Organic Textile Company
Organic fair trade cotton

This store has a lovely (and huge!) range of all kinds of organic and fair trade fabrics.  They stock calico, cord, velvet, linen, jersey, handloom cotton, bamboo and silk, many in beautiful colour ranges, and even have some amazing-looking herbal-dyed cottons. This year they have won an award from the Ethical Fashion Forum. I haven’t bought from these people myself, but they come highly recommended.

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Oakshott Fabrics

Oakshott fabrics

Oakshott have a lovely range of beautiful fabrics, including gorgeous shot cottons which are just perfect for quilting. Although (as far as I can tell from their website) their fabrics are not fair trade or organic, they are woven by a workers’ co-operative in Kerala (India), and the weavers are protected by local labour laws and by International Social Accountability Standards (I assume set by this organisation). You can buy fabrics from Oakshott by the metre or in a wide selection of bundles. They also have specially designed, very stylish kits for bags and quilts.

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Please do let me know if you have other recommendations that I can consider adding to the list!

Weekly UK fabric news update

Focus on…. Emma’s Fabric Studio

I’m not really sure how I’ve missed Emma’s Fabric Studio. I hadn’t spotted the shop at all before last week, and then, in a rather synchronicitous occurrence, I was looking for a hard-to-find Robert Kaufman fabric, and spotted it just here, and a couple of days later, Emma got in touch to introduce herself. Spooky!

I feel a slight blow to my pride as fount of all knowledge on fabric shops (!) that I’ve missed Emma up to now (how? She has 4,000+ likers on her Facebook page!!), because she has a great shop, with lots of fun fabrics from manufacturers Riley Blake Designs, Robert Kaufman and Michael Miller, and all those extras that are so important, such as buttons, wadding, trims and binding. Emma takes particular pride in her stock of fabric bundles (which she says are all named, like Mulberry bags), and I’m not surprised, they look just great.

Pugwash bundle from Emma's Fabric Studio

© Emma’s Fabric Studio

The quality of the images in the shop are just fantastic (a lesson for us all in pretty product photography!) and in the bundle section, there’s a pic of each fabric in the bundle, as well as the bundle itself – which is really going the extra mile for us customers. Emma also places great importance on customer service – and is happy for people to phone to talk about their requirements, colour matches or any specific questions they might have.

Payments are processed with Paypal (or the Paypal credit/debit card facility) and postage is calculated by the weight of your purchase. Here are the other links you need if you want to keep up with shop news:

Emma’s Fabric Studio blog
Emma’s Fabric Studio on Twitter
Emma’s Fabric Studio on Facebook 

Emma is currently having a giveaway on Facebook to celebrate reaching 4000 likers, so if somehow you’ve been as lax as me and failed to find them before, now is the time to take a look.

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Other News

I’m really happy to see that Washi, a long awaited (by me anyway!) collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale has arrived at M is for Make.  I love this scrumptious triangle fabric. M is for Make have a ton of new stuff in – it’s worth checking out Kate’s blog to see what’s what.

Woodland by Natalie Lymer for Lecien is also popping up in various places, including M is for Make, Celtic Fusion Fabrics and Fabric Rehab.

If you are a fan of beautiful Arts & Crafts designs then you’ll find Fabric Freedom’s William Morris fabrics on offer at Doughty’s this week.

Funky Kitsch is a very new shop stocking (at the moment) cottons from Michael Miller & interlock jersey from Znok and Mina Sma. They currently have a special offer of 10% off any first order with the code Firstorder10 at checkout. You can find their Facebook page just here if you’d like to keep up with Funky Kitsch news.

The Fancy Moon Newsletter is now out – with details of lots of new fabrics in and announcing the launch of their Gift Vouchers (hint to anyone who is buying for my birthday in a couple of weeks…!).

Calico Laine have had a bit of a redesign on their website – why not pop round and take a look. Then, you can give your feedback on their Facebook page to be in with a chance of winning one of their fabric goody bags.

Fabric with Love have more stuff in their sale – once you get to the bottom of the first page, don’t forget to click on ‘Next’ to see a 2nd page of fabrics (I missed this at first).

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That’s it for me tonight – it’s time for my supper and a dry martini mixed by dear husband. If you’re here because you were expecting a Focus on… Buying Linen, then many apologies, it’ll be with you next week (it’s taking me longer to write than I thought!).

Weekly Fabric Update

Newish Fabrics

There are plenty of new collections coming into shops now.. Curious Nature from Parson Gray (aka Amy Butler’s other half – David) is now in store at M is for Make, Quilt Me Happy and Fancy Moon, amongst others.

Soul Garden by Carolyn Gavin is also springing up everywhere (do you see what I did there?!) – it’s in stock at Fabric Rehab and at Celtic Fusion Fabrics.

The gloriously colourful A Stitch in Color fabrics by Malka Dubrawsky are available (in charm pack and jelly roll form) at Gone to Earth and The Fabric Loft.

Commute by Jay-Cyn for Birch Organics is new in at Seamstar.

Garden Wall by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller is new in at Eclectic Maker, which gives me an excuse to include a pic of this gorgeous print:

Laura Gunn, Wing Song from Garden Wall - at Eclectic Maker

There seems to be lots of gorgeous new fabrics coming into shops at the moment – I can’t possibly keep up! If you are on Facebook and/or Twitter it’s definitely worth following or liking your favourite shops to keep up with your shopping opportunities – you’ll find most of the links you need on the Very Berry Big List.

Giveaways

To celebrate the arrival of Curious Nature, M is for Make are having a giveaway of a lovely bundle of the collection. You have until 8pm on Wed 7th March to sign up to win.

Seamstar are also having a giveaway of fabrics from a new-to-them manufacturer – Blend Fabrics – you can find the details and a link to their newsletter on the Seamzine blog.

The Sewing Directory are having a giveaway in conjunction with Blooming Felt – 2 lucky winners will get a £10 voucher to spend in store. Great prize! You have until Tues 6 March 2012 to enter.

Discounts and Sales

Celtic Fusion Fabrics have a lovely spring discount for you, with 12% off any purchase over £10 until 9pm on Thurs 8 March. You need the code spring1212 at checkout.

Fabric with Love are having a real life fabric sale. The sale will take place on Saturday 10th March (10am – 12pm) at Bourne Abbey Church Hall, Lincolnshire (Church Lane, off South Street, PE10 9UQ) – bargain prices are promised, and all sales of coffee and raffle money will go to a local charity. If you can’t get to Lincolnshire there are some bargains on the website too.

One of my favourite shops for yarn and fabric, Hulu, is celebrating its 3rd birthday this week with a great big sale. There are some great fabrics and bargain prices so rush round right away and celebrate with them.

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Enjoy the rest of the weekend..! I’ll be back tomorrow with another giveaway – this time we’re talking gardening…!