Whether sewing new garments for myself or creating samples of my sewing patterns for my halfmoon ATELIER sewing pattern label, I do my best to use re-purposed, organic and/or sustainably and ethically produced fabrics. When I got back in to sewing back in 2012, I wasn't able to find any of these fabrics in person, and also found it a challenge to source them online. So that you don't have to search as far and wide as I did, I created this long and growing list below of online fabric shops that claim to sell exclusively organic and sustainable fabrics.

Looking for something to sew? My sewing patterns are versatile and timeless, which is an important aspect in creating a more sustainable wardrobe.

ballet top + dress DELPY | PDF sewing pattern | halfmoon ATELIER

ballet top + dress DELPY

boat neck ANEGADA | PDF sewing pattern | halfmoon ATELIER

boat neck ANEGADA

jumpsuit TOFO | PDF sewing pattern | halfmoon ATELIER

jumpsuit TOFO

To receive the best in sustainable sewing and the super basic TANK TOP sewing pattern for FREE! (as well as other thoughts on travel, podcasts, and life on Saba) straight to your inbox each month, subscribe here!

What do I mean by "sustainable" and "ethical" fabric when considering shops for the list?

When I say "sustainable" and "ethical", I am generally referring to fabrics that were produced in a manner that was respectful of people and planet as verified by internationally recognized certification, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Because I am in no way an expert on textiles or sustainability, I tend to rely on certification as this covers the entire process, ensuring that the workers were taken care of as well as the planet. However, certification is not fault-free, and there is no guarantee that the metrics used or prioritized by the certifying organization meets your idea of what is sustainable. Some of the shops listed below also carry un-certified organics. This is also important because achieving certification is an expensive and intensive process, making it out of reach for many small-scale textile producers.

We often think of cotton when talking "sustainable" and "ethical" fabrics, but other examples are flax (linen) and hemp, as these come from plants that require little water or pesticides and regenerate easily (as opposed to cotton, which is apparently more agriculturally intense).

Fabric that has been "recovered" or "reclaimed" from old or unworn clothes is even more sustainable and ethical than purchasing fabric by the yard. It's also far cheaper - think up-cycling and refashioning! 

I also consider "deadstock" fabric to be sustainable, as this is fabric that was over-produced or over-ordered by designers. So while the content of the fabric may not be organic, for example, this is kind of like using the remnants or scraps of designers in our home sewing. 

Why do I choose these fabrics? So many reasons!

+ Because I can't stand the idea of hurting somebody so that I can have something. I do not claim perfection in my fabric stash or wardrobe, but it is something that is always on my mind.
+ Because placing strict restrictions on the type of fabric I allow myself to purchase means that, although my fabric is more expensive per yard, I don't spend a lot on fabric in a year and maintain a very small stash.
+ I am pretty minimal and live in a location that basically has one season. This means that the few clothes I do have never get a break and therefore need to be high quality.
+ Clothing cannot be recycled where I live. As we tend to wear things until they're nearly threadbare in my family (or stained beyond repair), I want to make sure that our clothing is relatively burn-safe (waste does not go into landfills here but gets burned).

Would you like to be more sustainable in your sewing practice, but don't know where to start?

+ MEND: mend old clothes, rather than replacing them, whenever possible
+ REUSE: up-cycle old and unworn clothes to create something new and unique!
+ THRIFT: if you have access to thrift stores, check to see if they have fabrics (including sheets!) that suit your style
+ BUY: purchase the highest quality and most sustainably produced fabrics that fit within your family budget. 

For more information on the sustainability of fabrics, I highly recommend starting with this article and then just spending some time clicking around on the Time to Sew blog by Kate. Kate is also very interested in sustainability in sewing and is an excellent researcher and writer on the subject. She also happens to be a friend of mine (a long time internet friend who I finally got to meet in person in September 2019!).

If you're looking for a place to source fabric where sustainable is the standard, the following shops claim to sell exclusively organic and sustainably produced fabrics.

company (retail) ships from eco-fabric focus
Alexa Organics * USA knits + DIY baby accessories
Allgots Sweden knits for babies
Amandine Cha France modern wovens + knits
A Thrifty Notion USA thrifted + rescued fabrics
Aura Herbal Textiles India naturally dyed + printed wovens
Aurora Silk USA peace silk
Bamboo Fabric Store Australia wovens + knits
Biostoffen NL knits + quilting cotton for kids
Bio Tissus France wovens + knits
Bulk Hemp Warehouse USA hemp wovens, knits + notions
Cedar House Fabrics USA wovens + knits for kids
Comptoir Biosud France knits
Conscious Clothing USA organic linen, cotton + hemp remnants
Cousu Bio France wovens, knits + notions for garments + homeware
Elvelyckan Design Sweden fun printed knits
Fil Etik France wovens + knits
Gaia Conceptions USA natural dyed knits
Georgette Belgium fabrics, patterns + notions
Hemp Basics USA hemp wovens
Honey Be Good USA wovens + knits
Kinderel Organic Fabrics Canada + USA bamboo, hemp + organic cotton
Lebens Kleidung Germany modern, innovative wovens + knits
Lillestoff Germany wovens + knits
Matchpoint Fabric Canada fashion industry deadstock + sustainably produced
Naturellement Chanvre France hemp wovens
Nature's Fabrics USA knits (specialized in cloth diapering)
Nelly Morelley Germany wovens + knits
Nuno Organics Malaysia wovens + knits for kids
Offset Warehouse UK modern, innovative wovens + knits
Organic Cotton Plus USA wovens, knits, natural dyes + yarn
Organic Fabric Company * USA wovens, knits + DIY baby accessories
Organic Textile Company UK wovens + knits for garments + homeware
Pure Coverz NL wovens, knits + notions for garments + homeware
Queen of Raw USA unused fashion industry textiles
Rawganique * Canada & USA wovens, knits, ropes + yarns
Revival Fabrics USA original vintage fabrics
Seidentraum Germany woven + knit peace silks
Sew 4 Planet NL knits + jerseys
Sew Organic Fabric USA colorful wovens + knits
Shop Well Fibre USA curated collection of thrifted fabrics
Siebenblau Germany modern, innovative wovens + knits
Simplifi * Canada & USA wovens, knits + patterns
Stoffbotin Germany wovens + knits
Studio Spatz NL modern print knits
The Bamboo Fabric Store USA natural colored bamboo wovens + knits
Tissus Nature France wovens, knits + notions
Truecolours Textiles NL eco-friendly fabrics made in India
Two Sisters Ecotextiles USA upholstery + sturdier wovens
Vida Textiles New Zealand wovens, homeware + upholstery
Voladora Vintage USA deconstructed vintage kimono fabric
Wazoodle Fabrics USA innovative waterproof + activewear fabric
Zonen 09 Belgium fabric + (hip!) kids sewing patterns

*indicates affiliate link 

 

company (wholesale) ships from eco-fabric focus
Bo Weevil NL fashion, wellness + promotional bags
Chat Chocolat Belgium stylishly printed knits
Ecological Textiles NL fashion + interior
Eva Mouton Belgium printed knits for kids
Lebens Kleidung Germany fashion + elastics
Pickering International USA fashion, trims + buttons
Spiritex Organic Cotton Fabric USA USA grown and produced organic cotton knits
Vivify Textiles Australia innovative swimwear, silks, linen + cotton

 

textile recycling location eco-focus
Council for Textile Recycling USA + Canada find textile recycling locations near you
FABSCRAP NYC recycle fabric scrap in NYC
Recycle Now UK find textile recycling locations near you
 
Is an ethical fabric source missing?
Please contact me at hello@halfmoonatelier.com

shop ethical fabric online