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Eco-friendly sewing tips

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The fast fashion crisis is an urgent issue that demands our attention. With its rapid production and disposal of cheap clothing, fast fashion has left a devastating impact on the Earth. The industry’s reliance on unsustainable practices contributes to pollution, excessive waste, and exploitation of workers in developing countries. As consumers, we must recognise our role in this crisis and explore ways to address it.

One powerful solution lies in sewing! If you learn to sew, you can take control of your wardrobes and reduce the dependence on fast fashion.

1. Create pieces you’ll reach for again and again

Sewing allows us to create our own clothing that is designed to last and perfectly fitted to our bodies. Instead of settling for ill-fitting or poorly made garments, we can craft high-quality pieces that reflect our personal style and values. This shift towards a more sustainable and mindful approach to fashion promotes a slower, more conscious consumption pattern. You can fall in love with your clothing and enjoy the slow process of crafting something designed to last rather than following trends.

2. Repair your clothing (me-made or shop bought)

Sewing also empowers us to fix and alter clothing, extending their lifespan and reducing the need for constant replacements. Consider using wider seam and hem allowances to future proof your garment; you can let it out or drop the hem at a later.

3. Embrace upcycling and scrapbusting!

Consider purchasing second-hand or vintage fabrics, giving them a new life while reducing the demand for new production. You can repurpose old garments, using them as a source of fabric for new clothing or accessories. This not only reduces waste but also encourages creativity and individuality in our fashion choices. Try making a patchwork jacket from a couple of pairs of jeans. Or a dress from a vintage bedsheet!

You can also investigate deadstock fabric sellers who purchase leftover fabric from fashion houses and sell it on to customers. This means the fabric doesn’t go to waste and you can get beautiful quality fabrics that you’ve seen on the high street!

4. Shop sustainable fabrics

While sewing can be a more sustainable alternative to fast fashion, it is not without its drawbacks. Sewing still requires materials, such as fabric and thread, which have their own environmental impacts. Look for sustainable fabrics to help minimise this.

When shopping for sustainable fabrics, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Look for materials like organic cotton, linen, or Tencel, which are grown and produced using eco-friendly methods. Seek out certifications such as GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) or Oeko-Tex Standard 100, which ensure the fabrics are free from harmful chemicals. For example, Ecovera viscose is made from wood pulp sourced from sustainably managed forests, primarily certified as FSC (Forest Stewardship Council). The production process of Ecovera viscose involves using environmentally responsible practices, including closed-loop systems that recycle and reuse water and chemicals, and it’s produced with lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduced water usage compared to conventional viscose.

5. Shop higher quality fabrics (skip polyester if possible)

Lastly, prioritise durability and longevity in your fabric choices, opting for high-quality materials that will stand the test of time. Choose eco-friendly fabrics like those listed above and look for high quality manufacturers. It’s difficult but prioritise pure fabric over those mixed with polyester. Polyester is known for its durability, resistance to wrinkles, and ease of care… but estimates suggest that polyester fabric can take anywhere from 20 to 200 years to decompose under normal environmental conditions.

When it comes to microplastics released during washing, polyester fabrics also contribute to the problem. Microplastics are tiny plastic particles that are less than 5 mm in size. When polyester garments are washed, especially in high-efficiency washing machines, friction and mechanical forces can cause the fibres to break down and shed microplastic particles.

By making informed choices when shopping for fabrics, we can further contribute to a sustainable and ethical fashion ecosystem.

6. Choose Simplicity brand patterns!

Thankfully, our sewing patterns are created with sustainability in mind. With multiple views or garments in every pattern pack they offer great value for money, and versatility. We love it when our customers use the same pattern to make totally different garments by changing the fabric and adapting which view they use! Plus we have been using recycled paper for our tissue and envelopes for many years. Why not read our sustainability statement to learn more about our other eco-friendly production practices?

In conclusion, sewing offers a powerful antidote to the fast fashion crisis. Through sewing, we can mend, repurpose, and create clothing that aligns with our values. By embracing a more conscious and self-sufficient approach to our wardrobes, we can help protect the environment, reduce waste, and promote a more sustainable future for fashion!


Check out more of our Sustainable Sewing Blog posts for more inspiration

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