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Fabric Supply Chain Transparency
As an ethically conscious company, it is important to us that we supply our customers with as much information as we can regarding our product supply chain. We strive to strike a balance between maintaining our ethical and environmental integrity as a company, while offering reasonably priced fabrics and merino jersey products.
By providing affordable fabrics and encouraging the #memade revolution, we are educating the world as to the time, skill and manpower that goes into creating a garment from scratch! As a company, we believe that this is the most important message we can communicate to the world, and hope by encouraging home sewing we will, in-turn, encourage more thoughtful purchasing habits in the future.
Although we would love to provide supply chain details for all of our fabrics, due to the way in which we source the majority of our fabrics (as deadstock) this is not possible. Any information we do have about our supply chain is included in this page, which is kept up to date. If you are considering purchasing fabric from us, but would like more information on the manufacture and/or buying process please select from the list below.
Select fabric type for details:
Merino Fabric Supply Chain
We are very proud to source our Merino from a long established New Zealand based company, with whom we have a long and trusting relationship. Sadly, over recent years the last New Zealand based mills have closed down, forcing our supplier to seek an offshore solution for the knitting of our merino products. Although we were sad to see production moved offshore, the merino fabrics produced by our supplier’s new Vietnam based mill have a MAPP guarantee which ensures environmental, economic sustainability & animal welfare. The mill is also a Bluesign system partner, which ensures elimination of harmful substances from the manufacture process, and controls standards for environmentally friendly fabric production.
The MAPP guarantee ensures environmental, economic sustainability & animal welfare. MAPP merino is produced in 'free range' farming systems which are animal and environmentally friendly, and produce superb quality merino. A strict no mulesing policy is followed, and the well-being of the sheep is a high priority. Strict guidelines are followed throughout the entire manufacturing process to ensure environmental responsibility and the use of sustainable processes. For more information visit their website: http://www.mapp.co.nz/demandchain/farm/
Bluesign System Partner
The bluesign® system is the solution for a sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances right from the beginning of the manufacturing process and sets and controls standards for an environmentally friendly and safe production. This not only ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide but also provides confidence to the consumer to acquire a sustainable product. For more information visit their website: https://www.bluesign.com/
Liberty of London
Liberty of London Fabric Supply Chain
Our Liberty fabrics are supplied direct to us from Liberty of London. Liberty fabrics are printed in Italy, and as of 2018 the company has signed up to BCI initiative which exists to improve the conditions of cotton workers, as well as the environment it grows in. Liberty of London are also members of Oeko-Tex, who conduct regular tests to ensure their fabrics are safe for the consumer, and free of harmful chemicals.
Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)
The Better Cotton Initiative exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the sector’s future, by developing Better Cotton as a sustainable mainstream commodity. The BCI and Innovation Fund is a global programme designed to support the Initiative in its goals of reaching five million farmers in key cotton-producing countries and have Better Cotton account for 30% of global cotton production. For more information visit their website: https://bettercotton.org/
The Oeko-Tex ‘STANDARD 100’ is a worldwide consistent, independent testing and certification system for raw, semi-finished, and finished textile products at all processing levels. Oeko-Tex tests for harmful substances from a consumer's point of view, based on the respective purpose of the material or textile. Oeko-Tex testing ensures that Liberty’s fabrics are free of harmful substances such as Azo colourants, formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol (to name a few), as well as a number of harmful chemicals that have not yet been legally regulated. For more information visit their website: https://www.oeko-tex.com/
Linen (Exclusive Colours Only)
Exclusive Linen Colours Supply Chain
Although we source the majority of our linen products as deadstock items (see ‘all other fabrics’ section), our range as labeled ‘Exclusive Colours’ are milled and dyed especially for us. The supplier we use to produce this fabric line is a family-owned company based in China, whose operations include both their dye houses and mills. All parts of the business are overseen and managed by the family themselves, and they do not outsource production to other companies or subsidiaries. We chose them to produce our exclusive linen range based on a prior, trusting relationship purchasing deadstock items, coupled with the fact that they are compliant with China REACH Regulations.
China REACH Regulations
China REACH is a regulation developed by the the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, and is modelled closely on the EU REACH regulation. China REACH focuses on improving the health of workers and environmental effects by regulating the use of hazardous chemicals in manufacture. For more information on China REACH visit the following website: https://www.chemsafetypro.com/
All Other Fabrics
Deadstock Fabric Supply Chain
All fabrics that do not fit into the prior three categories (Merino, Liberty of London, Exclusive Linen Colours), are sourced by The Fabric Store as deadstock items. ‘Deadstock’ refers to merchandise which was never sold to or used by consumers before being removed from sale. In the fashion/textiles world, deadstock is becoming a big problem as fast fashion dictates designers use new fabric colours and prints each season. This means unused fabric builds up each time a new collection is commissioned, which due to the modern consumers fast-fashion attitude, cannot be used in the following season’s collection.
Reasons fabric ends up as deadstock
- ● Fabrics are no longer relevant for a company’s designs, or are no longer ‘in season’.
- ● The designer/manufacturer had an overstock of a particular fabric, or garments made in a particular fabric did not sell as well as initially thought.
- ● The fabric had flaws, which were unfeasible to ‘cut around’ in a mass production setting.
- ● Textiles were ordered from a mill that did not meet colour matching requirements for a company.
- ● A company closes down (or closes a division of their business), leaving a large amount of leftover stock.
What normally happens to deadstock fabric?
In many cases, deadstock fabric ends up in landfill as the costs of repurposing or recycling the fabric outweigh those of disposing it. There are also issues with copyright, and some designers even resort to destroying their deadstock fabric for fear of counterfeit garment production.
Deadstock Fabric Buying Process
Here at The Fabric Store we have fostered relationships over the years with a number of high end fashion designers and manufacturers, who sell us deadstock fabric for onselling in our retail stores. They trust our integrity as a company, and are therefore happy to allow us to purchase their products safe in the knowledge that we will do right by them in relation to the protection of their brand. Our buying strategy offers these companies an environmentally friendly way of dealing with excess fabric stock, which would otherwise have not been available to them.
Deadstock Fabric Origin and Production
We have a large number of suppliers, who are peppered throughout the globe. As we buy deadstock directly from the designers and garment manufacturers (as opposed to the fabric mills themselves), we are given very little information regarding the origin, production methods, or supply chain of the fabrics themselves. In order for us to buy these fabrics, and stop them from being destroyed or dumped, we need to make the selling process easy and affordable for suppliers. We buy our fabrics in large quantities, and shipments often consist of large quantities of short end fabrics, so requiring full fabric information for each item is not possible. At the end of the day, It is our ultimate goal to avoid these fabrics going to waste, which is something we are proud to have been achieving to date.
Please Note: This page is kept up to date, and contains all the information we have on our fabric origin, production, certification as well as our buying process. However, if you have any further questions feel free to contact us and we will endeavour to answer as best we can.