So let's decide together. 
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the short story

I’m at a crossroads with my fabric sourcing. For a few major reasons, I’m considering using American- and Canadian-made fabrics in addition to the surplus fabric I already use. And I would love your opinion!


the long story

As I've written before, the "perfect fabric" doesn't exist.  

Lots of eco-friendly options are available, but there are tradeoffs associated with each of them. (Curious? Read more here.)

When I started, I couldn’t decide which fabrics to use, because I found something flawed in all of them. And so, I started using surplus fabric -- excess from mills and factories.

Now, one year later, my vision is evolving, towards what I believe is a more sustainable model -- with a major focus on quality and longevity.

So, I'm considering mixing up my fabrics.


Here's why: We need reliable quality

I'm finally ready to take in a more focused direction --  

VERSATILE STAPLES THAT LAST. As we move towards this goal, there are three things that are really important to me.  

Quality / Longevity. Season-after-season pieces that look as good after 50 washes as they did after 5. 

Easy Care. By some estimates, 60% of the environmental impact of our clothes happens during laundering. Wrinkle-friendly, easy-care garments are a must. 

Transparency. Using surplus, I can only trace about 1/3 of my fabric purchases. The rest? I don't know where it originally came from or how it was made. I'd like to change that.

What's wrong with surplus?
I source fabric for each new style. Sometimes, we'll even use multiple fabrics within the same style! I can't begin to describe the hours and money spent locating and quality testing origin-unknown fabric. About 2/3 of the fabric I use is untraceable, and, can be unreliable. (My best guess is that most is originally from China.) 

I knew, starting out, that fabric would always be very uncertain. But I didn't understand the toll it would take on me, and the entire production process.

I want confidence in quality. I want to directly see where and how fabric is made. And I want to make the best products possible, that last a long time.

So what's next?

I want to continue using traceable USA-made surplus, but I have a few other ideas, too.

I’ve been researching two North American knitters. One is already my most reliable surplus source (they knitted the black and charcoal Versalette fabric, and fabric for the "No Sweat" Pants). I would still partner with them to use all of their surplus I possibly can, plus fabric they keep in stock. 

The other knitter is based in Canada (Toronto) and has also offered to partner with -- we would buy their excess fabric, in addition to buying stock fabric they carry (organic options included).

I would buy surplus from both of these companies, plus fabric they knit here in North America. All traceable. All impeccable quality. 

Fabrics would be a mix of rayons, cottons (some organic) tencel, poly, and modal. 

The thing is, I don’t want to make this business shift without your input. Because this is your company, too. So...

What do you think? Would you support a mix of North-American-made fabrics and surplus fabric?
1 = No, 10 = Yes. 

lowest 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   highest
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