Turns out Eco Fabrics really can be cheaper than the high street

I’ve been in the eco fabric business for a long while now and I’ve heard all the misconceptions under the sun about buying ethically. So I thought it was about time to set the record straight and bust some eco-fabric myths!  Here’s the first in our series…

Buying Eco Friendly Fabrics is More Expensive!

Well the answer to this is a little bit yes and a big NO!

I’m not going to pretend that ethical and organic fabrics are the cheapest fabrics ever made, because to pay the producers a fair wage they simply won’t ever be as cheap as chips.  But we think you’ll be surprised at how low organic fabric suppliers can keep their prices compared to other fabric big name fabric suppliers!

Besides the warm and fuzzy feeling you have knowing they’ve been sourced 100% ethically, crucially, with ethical textiles such as Organic and Fairtrade fabrics (no, these are NOT the same thing – which I will go into in my second “eco fabric myth busting” article next week), there is also a whole lot of craftsmanship involved and getting what you pay for.  I see it all the time – sure you can get your £1/metre fabric, but it’ll be a cheap and nasty viscose poly blend – and who on EARTH wants to wear or be anywhere near that?!  Yuck.  No thank you.  We want to give you hand woven fabrics that have been hand spun and beautifully crafted by amazing artisans. And if they aren’t made by artisans, but made in an Industrial factory instead (SA 8000 certified of course!) then you still get a fibre that’s saved lives and a great quality fabric too.

Basket Weave Cotton

Basket-Weave-Cotton

Popular Central London Fabric Shop Basket Weave Cotton

 

Organic Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Beige Basket Weave Cotton   £7.49 per metre Inc. VAT
£4.50 UK Postage 1stClass ( for 1 Metre)
137cm Wide
350gsm
100% (Non-Certified) Organic Cotton
Azo-Free, Co-Op, Fair Trade Certified, Low Energy, Low Impact Dyes, Low Water, No Genetically Modified Crops, Organic (Uncertified), Sustainable, VOC-Free, Accredited by WFTO (World Fair Trade Organization).
Unethical Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Basket Weave Cotton  £15.00 per Metre Inc. VAT
£4.20 UK Postage 1stClass (for 1 Metre)
150cm Wide
100%  Cotton
N/A

That’s pretty much half price!

Piqué Fabric

Pique Organic Offset Warehouse

Popular West London Fabric Shop Cream Piqué

Organic Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Cream Organic Piqué Sportswear Jersey   £26.50 per metre
£4.50 UK Postage 1stClass (for 1 Metre)
190cm Wide
230gsm
100% Organic Cotton
Animal Cruelty Free, Azo-Free, Fair Wage, Low Energy, Low Impact Dyes, Low Water, No Genetically Modified Crops, Organic Certified
Unethical Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Cream Cotton Piqué  £32.90 per metre
£6.95 UK Postage 1stClass (for 1 Metre)
140 cm Wide
88% Cotton 9% Polyester 3% Polyamide
N/A

Much cheaper to go Organic AND that includes shipping from FRANCE!

Red Hand Block Print

Block-print Offset Warehouse

Popular Online Craft Marketplace Hand Block Print

Organic Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Scarlet Hand Block Organic Cotton     £8.99 per metre Inc. VAT
£1.20 UK Postage 1stClass (for 1 Metre)
91cm Wide
150gsm
100% Fairtrade, (Non-Certified) Organic Cotton
Thread count 60 x 60
Azo-Free, Co-Op, Fair Trade Certified, Low Energy, Low Impact Dyes, Low Water, No Genetically Modified Crops, Organic Certified, Sustainable, VOC-Free
Unethical Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Jungle FlowerHand Block Printed Fabric   Converted from US$ £7.36 per Yard Inc. VAT
£2.94 UK Postage 1stClass (for 1 Metre)
112cm Wide
Thread count 60 x 60
100% Cotton
Natural dyes

With the differences in width, length and postage these fabrics are practically the same price!

 

Striped Chambray

 

250-W14C-STRIPE-OTR Offset Warehouse

Popular West London Fabric Shop Organic Striped Chambray

 

Organic Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Organic Striped Chambray     £6.99 per metre Inc. VAT
£1.20 UK Postage 1stClass ( for 1 Metre)
91cm Wide
150gsm
100% Fairtrade, (Non-Certified) Organic Cotton
Thread count 60 x 60
Azo-Free, Co-Op, Fair Trade Certified, Low Energy, Low Impact Dyes, Low Water, No Genetically Modified Crops, Organic Certified, Sustainable, VOC-Free
High Street Fabric Price Stats Eco Credentials
Jungle FlowerHand Block Printed Fabric   £12.99 per metre Inc. VAT
Not Available Online
Same as above Same as above

This is exactly the same fabric sold for nearly twice the price!

Ok, so a lot of us hate online shopping for fabrics, but with high street giants going out of business, it really is the smart move! With online organic fabric stores like us, our processes are much more streamlined and we don’t have the hefty overheads that normal shops do .  ‘…Why do I care?’  I hear you cry!  Well, I’ll tell you why using a great example of these fabrics above.  As you can see, they are exactly the same fabric, but as an online shop we can afford to sell it a little lower (well a LOT actually) than if we had a shop, and we can pass those savings on to our customers!

Conclusion

With just four examples, I’ve obviously only just scratched the surface here!

But if this doesn’t convince you, you can save even more money by checking out Reclaimed Fabrics!  You can pick up beautiful, end-of-rolls and off-cuts at jaw-dropping prices (although watch out if you’re making samples and will need to pick up more metres later - chances are, there won’t be any left).  But the “eco” point behind reclaiming fabrics is to divert them from landfill – where they just sit and rot and all those nasty chemicals used to create them (blooming NON ORGANIC FABRICS!) seep into the ground and contaminate water supplies AND contribute to greenhouse gases. Urgh.

Hopefully you now see how being ethical in your fabric choices doesn’t always break the bank!  If you liked this article, I’d love if you’d sign up for our mailing list and I’ll keep you up to date about any future articles.

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